'Symphony Of Sin'
Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke
With a band line-up that incorporates Steve Williams on keys (used to be in Powerquest and Dragonforce), whilst retaining the chemistry and talent of founding masterminds Paul Logue, Thorsten Koehne and Pete Newdeck, plus introducing a new lead vocalist in the form of Serbian lung-buster Nikola Mijic, what could go wrong with their fourth studio opus?
The sound is epic and bombastic in the best possible way with a whole 46-piece orchestra providing the opening music as we creep cautiously into opening leviathan 'Symphony Of Sin'. Will they bring an orchestra out with them on tour? Unlikely considering logistics and budgets, but for the moment concentrating on this album, you've got to say that it's an impressive way to start an album consisting of 13 tracks.
Once you survive this opening song, which clocks in at just over seven and a half minutes, we're rocking as 'Break The Silence' slaps the ears around.
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'Symphony Of Sin' has such a precise and complimentary sound throughout thanks to Dennis Ward, who some might known through his work with Pink Cream 69 and his excellent performance on the self-titled debut by Unisonic. This can be experienced by listening to first single 'Evil And Divine' as the band indulge in apples and grilled snake for breakfast. (They jokingly told me this in a brief exchange of communication via Twitter; don't tell anyone okay?)
'Evil And Divine' can be seen as a music video too, so look out for that forthcoming visual delight.
The fourth song on 'Symphony Of Sin' showcases a polished and melodic accessibility and goes by the name of 'Unbreakable'. At this junction you realise that this album isn't a throwaway, instant sing-a-long gathering of bite-sized songs, but a well crafted and executed collection of melodic-based hard rock. This observation is reiterated when you hear the ballad 'Fallen From Grace' and the following song 'Losing My Faith', which begins with a siren.
With a title like 'Rock Bottom' you'd expect something straight forward and raunchy perhaps, but this is Eden's Curse and they avoid the predictable and cheesy. The song changes gear and the layers on offer within this song keep you guessing.
'Great Unknown' fades into life and then suddenly bursts into action with an almost Celtic vibe before twisting and turning like the previous track; one of several highlights on 'Symphony Of Sin' which incorporates a straight forward shout-a-long chorus.
'Turn The Page', 'Sign Of The Cross' and 'Wings To Fly' all serve up solid and mature rocking nuggets of gold with their elaborate approach. 'Devil In Disguise' injects its venom in the ears with a darker and more aggressive tone whilst 'Where Is The Love?' finishes the album in typical melodious overtures.
My only criticism on reflection is that the whole listening experience is a little exhaustive and rich with perhaps too much on show for one album. Too much quality musicianship and song writing on display for one album doesn't sound that bad really does it, and with a vocalist in the shape of Mijic, you may hear a slight hint of Jean Beauvoir (The Plasmatics, Crown of Thorns...) in his performance.
Without doubt, 'Symphony Of Sin' grows on you the more you hear it and for this point alone is an album to treasure. It has mileage and in the longevity your ears will be spoiled.
NIKOLA MIJIC (Vocals)
THORSTEN KOEHNE (Guitar)
PAUL LOGUE (Bass)
PETE NEWDECK (Drums)
STEVE WILLIAMS (Keys)
1. Symphony Of Sin
2. Break The Silence
3. Evil And Divine
5. Fallen From Grace
6. Losing My Faith
7. Rock Bottom
8. Great Unknown
9. Turn The Page
10. Sign Of The Cross
11. Wings To Fly
12. Devil In Disguise
13. Where Is The Love?