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Edensong - The Fruit Fallen CD (album) cover

THE FRUIT FALLEN

Edensong

Eclectic Prog


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Ricochet
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With the long work being finally over and the major, so far most precious release being out in the open, the bet now goes on how this band, Edensong, with a strong, round-shaped and highly enjoyable debut, can capture attention all over places in veraciously quick time and can receive full acclaim from progressive rock fans and critics. So far it's all good.

It's been, indeed, an insanely long journey before this debut was released in the mid-April of 2008; in fact The Fruit Fallen is a project dating back in 2004. The pieces that make up this album vary themselves as D.O.C. (date of composition), over these four full years, while a couple others - if reading carefully on the band's main website - were left out of the official record. Since the basis of this ensemble was set even earlier into the early years of the decade - James Byron Schoen and Matt Cozin having been part of the original trio - it's been definitely a tough, long ride till this very moment, where plans are probably already drawn for new material or for extensive touring in other to promote this one. The way the music sounds, both complex and carrying actually a hard imprimée of over-done small things, speaks for itself.

The conceptuality marked by titles and symbols seems very peculiar regarding Edensong, since even before anything was started on The Fruit Fallen, the band conceived a rock-opera named Beyond Eden (promoted afterwards, though not in the completely same formation, in a tour, at the end of which the ideas for a new album were already starting to catch ground), while Schoen and the third member of the original trio, gone too shortly after to receive any real credit, played together in a band called Echoes of Eden. It's more peculiar, seeing this differently, that the place where this lopsided conceptuality ends is the album itself, where religion is pointed out several times, but not in a significant, nor strict way.

The music, in fact, is much more than you could imagine from just looking or reading about, the experience is heavy, regular and enlightening. Not likely to be the top band and top result of the year, still consistent, demanding and (once trialed) deserving in more than one way. At the time of The Fruit Fallen being finalized for good, in 2008, the core band is made out of Schoen playing the whole set of guitars plus being the lead singer, while Matt Cozin plays drums, two flutists literally alternate between pieces, Arthur Sugden complements with piano and organ, while violinist M. Drucker moreover refines the music's passages than having actual dense contributions. Still, Edensong's debut was also crystallized with the massive contribution of several more musicians, despite that we're talking additional dubbing upon certain pieces, the instrumental list and range not changing dramatically, except synthesizers, cello and more esoteric percussions. Once listening to The Fruit Fallen, you'll probably not be warmed more by one particular artist than by the others, they all perform realistically well, but, just for side notes, Schoen delivers gifted, sensible or strapping guitar music, while his singing, even if good (and quite excellent, towards the end), is not entirely high-praise-worthy.

As style derives from influences or undergoes the search for the original factor, we're mainly talking about a look being taken into classic progressive bands (particularly in the parts were symphonic prog can be sensed or is plainly interpreted), not important enough however, since the main drive is modern, intelligent prog rock. Edensong do have the common desire to catch an original expression, and while in sound and concept all is possible, the overall rock flavor is not something unheard; but it's neither prosaic, but fresh, stable, heavily-worked upon - all good assets. In picturing a rather active eclecticism (that includes abundant art rock, sudden symphonic structures, rather instrument-based folk, power rock, alternative a.s.), one thing might attract fans of a different caliber than art or concept rock, as the heaviness put in essential moments of unleash and grasp is not heavy rock per se, but closes in solidly on metal. So to say, the Dream Theater quarter side of the main blend gets fulfilled, while an influence was even noted to be Alice In Chains. It's something curious, at least, in terms of conception, while inside music, metal is to be fully credited, but not in dangerous quotas.

