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Images of Eden - Rebuilding The Ruins CD (album) cover

REBUILDING THE RUINS

Images of Eden

Progressive Metal


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4 stars Dreams Unbroken

Before I even listened to this album I had very high expectations. For one, it was a concept album, so I assumed that "Rebuilding the Ruins" would have very nice flow to it. Also, from what I had heard, the musicianship on this album was very good. I was not let down on either point. Images of Eden have produced a very solid album that is very enjoyable.

Everything that they play sounds good. Usually, a band has at least one part on an album were they don't sound as good as the beginning, but Images of Eden sounds good all throughout. It starts in the first song "Crosses in the Sand" where very cool sound effects transfer into a pretty good guitar lick which is very tight with the drums. Something unique about this song is that the drums are kind of muddled in the beginning, which makes it have a funkier sound to it. Since the drums are more out of the picture, it leaves room for great solos by Dennis Mullin. The guitar solos on this album are very drawn out and make it much more progressive than metal, unlike many new progressive metal bands which, in my opinion, focus much more on metal. This puts them apart from the other new progressive metal bands out there. Since it is a concept album, "Rebuilding the Ruins" has many repeating themes that the band employs very well throughout. The themes seem to be mostly in the drums, guitars, and sometimes the bass guitar. The flow of the album is very nice, especially when it goes from the first half of the album, to the second half. What's cool in this case is that, it gets heavier, and faster, adding new interest in the album.

The second half of the album starts with the title track, "Rebuilding the Ruins", which features a very "Black Clouds and Silver Linings"-era Dream Theater sound. After the heavier parts it transfers to a lighter, airier part in which the vocal harmonies become more evident. It moves between the harmonies and deep, dark vocals. Gordon Tittsworth really has great vocal skills and he shows it throughout the album. He uses at least three different styles of singing that he employs throughout the album. One of them, which is my favorite, is an almost Fish-era Marillion sounding style that he uses a lot, and is definitely the one that matches best with Images of Eden's playing style. My least favorite is very nasally, but he doesn't sing with it that much, so it doesn't detract that much from my overall enjoyment of the album that much. Another cool one that he uses when the songs get heavier and darker is a deep, almost growl style that is really interesting.

The production is almost perfect. Eric Zimmermann (Fates Warning, Limp Bizkit, Deftones, Buckcherry, and Suicidal Tendencies) does a very good job of integrating all the music together, but there are some slight discrepancies. The only noticeable one is during some of the guitar solos the sound is a bit chintzy, though that might be the sound they are looking for.

All this being said, "Rebuilding the Ruins" is still a very good release from Images of Eden. I would recommend this to any fan of progressive metal in general, and also to fans of lighter metal, too. So for their great new chapter in their story Images of Eden gets 4 stars.

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Send comments to The Block (BETA) | Report this review (#387732)
Posted Thursday, January 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Images of Eden has been silently making waves in the underground U.S. progressive metal scene for quite some time now, and Rebuilding the Ruins is now their third album. What was once upon a time a one-man act is now a full-blown band with plenty of assets to win over a new legion of prog metal fans. Rebuilding the Ruins is a very strong album from beginning to end, and, although it suffers from a few genre clichés, it's an impressive effort from this American quartet. People who've enjoyed the band's previous outings, or enjoy traditional prog metal in general, should definitely check this one out. These guys wear their influences on their sleeve, but they wear them proudly, and have delivered a killer third album here.

Rebuilding the Ruins is progressive metal played in the old-school U.S. style. Obvious points of reference are bands like Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Queensrÿche, or Psychotic Waltz. As such, this isn't the most revolutionary formula out there, but the delivery and compositional prowess of Images of Eden is enough to make up for their somewhat derivative approach. The compositions are generally very memorable, the musicianship is professional, and the sheer emotion they inject into their music is impressive in itself. Just listen to songs like "Children of Autumn" or "Sunlight Of The Spirit Part IV- Images Of Eden" and you'll understand how this band puts their heart and soul into every note they play. My biggest issue here is ultimately the playing time, which almost reaches the 74 minute mark. Although there's plenty of variation to keep me entertained, I could see Rebuilding the Ruins benefiting greatly from a shorter length (somewhere in the 45-50 minute range maybe). The production is also, while not crippling, slightly under par. It sounds professional, but almost "low-budget" in a sense. That's not a huge complaint from me, though - production like this doesn't hurt my listening experience in any way.

Rebuilding the Ruins is a great album by Images of Eden that I would strongly advise fans of American-sounding progressive metal to take a listen to. There are enough memorable hooks, breathtaking instrumental runs, and interesting compositions to keep me coming back for more and more. If you're a fan of Fates Warning and Dream Theater, checking out this album will be a mandatory benchmark for 2011. I'll go with 3.5 stars here - Images of Eden has created some standout material that's surely worth looking into.

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Send comments to J-Man (BETA) | Report this review (#393587)
Posted Thursday, February 03, 2011 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Finaly, Images of eden releasing their third album after almost 5 year gap from previous one. Issued this year, february 2011 at Lifeforce records named Rebuilding The Ruins is a continuation of what they offerd on Sunlight of the spirit, but this time with some power metal parts included here and there. Some changes in memebers stuff, a new drumer Chris Lucci and the keybords duty now are left to handle to Dean Harris, because this instrument was part Gordon Tittsworth skills to be managed in before, who also was busy with bass and vocal arrangements aswell. Now the album has a solid sound, very full, the guitar chops are great, on some pieces sre very strong like on title track, My stigmata or Native to this land, excellent musicianship for sure. Again same problem, to me of course, maybe to others is ok like this, but the keybords are left to background only, ok, the arrangements are well played and fits perfectly with guitar and overall sound, but I wanted more combinations between this instrumen and the rest, because gives a much more complexity and in same time melodic aproach to the music. So, neverthe less a good album that desearves 3 stars, not so good as previous one, but still enjoyble, yet nothing realy outstanding , only good and nothing more. Fans of prog metal can listen to this band because has some good album in their pockets.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#415122)
Posted Sunday, March 13, 2011 | Review Permalink

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