Album Review: Exit Eden- Rhapsodies In Black

Stone-Sour-HydrogradExit Eden- Rhapsodies In Black

Release date: 4th August 2017

Label: Napalm Records

I was very intrigued by the whole idea of Exit Eden. Four female vocalists from different backgrounds and countries come together to form one band: EXIT EDEN. Amanda Somerville [Avantasia], Clémentine Delauney [Visions of Atlantis], Marina La Torraca [Phantom Elite] and up and coming talent Anna Brunner. Their debut album showcases their ability to take known pop songs and convert them into metal songs which you can bang your head to. Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Katy Perry and Bryan Adams are just a few of the artists that get the Exit Eden treatment.

They kick the album off with ‘A Question of Time’ by Depeche Mode which shows you exactly what you are getting. Epic melodramatic anthems where you feel transported to a huge stadium with a full stage show.

The highlight of the album is Rihanna’s ‘Unfaithful’. Originally written on a Piano, Exit Eden replace it with it a powerful rhythm section which are what an engine is to the car- it drives it forward. Add in a pair of guitars and a scathing violin solo as an intro and you have the perfect base for a Symphonic Metal song. And the ladies do not disappoint. Delauney sings the first verse with her melodic and perfectly clean vocals, Brunner sings the 2nd with her more raspy rock vocals and La Torraca and Sommerville take the pre-chorus and bridge with a more operatic style. But, it’s the chorus where Exit Eden really come into their own, putting all 4 vocalists to work with a perfect 4 part harmony.

Incomplete (Backstreet boys), Impossible (Shontelle), Frozen which featured Simone Simons of Epica (Madonna), Heaven (Bryan Adams) carry on in the same vein; stunning vocals with equally stunning harmonies.

For Katy Perry’s ‘Fireworks’ they moved away from the Symphonic sound operatic vocals and did a simple pop rock version of it. Not as epic as the rest of the album but they did add a nice little acoustic bit as well as a guitar solo at the end to put their own stamp on it. Skyfall (feat Simone Simons) I found disappointing. I just found it quite dull. There was nothing inherently wrong with it, it just didn’t grab me like the rest of the album did.

They brought it back with their version of ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ (Bonnie Tyler), one that makes you want to jump out of your seat rather than sink further into it.  Rick Altzi also put a solid performance in providing the male vocals on the song. They round off the album with ‘ Paparazzi’ (Lady Gaga) and ‘Fade to Grey’ (Visage) which I felt was a slightly strange choice as I was unconvinced it would convert well to their style but they managed it and produced a very good track.

The choice of songs is well thought through, covering various decades and styles and have a balanced mix of male and female vocalists. They didn’t really mess with the core of the original arrangements, but instead spun it into a Symphonic Metal style. Some may think of it as a shame that they didn’t write any original material (myself included) but it is so well performed you almost stop noticing that it’s not.  I’m wondering if this is a one off side project or if  they plan on continuing beyond this. My sincere hope is for the latter.

Rating: 9/10

Recommended Track: Unfaithful

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