Running 71 minutes, with only 8 selected compositions, The Fruit Fallen is a truly solid work. Taking another look at the concept, almost every piece has its main idea. At least two themes - the loss of love and death, the latter approached in the last two tracks of the album - come from experience (in death's case, everything being a tribute to someone). The lyrics can have a bit of what I've mentioned to be over-done (one other thing would be instrumental passages that have a real good sound, yet lose out when talking about their essence), but it mainly sounds too developed to be taken as one-dimensional. More interesting (and undoubtedly enjoyable) will be observed the certain twist of style, color, ambition and feel in most of the pieces. Taken individually, only Water Run, the folk-alternative opener, and Reflection, a soothing ballad containing probably a very representative expression of the band, are pieces that flow overall the same. Inner changes in The Prayer (from acoustic folk to heavy rock) and Nocturne's discreet-disturbed flow (which sadly doesn't bring anything close to Chopin, despite being officially related to him) can or can't impress. The Baptism is on the other hand probably most intriguing, being the basic breakup song, but coming down the middle with church organs and intonatios that clearly bring the color of religion, while the mood turns heavier and heavier, you don't even catch up with when the vocal and instrumental drama becomes a tad extra raging. Religion, otherwise, is fully evoked in The Sixth Day, which counts for me as the most astounding piece done by Edensong so far. If ever to feel perfection and graceful music coming from the band, it's down this ending part, with The Sixth Day so imposing and One Breath To Breathe so tearful. The finale, an epic of 21 minutes called The Reunion, is actually made of two distinct pieces, 10 respectively 8 1/2 minutes long, 3 middle minutes being intermission silence. Both are evolved as also distinct, forming a contrast of rapid and soft music: in the first piece, rapid means metal, while soft actually means a full dramatic halo of vocals and rock, net superior to the second piece coming afterwards, where dynamic and progressive motives are contrasted by instant flexible moments where the tension is just loosened.

Overall, this is a very good and deep effort by Edensong, a bright progressive rock modern band on the horizon. While savoring it should only mean the music and the stylistic pollen fully reaches you, The Fruit Fallen couldn't have been a more compact and stimulating album after all the time it took to be made. Unreservedly recommended.

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Send comments to Ricochet (BETA) | Report this review (#178038)
Posted Thursday, July 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
Angelo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars And on the sixth day, man created God to help see things we can't explain...

The work leading up this album took a little bit more time than including the band and the album in Prog Archives - but both were very much worth the effort.

First of all - after quite a few listens to the album, the overall picture is that if one band fits the definition of Eclectic Prog it's Edensong. Across eight very well balanced and intricate compositions, the caring listener is treated to symphonic, folk, metal (Edensong was preceded by Schoen's prog metal band Echoes of Eden, which disbanded in 2000) and even some jazz - just listen to some of T.D. Towers bass work on e.g. The Baptism). Comparing Edensong to just any one band from these genres doesn't sum up the sound of this album. Putting Yes, Jethro Tull, Malicorne, Shadow Gallery, Dream Theater in a Magimix blender may give you an idea of how this band tastes. Of course, there is not one line up responsible for all tracks, but the compositional skills of Schoen and the sheer talent of all the musicians he worked with over the past years to create this album are remarkable.

Highlights of the album for me are the two longest tracks, The Sixth Day and Reunion (the latter runs 21 minutes because it includes the 'secret track' To See But Not Believe), closely followed by The Baptism. All three are intricate compositions - using influences from the bands and musical styles mentioned above, and going through a number of mood and tempo changes. Not exactly background music - but a great choice for an evening of well played modern progressive rock.

Large parts of the album were part of what was initially conceived as a live show - Beyond Eden : A Surrealistic Pseudo Rock-Opera, on which Schoen started working in 2002. Listening to the album and reading the lyrics makes me hope that, after the disbanding of the last Edensong line up and the release of this album, James Byron Schoen manages to get a band together for touring and further releases. I'd love to see this band perform live in Europe in the not too distant future.

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Send comments to Angelo (BETA) | Report this review (#180386)
Posted Wednesday, August 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Fruit Fallen stands out as one of the top releases of 2008. It is 70 minutes of well constructed prog, with not only unique musical composition, but deep lyrical content. A rare and potent combination, each enhances the other. A journey best enjoyed in its entirety, to appreciate the distictiveness of each piece taking the listener in different directions. Be forewarned the trip is not frivilous.

The most unusual song is the second track, Baptism, which features church organ, flute, cello and pulsating african drum sections, culminating in a primal scream befitting of the pain of the lyrics. Equally compelling is the 6th track, coincidentally titled Sixth Day, an examination of organized religion, which builds throughout its almost 10 minutes before its explosive refrain. On its heels comes the incredibly haunting melody of One Breath To Breathe. The combination of music and lyrics paints the picture of suicide so real that the listener can actually feel the pain.

IMHO the best song on the album is Nocturne, seemingly ignored by most of the reviews I have read. Once again this song transports the listener into the inner sanctum of the subject's mind and one can experience first hand the torture, the loss of one's dreams, the psychotic episode and ultimately the redemption. The transition into the song's final movement is one of those great moments in rock that elevates the listener's anticipation and then mood.

The Prayer and Reunion, the 4th and 8th tracks respectively, are full of interesting musical interludes that keep the music fresh and interesting throughout. Both also possess Edensongs' characteristic intelligent lyrics coupled with great musical moments. To See But Not Believe, is apparently a bonus track which explodes on the unwary listener about 3 minutes after the end of Reunion, jarring them back into mix. The song is unlike the rest of the compositions on the album, more influenced by bands such as Dream Theatre.

