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Symphony Of Sin

AFM (2013)
Rating: 8/10

Eden’s Curse is an experienced outfit who have achieved a hell of a lot since their inception in 2006. Symphony Of Sin is the fourth opus from this multinational quartet who, for this record, has a new frontman in Serbian scorcher Nikola Mijić (who replaces original vocalist Michael Eden), and new keyboard player in former DragonForce man Steve Williams (in replacement for Alessandro Del Vecchio).

These new additions sit comfortably alongside members Thorsten Köhne (guitar), Paul Logue (bass) and Pete Newdeck (drums). In fact, it’s as if messrs Mijić and Williams have been with the band from the start, because Symphony Of Sin is a real belter of a metal album boasting the anthemic quality and orchestral majesty one has come to expect.

Personally, I prefer Mijić’s vocal ability to Michael Eden, and his fluid style is a perfect match for the heroic strains of opening title track. It’s a cut that builds on effective orchestration and then leaps headlong into a hard-hitting rush of solid drums and regal guitars before Mijić introduces himself on this seven-minute marathon. Like all good classic metal this builds nicely before that absolutely killer chorus wafts into the ears.

The guitars of Köhne rage throughout, but are happy to make way for more subtle passages to allow Williams’ keys to breathe. But those of you who think this is just another slab of icy melodic metal can think again, because the opening riff of ‘Break The Silence’ is a real formidable crunch laced with effective tinkling.

Sceptics may argue that Mijić does struggle at times to reach the real high notes, but there is also an earthy quality about those vocal strains as he croons his way through the fiery pit of ‘Evil & Divine’ and the subtle echoes of ‘Unbreakable’ where Williams really takes over, sprinkling his talents over a sprightly melody – meaning that this track is the album’s most joyous, yet simple ray of sunshine.

‘Unbreakable’, alongside the wistful ‘Fallen From Grace’, provides the ideal backbone of this album so that the heavier tracks can revolve around them. The latter is a delightful experience featuring a wondrous chorus and effortless slower passage which evolves through Thorsten Köhne’s magical guitar work.

Elsewhere, ‘Losing My Faith’, ‘Rock Bottom’ and ‘Sign Of The Cross’ are the real rockers of the album, the latter featuring another driving riff, hearty bass and meaty vocal.

Eden’s Curse have always had a knack for combining the moody with the mean, and with Symphony Of Sin they’ve carved out another melodic winner that is full of highlights, from the galloping ‘Great Unknown’ to the closing moods of ‘Where Is The Love?’. Any self-respecting fan of classic harmonious rock will find much to relish here.

Neil Arnold

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