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New Eden Orchestra biography
Although this Pittsburgh band's first album was released in 2004, their origins date way back to 1974 when keyboard player Mike Lunn and bassist Bill Hankins first met. With other musicians who have since left, they formed a band named EDEN. Later, drummer Mark Reynolds (1980) and then guitarist Scott Schrecengost (1985) joined the duo to form the NEW EDEN ORCHESTRA and the four have been together ever since. In 1995, Lunn finally conceived their first album titled "anyMAN" and then hired vocalist Dave Marion on a friend's advice (Marion also shares drum and percussion duties with Reynolds on the album).

"anyMAN" is a tasty piece of American power prog in the vein of GLASS HAMMER, KANSAS and AVIARY, and perhaps SPOCK'S BEARD to a lesser extent. The 64-minute CD, divided into 18 tracks, gives the impression of being mostly song based but becomes more and more proggy as it unfolds. You won't hear much guitar soloing on it although you'll be treated to some dazzling keyboard fireworks, a powerful vocalist who suits the band's style perfectly, plenty of good hooks and an excellent production - short clips can be heard on their website.

Recommended to those who like aggressive melodic prog like KANSAS, ILUVATAR, AVIARY and particularly GLASS HAMMER.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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3.26 | 15 ratings
3.70 | 23 ratings

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 anyMAN by NEW EDEN ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.26 | 15 ratings

New Eden Orchestra Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars New Eden Orchestra from Pittsburgh, USA, had been together for about 25 years before releasing an album.The band's leading figure is keyboardist Mike Lunn, who writes all of the material and most of the lyrics.The rest of the crew are singer/drummer Dave Marion, bassist/guitarist Bill Hankins, guitarist/singer Scott Schrecengost and drummer Mark Reynolds.After so many years in the shadows New Eden Orchestra finally recorded their debut at Summit Street Studios in Derry between autumn 01' and summer 03' and the album was privately released in 2004 under the title ''anyMAN''.

New Eden Orchestra play an emphatic, rich and melodic Progressive Rock with strong GLASS HAMMER references along with vibes from the sound of THE FLOWER KINGS, ENCHANT or MAGELLAN and often a theatrical twist similar to early SPLIT ENZ.The approach is typical of the 90's US school of revived Prog with a nice balance between melodies, lyricism and a nice amount of more demanding instrumental material.Not the more personal album you can listen to, but everything is played well with nice, satisfying arrangements somewhere between Progressive Rock with big symphonic leanings and lyrical Art Rock.It suffers a bit from this quasi-plastic keyboard parts of the 90's era (except for the organ textures) or the use of some sampled instruments, but the atmosphere is often great with dreamy soundscapes, pleasant vocal deliveries, orchestral motifs and a nice amount of keyboard virtuosity here and there.Guitars are carefully used at the more melodic parts, while all vocals parts are great with a very warm color.

A pleasant listening, which ranges from lyrical Art Rock to Symphonic Rock with a huge melodic content.If you like any of the aforementioned bands, New Eden Orchestra should propably be your next purchase.Recommended.

 anyMAN by NEW EDEN ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.26 | 15 ratings

New Eden Orchestra Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

3 stars New Eden Orchestra is a relatively new neoband on the scene I just ran into on a good day. This appears to be a real modern neoband because the songs are short and a bit heavy (at least some of them) and there's also some emotion here and there. Let's see what the individual songs are bringing here:

1. Jihad. This is a very actual theme of course and one of the emotional ones I was referring to. And also one of the heavier songs. Nice intro too, good song: 3,5*.

2. That's Life, here the title says it all. A funny little song with nice lyrics that deal with the life of mr. Average so to speak. The lyrics are better than the music here. Still 3* for this.

3. Ode to the Ex is a short less interesting song. Dispensable. 2,25*

4. Siren's Song is a nice short instrumental but no more. 2,75*.

5. The Golden Fleece. An interesting song with a medieval sounding little part in the middle, the rest of the song is straightforward neo though with nice guitar at the end. 3,25*

6. Daydreams is a short vocal and violin (!) dominated track. Not too brilliant. 3*.

7. Build a better mousetrap is the second with significant lyrics. Faster, faster money is the master. Another life lesson by N.E.O. 3*.

8. Boll Weevils Flee Circus is again a short instrumental. N.E.O. is a band of quantity (number of songs) it seems. 2,25*.

9. Through the Looking Glass is a longer instrumental but again nothing to go overboard about. 3*.

10. Savanas is one with vocals once more, good vocals that is and original thanks to xylophone. 3,25*.

11. The Maelstrom is one of the more heavy tracks, original approach this one. 3,25*.

12. Death and his half brother sleep is a short acoustic guitar (once more) instrumental . 3*.

13. Full is the very gem of this album. Suddenly we hear gorgeous female vocals (Aubrey Garber) in a beautiful duo vocal ballad that reminds a bit of one of the Room V ballads by Shadow Gallery. Different sound though and probably best song of the album. 3,75*.

14. Catacombs is an instrumental with a different impact than all the others. For the first time I hear something like an Orchestra .... Interesting but not mindblowing. 3,25*.

15. Deja View is one of the longer tracks but clocks still below 6:00 minutes. No epics on this album apparently. Good song once again but not exceptional. 3*.

16. Anyman is the instrumental title track and also the longest instrumental. Also this one has orchestral aspects and if you listen well there's something of all previous tracks detactable. Sort of an instrumedly you might say. 3,25*.

17. The last instrumental (Echoes) has some jungle sounds but is too short to have a real impact. 2*.

18. Back to the Tribe is the most commercial sounding song of the album. Don't know if they tried to score at the charts with it but it has the potential for it. Nothing great here. 2,5*.

At least it's nice not to have headaches about the final rating for once. This is a very obvious case of three stars. The most positive I can think of is that it's a versatile album. 18 songs and all very different. It's a pity though that there are hardly any highlights. Full and Jihad are the best by far.

 anyMAN by NEW EDEN ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.26 | 15 ratings

New Eden Orchestra Neo-Prog

Review by Squire Jaco

4 stars This is a great prog cd with lots of melodies, a variety of styles (all within the prog genre), and expertly played and recorded. Very close to five stars.

I'm not sure I see the "Lamb", "Tommy" or "Wall" references cited in other reviews on the web, but this is clearly a concept album, albeit with a loose and somewhat vague story line. The lyrics are very modern and American (no giant hogweeds or astral travelers here!), humorous at times, searching and inspiring at others.

Despite the word "orchestra" in their name, the band is a traditional guitar, bass, drums, keyboards (huge variety) type of prog outfit. The best band references I can come up with are Glass Hammer (great keyboards!), Echolyn (harmonies and song structures), and a little Spock's Beard (via the Beatles) thrown in. The second song has a Genesis "Counting out Time" vibe to it. (Hey, there's a "Lamb Lies Down" reference!)

The album is 64 minutes long with 18 songs, so you don't get any traditional prog epics here. But so many precious gems of a shorter nature! Lots of virtuoso bass playing (important for us Chris Squire fans!), and plenty of the polyphony that differentiates progressive rock as the best music around today.

If you can find this, buy it. Highly recommended.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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