The opener Water Run as well as the 3rd track Reflection are the most accessible. They provide good counterpoints for the rest of the work which is generally darker. Both contain interesting instumentation, Water Run with its delicate guitar break, accented with violin and flute and Reflection with tablas and cello.

IMO this is the type of work that will be appreciated even more with the passage of time, when reflection will make it clear that this was an essential progressive work. It deals with real issues in a provocative way and gives its audience both words and music to chew on. If there is a negative, it is the deadly serious nature of the album, but then again it is serious subject matter.

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Send comments to progleggs (BETA) | Report this review (#188272)
Posted Friday, November 07, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Edensong first album is till now the biggest disappointment for me this year. Play Edensong remembered me other major disappointments when I tried to listen to Porcupine Tree or other of these neopopannoyingprog bands in the past, but this is just my fault, after all why I am still reading comments about progressive these days. Most people forgot what was progressive in the past. Just add a flute behind the vocalist - which cannot stop to sing a second - please stop to sing!!- and a pop drums will not make the band deserves the progressive label.

Some good riffs, some heavy seconds and really few good moments cannot make a good record. I give a single star because during these days is really difficul try to be different, innovate and have talent, and another star to the courage to add a twenty minutes song.

Water Run (1) remembers me the most annoying songs of Rush. Really a Neo Pop Annoying Prog with Rush resemblances and other instruments like flute. The second song is called The Baptism and its as annoying as the first one. Reflection (3), too. I read - I do not know where - about how Edensong looks like Jethro Tull... ??? When I reached the fourth song, The Prayer, even though is less annoying but still far from being a good song, I was almost giving up. I started to think I got the wrong album. Perhaps it was a pratical joke somene did to me. Nocture (5) is not all bad, at least has few seconds without the vocals, but it is still a tim-tam-tum song. The Sith Day, the sixty song, the same, just the same. I miss Gentle Giant. The seventh is the smallest song and sounds like a pop balad, and the album finishes with a twenty minute song.

The Fruit Fallen deserver just 1,5 star.

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Send comments to Grobsch (BETA) | Report this review (#191095)
Posted Sunday, November 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the album that the rock world (not only progressive) has been waiting for. I keep hearing the same stuff from bands today. Everyone is just rehashing what has been done before. Nothing sounds unique or fresh anymore. The Fruit Fallen takes the gems of the past and creates a new and rich sound accompanied with thought provoking lyrics. From the spine- tingling opener, Water Run, to the haunting epic, The Reunion, this album offers something for all lovers of rock, metal, orchestral, world music, and poetry(lyrics are wonderful). I've showed this album to friends from many different musical backgrounds who all found something they enjoyed about this album. I'd put this album in my top five favorites of all time. Truly a masterpiece of rock and a band that will shake the industry in the years to come. Check out the three tracks above. You are in for a pleasant surprise. :)

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Send comments to chuckytrunks (BETA) | Report this review (#191979)
Posted Friday, December 05, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 3.5 stars. EDENSONG is the project of vocalist / guitarist James Byron Schoen. In the liner notes he thanks "Ian Anderson as the obvious representative for the too-many-name others whose music has inspired me over the years". So not surprisingly there is flute on every track along with lots of acoustic guitar and violin. Lots of guests on this one too,so we hear a wide array of instruments.This is a very proggy album with elements of Folk, Symphonic and even Metal.

"Water Run" opens with acoustic guitar as just about all the songs do. Drums then violin follow before vocals and flute join in. Flute and drums are prominant, there is some piano and organ too. The vocals don't do a lot for me at times. "The Baptism" is more laid back to start with until flute comes in. It settles back down when reserved vocals and mournful violin take over. Kicks back in as contrasts continue. Some nice bass 5 minutes in as the organ floats in the background. "Reflection" is mellow with fragile vocals and lots of acoustic guitar and flute. "The Prayer" sounds great before 2 minutes with the heavy drums, flute and violin. Vocals join in and organ. A calm follows with acoustic guitar as contrasts continue. "Nocturne" is the only song to open with vocals and piano. It kicks in before 2 minutes which sounds much better. The bass, drums and organ standout. Some heaviness with flute before 5 1/2 minutes. A calm 6 1/2 minutes with vocals in the style of Phideaux. Great section before 8 minutes.

