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EDEN

Prog Folk • Germany


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Eden biography
German outfit EDEN was founded in 1977, when three members of the "Freie christliche Jugendgemeinschaft" decided to form a band; one of the first christian progressive rock bands in Germany.

In the 5 years the band existed they were an active recording and live unit; with a plethora of people involved in the recording of the three albums they released.

The debut album "Erwartung" was issued in 1978, and the sophomore effort "Perelandra"; based on C. S. Lewis christian science fiction novel of the same name, was issued in 1980.

The third and last creation of Eden was their 1981 production "Heimkehr"; and in December the same year the band gave it's last public appearance.

A multitude of musicians was involved in Eden prior to folding, and the core members that were involved in all their recorded material were Michael Claren (bass, vocals, guitar), Anne Dierks (vocals), Michael Dierks (keyboards, vocals), Hans Fritzsch (guitars), Hans Müller (drums, percussion), Annette Schmalenbach (vocals), Dirk Schmalenbach (violin, acoustic guitar, sitar, keyboards percussion, vocals).

Dirk Smalenbach would later reappear in the one-off project Yavanna, who released an album in 1984.

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EDEN discography


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EDEN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.32 | 53 ratings
Erwartung
1978
3.60 | 15 ratings
Perelandra
1980
3.03 | 11 ratings
Heimkehr
1981

EDEN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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EDEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Perelandra by EDEN album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.60 | 15 ratings

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Perelandra
Eden Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars In 1978/79 Eden toured around Germany to promote their debut album.They made a good deposit of money to build a small studio in Wiederhof and work on new material.Dirk Schmalenbach decided also to take the responsibilty of being the sound enginner on this effort.At one point his friend Martin Lueling visited him and proposed the reading of Irish writer's C.S. Lewis novel ''Perelandra'', a book split between religious themes and science fiction.Impressed by Lewis' writings Schmalenbach took the chance to write a concept album, which was recorded between November 79' and January 80' and released in 1980 on Lord Records.

While not surpassing the unmet inspiration of ''Erwartung'' by any means, ''Perelandra'' is another very solid album by Eden, the folky elements are rather limited in the exhibition on flutes, the sporadic acoustic lines and the discreet performances of Greek brothers Christos and Kiriakos Charapis on bouzouki with the band having taken a more clean symphonic direction with the standard Teutonic vibes in the keyboard parts and its spacious, floating themes.The music is dominated by layered synthesizers and grandiose guitars with the occasional rural injections, featuring also excellent German vocals in both male and female offerings, having a great balance between bombastic and laid-back textures and containing some beautiful keyboard-guitar interactions.The atmosphere is ethereal, pompous and dramatic with the typical sound of Symphonic Rock acts from Germany, delivering nice keyboard spaciness. storytelling moods and light Classical influences.They come even closer to ANYONE'S DAUGHTER with this work, although they sounded more personal than their heavily Genesis-influenced compatriots.It must be these Gospel-like polyphonic passages, that sets the group apart from other 80's German acts.But they can become pretty rich in sounds and sights throughout, propelled by the neurotic dual keyboard splashes, the lovely guitar moves and the popping folky colors, I can definitely hear still some of these elegant violin drives-strongly apparent on the debut- during the latter parts, but noone is credited to play these.

Among the very good albums of 80's Teutonic Prog.It doesn't sound as convincing as their flawless debut, but it sounds far better than most of the period symphonic albums of the time.Nice Symphonic Prog Rock, fairly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Erwartung  by EDEN album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.32 | 53 ratings

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Erwartung
Eden Prog Folk

Review by nandprogger

5 stars Eden was a Christian band from Germany who made a sound between e and folk symphonic prog (see album "Perelandra"). This, in question seems to be a concept album, because its setting and was a surprise to me, size, its beauty. The flutes, with melodies of its own and the violins come as a further element of the piece, highlighting the synchrony among all. The mix between male and female vocals and the line that do are quite interesting. This album is calmer in the group, nothing too complex, but melodic and reflective. Eden is for me the best Christian band of prog rock.

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 Erwartung  by EDEN album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.32 | 53 ratings

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Erwartung
Eden Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

5 stars Huge band and one of the first Christian rock groups from Germany.They were found in 1977 in Lüdenscheid, Nordrhein-Westfalen by three members of an organization called ''Christian Youth Association Free Community''.From their first moments EDEN tried to blend Christian-inspired lyrics with folk/rick and classical music,a fact clearly taped on their first LP ''Erwartung'' from 1978.

STYLE: Actually the album is closer to symphonic rock than folk/rock.Folk-tinged symphonic rock would be a good description.''Erwartung'' works as a concept album with a story starting from God's creation and Jesus' life and miracles and ends up to the resurrection and humanity's salvation.Lots of magnificent flute,violin and piano parts flirting both with folk and classical music.Lyrics are sung in German with male and female singers delivering great gospel-like choirs and multi-vocal sections.Electric guitars are also awesome sounding close to bands like ELOY and ANYONE'S DAUGHTER.''Erwartung'' is a very melodic album with plenty of complex parts and a fair amount of professional interplays.

