Images Of Eden - 'Soulrise' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 23, 2018    
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If moody, song-centric Progressive Metal is your thing, you'll simply love 'Soulrise'.

A deliciously intriguing release that landed on my desk for review just as our deadline was looming, 'Soulrise' is the fourth full-length effort from American Progressive Metal act Images Of Eden.

Operating out of Phoenix, Arizona, what essentially started out as a proof of concept back in the late nineties is the steadfast vision of vocalist Gordon Tittsworth. Uncompromising in his approach, Tittsworth has seen a number of members come and go over the years – indeed, between 2006's 'Sunlight Of The Spirit' and 2011's appropriately titled 'Rebuilding The Ruins' effort the band effectively collapsed – but such life-altering setbacks have only seen him redouble his efforts to come back even stronger than before.

Mixing together Progressive (both Rock and Metal) elements with a classic Hard Rock dynamic and something decidedly more modern and antsy, the Images Of Eden sound comes across like a hybrid of Dream Theater, Rush, Queensrÿche and Fates Warning (to name but four), its clever use of constantly shifting moods and differing tempos making for a satisfyingly dramatic sojourn into the hinterlands of Progressive Metal.

Kicking off with the clipped staccato of 'Harvest Day', the album seems designed to offer plenty of pitfalls for the unwary, yet the more you listen to it, the more cohesive, nay impressive it sounds. 'Shield Me' has an equally acerbic bass riff, but the layering of guitars and vocals on top is as catchy as it is abrasive. 'Moonrise' lowers the tempo somewhat as it initially sees Tittsworth and company in a more reflective mood before gradually building into something Dream Theater would be proud to call their own. The epic, near ten minute title track 'Soulrise' is another genuine highlight – a rare beast that never really changes tempo, yet keeps you enthralled and emotionally invested throughout.

On the image front, the striking cover artwork captures the spirit of the music very well, whilst a clear, tight and bold production helps present the twelve songs within in a very favourable light indeed.

It has been a few years since I last touched base with Images Of Eden (I didn't even know this release was on the horizon), but it's been a great pleasure "rediscovering" them all over again.

If moody, song-centric Progressive Metal is your thing, you'll simply love 'Soulrise'.

Dave Cockett

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