CD Reviews

Eden's Curse - 'Eden's Curse - Revisited' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 20, 2018    
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A tenth anniversary re-recording of the band's eponymous debut.

We like a bit of Eden's Curse at Fireworks & Rocktopia. Indeed, how could a band that channels elements of the Melodic Metal of Queensrÿche, Dokken and Winger, who blend in Pink Cream 69 and Edguy influences, sprinkle occasional hints of Dio on the top, and emerge with its own identity not score big with our knowledgeable and discerning scribes? Ian Johnson got more hot and bothered than he'd been "in many a moon" when he reviewed 2011's 'Trinity', Phil Ashcroft described 2013's 'Symphony Of Sin' as the band's "most cohesive and confident" effort yet, while Mark Donnelly recommended excommunication for anyone who failed to check out 2016's 'Cardinal'.

However, what we have here is an altogether different proposition – namely a tenth anniversary re-recording of the band's eponymous debut. The obvious question is why an album only ten years young requires such treatment, especially when you consider that, song-writing aside, it's as much trouble to completely re-record an old album as it is to record a new one? The re-recording, it seems, was motivated by the clamour from fans to hear the early tracks with current vocalist Nikola Mijić. Only two of the current band – founder, bassist and chief song-writer Paul Logue and guitarist Thorsten Köehne – played on the 2007 original, with Mijić joining for '...Sin', and drummer John Clelland and keyboardist Chrism picking up the reigns more recently.

What marked out Eden's Curse at the time of the original recording was their status as a multi-national, studio-based internet project who didn't actually meet until the album photo shoot. The 2017 version of the band is still multi-national, but they have, of course, metamorphosed into a "proper" band – a fully-functioning live and studio outfit. To that extent, one can understand both the fans' demands to capture the band as it is now and the desire of the current line-up to make the early songs their own.

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Is it a strong enough album to merit re-recording? It's a moot point, but, in the circumstances, it probably is. Eden's Curse blend the drama of epic-feeling tracks like 'Judgement Day' and 'Fallen King' with the strong melodies of 'Eyes Of The World' and 'After The Love Is Gone', the rough and tumble of 'Fly Away' and the chant-a-long bonhomie of 'What Are You Waiting For'. It's a very decent album! Produced by Logue, the re-recorded version is smoother, more cohesive (to pinch a word from Phil – many thanks!), and a little more glitzy. It takes me right back to the heyday of Hair Metal and demonstrates, perhaps, Mijić's strength as an all-round vocalist. It also, and I guess this is the point, has a very strong "band feel". That said, it was a very decent album in its original Dennis Ward-produced form too. The original is perhaps a bit rougher around the edges and, occasionally, a touch more abrasive, but there will undoubtedly be those who prefer it. You "pays your money, you takes your choice".

The new version comes complete with a nineteen track, hundred minute "bootleg" DVD video recording of the band's 2014 performance at the Classic Grand in Glasgow; the audio of which (mixed and mastered, ironically enough, by Ward) features on the 2015 live album 'Live With The Curse' – not a bad bonus at all!

Michael Anthony

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