Monday, March 2, 2015

Eden's Curse - Live With The Curse - Give This One A Try, It's Brutally and Beautifully Good

Eden's Curse
Live With The Curse
AFM Records
March 13 (UK/Europe), March 14 (US)

Eden's Curse keeps getting better and better - each release, each lineup change, every hurdle they catapult seems to place them higher in the realm of modern classic metal. Live With The Curse is a most impressive live set which serves as a great 'story up to this point' document.

Fans of bands like Queensryche, Iron Maiden, and other melodic metal monsters (or even folks who wish Journey has a bit more oomph) will absolutely eat this up. Nikola Mijic came on board as lead vocalist for the band in 2013, and he's taken the band to a completely new level. New keyboardist Steve Williams (Dragonforce) also fits like a glove and supplies both tasty pads and some great interplay with guitarist and original band member Thorsten Koehne, who has been consistently brilliant since the band's inception almost ten years ago.

Paul Logue (Full Interview from 2013) is one of the founding fathers of the band (he originally formed the group with departed vocalist Michael Eden in 2006), and in addition to being an exceptional bassist, he's also one of the very best songwriters in the genre these days - it's the songs really comes down to, and where the band delivers the goods in spades. He's steered the band through four studio albums that have been consistently top notch, and he keeps getting better at his job as evidenced on 2013's Symphony Of Sin the band's latest long player which features heavily (eight tunes out of eighteen) on this new live opus.

In fact, 'Symphony Of Sin' kicks things off here, and it's eight minutes of pure rocking joy.   Recorded in Glasgow on November 28, 2014 at The Classic Grand, and mixed and mastered by metal heavyweight Dennis Ward, this set sounds like solid gold - you can hear every note as the guitar and keyboards joust mightily, and the rhythm section rumbles magnificently as Mijic soars over the top of it all. The band's harmony vocals are especially top notch, putting icing on a very tasteful cake.

Thorsten Keohne is a guitarist who should be gracing magazine covers - his solo section is as good as I've heard in some time, and I'm a guy whose stood on the stage as Michael Schenker soloed on a great many occasion. He makes his presence on every track, and he's always on the mark with his punchy rhythm work, and his melodic and fleet fingered solos.

Melding raging rock with beautiful melody is always a welcome thing, and Eden's Curse makes it sound much easier than it really is. A tune like 'Devil In Disguise' is a perfect example of a thunderously heavy riff that gets slathered with gorgeous melody, pounding, pummeling drumming from John Clelland whose deft stick and footwork are an absolutely essential ingredient in this mix. When Keohne goes into his solo, Clelland kicks him like a mule, then when Williams takes his keyboards out on a cruise he shifts gears and plays a more sophisticated backing that works perfectly in context.

If this was the early eighties, Eden's Curse would be traversing the globe in a jet with their name on its ass, they're that good, and there's not a minute of filler or dross on this two CD set that serves up over a hundred minutes of live rock brilliance. No matter what track you pull up, you're going to well get your money's worth. The songs are all top notch, the playing and singing really couldn't be better, and the record sounds like a million bucks (or pounds, or Euros....).

This could be your melodic metal discovery of the year if you've not yet found your way to Eden's Curse, but if you have, you'll be over the moon at this brilliantly captured retrospective. 

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