INFLUENCES/SOUNDS LIKE: Flute parts remind me a lot of CAMEL,guitars of ANYONE'S DAUGHTER,but the overall sound is closer to other German symph/folk bands like REBEKKA or HOELDERLIN.A touch of GENTLE GIANT's music is also evident.

PLUS: One of the best works on flutes and violins on the entire progressive rock spectrum! Constantly changing moods,from happy sounding tracks to grandiose and deep vocal-driven passages.Excellent delivery on keys and saxes,which make the sound even richer.Great vocal sections,despite the raw German language.Not cheesy at all,despite the Christian-based themes and year of release,on the opposite the musicinaship on ''Erwartung'' is a lot more than demanding.A huge amount of memorable melodies and well-executed interplays.

MINUS: Really hard to find...Just German lyrics aren't everybody's taste and are hard to be followed hy the mass of the prog community.

WILL APPEAL TO: Really to everyone!Both fans of folk rock and symphonic/classic progressive rock will have the time of their lives with this one...but anyone who takes music seriously should run and purchase ''Erwartung''!

CONCLUSION/RATING: 5 stars and my highest recommendations for an album flirting with prog rock's Hall of Fame for its original approach,balance and deep atmospheres!An unforgettable experience definetely!

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 Erwartung  by EDEN album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.32 | 53 ratings

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Erwartung
Eden Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Do you like a hymn-like sound, rich symphonic textures, a folky vibe, and brilliant vocal male and female harmonies? If so, you can't do much better than to seek out this lovely 1978 effort from Germany. "Erwartung" means "Expectation", and with a group name like Eden and the devotional atmosphere, one might conclude that religious themes lurk within, but since the sleeve contains no information and the lyrics are in German, this is only speculation.

The album opens with its weakest track, "Spatregen". While it contains most of the elements interspersed throughout the disk, it sounds half baked and rudderless, almost like an early composition that should have been refined before inclusion. The rest of the songs are all great, featuring, in addition to the characteristics named above, plenty of flutes, saxes, acoustic guitars, some raucous leads, and shimmering melodies, sort of like the Moody Blues but bigger and more experimental. However, the end to "Eden Teil II" includes a few bars from "Nights in White Satin" just to drive home the reality of the influence.

The ultimate highlight is the closer, "Ein Anderes Land", which is 16+ minutes of symphonic progressive bliss, a suite of many moods and themes, centered around the most intricate and awe-inspiring harmonies, as well as the most skillful playing and arranging on the record. I think I hear Eden taking a bit of the Novalis sound and stretching way out beyond what that band seemed willing to do. While an obscure reference, Eden also reminds me of the Basque group Enbor at times, chiefly in their attention to vocal interplay and their ethereal folkiness.

Eden's debut exceeds the expectations one might have for an obscure late 70s prog album, serving up a small taste of paradise in musical form.

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 Erwartung  by EDEN album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.32 | 53 ratings

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Erwartung
Eden Prog Folk

Review by dim_62

5 stars A music treasure, a fine progressive album from this forgotten German group. Without any doubt they deserve more attention from every serious prog listener. Lots of mellotron and keyboards music, among excellent guitar riffs. If you have the chance buy it and come to the prog world of Eden.. ........recommended........

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 Heimkehr  by EDEN album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.03 | 11 ratings

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Heimkehr
Eden Prog Folk

Review by Heptade
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is the third and last album by the German Christian proggers. The three albums are all very similar. The music, playing and singing, is of a consistently high quality, firmly in the Romantic school of neo- Floydian German groups, like Novalis, later Eloy and Stern Meissen Combo. This means lots of string-synths, acoustic guitars and pretty melodies. Vocals are often choral and there is a fair amount of classy electric guitar soloing of the Gilmour school. This album is pretty laid back, with very few up-tempo passages. Eden also featured a violinist, which adds a pleasantly pastoral extra dimension. It's very pleasant music, and no doubt inspiring lyrically if you are Christian (which I am not) and German (also not). However, if you are a lover of late 70s European symphonic and enjoy lots of synth, this might be worth tracking down.

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 Perelandra by EDEN album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.60 | 15 ratings

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Perelandra
Eden Prog Folk

Review by Heptade
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Eden was a large German band that did Christian prog, meaning that their work was based on Christian themes. I barely understand German, but this is obviously an adaptation of CS Lewis's science fiction Christian-themed trilogy. Eden was a big band that featured violin prominently, as well as flute and assorted percussion, but still with a rock base. excellent keyboard textures (if you like late 70s string synthy sounds) and a variety of good male and female vocals, often in powerful sounding choruses. Unlike their first album, "Erwartung", another concept album, the band went for shorter songs on this one, all of which pack a very dramatic, earnest punch. This almost-forgotten band won't be everyone's cup of tea, but fans of Novalis and late 70s Eloy will certainly enjoy this record.

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