"The Sixth Day" opens with acoustic guitar as outbursts of heaviness come and go. Vocals before 2 minutes. Riffs 6 minutes in, a minute later and more before 8 minutes. Passionate vocals 9 minutes in. Good song. "One Breath To Breathe" opens with drums and flute and is a mellow track for the most part. Acoustic guitar and piano help out as well. "The Reunion" is the almost 22 minute closer. It opens with acoustic guitar as vocals and harmonies arrive before a minute. Some heaviness 2 minutes in. Contrasts continue. Ripping guitar after 4 minutes. Thankyou. Organ, flute and drums 8 minutes in. The song stops dead before 10 minutes and stays that way for some reason until after 13 minutes. Guitar comes in sounding great as they "rock out". It does settle at times but the last 9 minutes of this song is refreshingly aggressive.

Good album, but at 75 minutes it feels too long. The vocals are hit and miss for me, but really there's not much to complain about or rave about on this album.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#194448)
Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Edensong is the musical creation of James Byron Schoen represting a true work of personal commitment and devotion. "The Fruit Fallen" is pure "prog" and offers a nice range of themes, moods and tempos. What I find cleverly unusual is that it works so well on many different levels.....from the heavy lyrics and harmonies to the emotive mix of cello, flute and guitar. Schoen also uses a nice selection of guest musicans and instrumentation including Tablas and African percussion. Sonically this album has been well produced and will sound great over your speakers. The first 2 tracks "Water Run" and "The Baptism" will totally transfix your ears and draw you into the whole album. Musically this album draws on a vocal style not unlike Matthew Parmenter's devil'ish side while blending the acoustic aura of IONA (flutes, cello, acoustic guitar) and the heavy musical prowess of DISCIPLINE. This is a great first album for Edensong and I recommend this album for all who still cling close to the Prog!

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#223864)
Posted Monday, June 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A real good debut album by US outfit Edensong here.

The foundation of their compositions seems to be pastoral, mellow themes with elements of folk music and classical music incorporated in explorations where acoustic guitar, flute and violin are central. As the compositions evolve the intensity of these instruments rise, folk-tinged rhythms or regular drums are added; and the songs seems to gravitate towards art rock territories most times; especially when the Hammond makes it appearance - often underscored by electric guitars or; in a few instances, cello.

The cello adds some chamber rock elements into this folk, classical and art rock mix when utilized. As the topping, most tunes also feature heavier riff segments towards the end; some of them closing in on prog metal in expression.

It's a remarkebly well made and highly diverse creation we're dealing with here - lots of nerve and tension provided in a mostly subtle manner - and one to check out for listeneres with eclectic musical tastes.

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Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#227718)
Posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
2 stars A long time in the making, The Fruit Fallen is the brainchild of guitarist/vocalist James Byron Schoen who along with the help of numerous other musicians has produced a very eclectic mix of prog. There are elements of symphonic, folk and metal present. As well as the usual array of keyboards, guitars, drums etc the soundscape is broadened by the addition of flute, cello and violin.

The music is fairly complex with a lot going on and a number of longer pieces where the band can display their musical chops which are very good. Unfortunately despite having the potential to be a very good album it's all a little unmemorable. Schoen couldn't be described as any more than an adequate vocalist and a lack of strong melodies make each track largely forgotten as they come and go, even after numerous plays. Occasional moments of inspiration lift things here and there but it is usually frustratingly short lived before delving again into competent mediocrity.

The best is saved until last; The Reunion which on first appearances seems to be a 22 minute epic but around halfway there's a long silence and an unnamed song starts. The first half in particular shows some potential with stronger melodies both vocally and musically. Unfortunately though it's all too little too late. A few more tracks along the lines of this could have raised its rating by a star.

Overall then disappointing but the music is well played and with such an eclectic blend of styles I wouldn't write them off just yet.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#231503)
Posted Friday, August 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a fresh and complex album, a wonderful balance of dark acoustic folk, prog rock and a bit of metal, with a focus on compositional craft. I knew it was something different and special when I heard the album a few times, but when I saw the band perform live two times (Brooklyn and 3RP) the music really came to life and I realized how great these tunes really were- they seemed to be a surprise hit of the festival for those who weren't familiar with them.

Intricate, powerful songs delivered with passion, demonstrating a nice mix of acoustic and electric sounds. If there is one minor complaint, the live performances made me wish there was a little more aggressive impact to the studio recording, as the album has a bit more laid back feel in comparison- but perhaps I was just spoiled by such an inspired performance from the current band lineup.

Really looking forward to hearing what these guys come up with next...

