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Review: Edenbridge - The Grand Design
The Grand Design

Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2006
Duration: 49:17
Tracks: 9
Genre: Symphonic Metal


Review online: October 24, 2006
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 2.71/5 (54.29%) (14 Votes)

I have been an Edenbridge fan since Sunrise In Eden, watching the band grow from their Nightwishy beginning into their own entity, evolving their own distinct sound, all the way to the culminating triumph of Shine. So I am unhappy to report that their latest album, The Grand Design, is extraordinarily boring.

I was all set to love this, but the songs just aren't there. Most Progressive /Symphonic bands reach a point where the effects and choirs and elaborate songwriting start to reach a level of diminishing returns, and I think that's happened here. Lanvall was so busy getting the production right he neglected the music. Shine was an unqualified success because it built on their old sounds and added some new flair, taking the whole to another level with songs that were grandiose yet catchy. Sadly, The Grand Design does not offer anything unheard on any other Edenbridge album, except the old albums are better. Listen to the hooks of the title tracks "Shine" or "Sunrise In Eden", or something like "Winter Winds" or "Fly At Higher Game" and you will see what this band is good at. The Grand Design is like a distillation of the not-so-good things about Edenbridge. Here the songs come off as repetitious and dull rather than majestic – the big choirs on "Terra Nova" are meant to be rousing, but they make me want to go right back to sleep instead. The melodies, especially the leads and vocal lines, are just tired and recycled from less-inspiring moments off their old albums. "Flame Of Passion" and "On Top Of The World" are especially noteworthy as being snooze-inducing, with disjointed song structures and weak vocal lines. Here and there, because they are Edenbridge, they do manage to conjure some excitement, but nothing even close to the transcendent moments on their last album.

So a misstep for this great band. I suppose it had to happen sooner or later, after a masterwork like Shine. But I am still sad to have to give this band a less-than-good review. I can only hope they will get back on track with their next one, which if they follow their usual pattern, should be out sometime next year. Fingers crossed.

More about Edenbridge...
Review: Aphelion (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Arcana (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: MyEarthDream (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Shangri-La (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Shine (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Solitaire (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Sunrise In Eden (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: The Great Momentum (reviewed by MetalMike)
Interview with Lanvall (Guitar/keyboards) on May 5, 2003 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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