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Edensong - The Fruit Fallen CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.37 | 51 ratings

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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.

Ricochet | 4/5 |


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