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Send comments to rpmartino (BETA) | Report this review (#231511)
Posted Friday, August 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

I really wished that Edensong would bring me a new perspective, a breath of fresh oxygen, but once again, the fruit is not falling far from the traditional new-school-of-prog.

Okay, a nice concept based on religious matter with okay lyrics, but it's just that the music never got my total attention. Here and there, crunchy guitars and violin, but I really wanted something more organic, with vintage keys and more flute. Seems to me that this concept could've used more digging, more intensity. This type of subject is well carved for mellotron and symphonic grandeur, too bad is sounds a bit skinny for me.

I felt this band is more on the verge of neo-prog like Believe, Unitopia or Knight Area; you know, a lot to say but we hoped for different stuff.

Not super-convincing but professional and applied.

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#283561)
Posted Wednesday, May 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars While you're mesmerized by its binding, this melodic werewolf may get an opportunity to take a bite out of your hide. In other words, the slipcase is exquisite as it's a realistic-looking but ersatz book. Also clipped within its lip is aesthetically-pleasing liner notes laminated with a protective sheen. Not to mention, this Necronomicon of sound is stunning and precarious as soon as it's ajar.

Edensong has developed a style that brings many adjectives to mind: For starters, their sundry material is organic, orchestral, acoustic, accessible, gothic, and tetchy. It's as if they've combined Jethro Tull with Porcupine Tree. Like Aqualung, these cohesive pieces seem to tell a story while having a quality that lets them standalone. Like Fear of a Blank Planet, it'll make the hair on your neck stand to attention while encouraging your noggin to bob in tandem with riveting beats.

You wouldn't know it from listening to these worldly cuts but the band spends most of its time playing on North America's Eastern coast.

To that end, each song exhibits a range of elements that would be statistically out of character. "The Prayer", for example, borders on Pain of Salvation if you were to remove the violins and flutes. These sophisticated instruments make it extremely folksy in that Scandinavian sense. Alternatively, "Nocturne" is a roundabout take on Genesis if it were to intersect with Yes.

On the whole, the album has a high concentration of progressive pectin. From the peel to its core, enriching fibers contained within this fallen fruit make it hard to resist. And inline with that legendary aphorism involving Adam & Eve, ingesting this material will evolve countless listeners from troglodytes into human beings.

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Send comments to usa prog music (BETA) | Report this review (#377490)
Posted Monday, January 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
2 stars Edensong were formed by two students at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut in 2002, drummer Matt Cozin, and singer/guitarist James Schoen, soon to be joined by guitarist Ben Wigler.With the help of some additional musicians they performed the ambitious Rock Opera ''Beyond Eden'' the next year.After graduating from Wesleyan University, Schoen along with a semi-refreshed line-up focused on writing and recording material for Edensong's official debut, but tensions among the members led to the band's demise in 2006.Left alone, Schoen decided to add the final touches of an almost finished album, completing the mix and mastering of it with the help of engineer Bob Katz.''The Fruit Fallen'' was its title and it was eventually released independently in 2008.

Edensong drew influences from Classic 70's Prog as well as modern Heavy Prog and even Progressive Metal to offer an album full of changing atmospheres and soundscapes.Flutes play a dominant role in Edensong's music, reasonably recalling JETHRO TULL, while the violins and organ parts resemble to KANSAS' progressive years.These vintage inspirations are combined with plenty of acoustic parts and followed by more intense and heavier moments, featuring a really powerful rhythm section and very sharp guitars.The style contains a heavy dose of symphonic-inclined Progressive Rock with balanced Heavy Prog/Metal elements and atmospheric Acoustic Music with a folky flavor.However the material lacks consistency, despite having a very rich and irritating approach.The vocal parts are of an acquired taste, lacking an attractive color, while the blend of the styles sounds far from tight and rather abstract.Additionally the album suffers from the abscence of melodies tightly linked with its symphonic nature, while most of the tracks remain forgettable after several listenings.Even the last track, entitled ''The Reunion'', is considered as a 22-min. epic, but the truth is that these are two separate tracks split with a very long pause of silence, in a move that actually makes no sense.Ironically the music on ''The Reunion'' makes sense, being the two strongest pieces of ''The Fruit Fallen'', sounding tight, well-arranged with nice shifting moods, good interplays and a bit more memorable themes.

These kind of albums tend to be the hugest dissapointment.All the right components are here (varied instrumentation, balanced vocal and instrumental textures, technical sufficiency), but the final result sounds as a package of unrelated pieces...2.5 stars.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#894742)
Posted Thursday, January 17, 2013 | Review Permalink

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