It's been more than a decade since Austrian female-fronted symphonic metallers EDENBRIDGE first created a stir with the launch of their debut album, "Sunrise In Eden", back in 2000. What presented itself as a young but already immensely talented band has evolved into one of the genre's most independent acts. Their latest CD, "The Bonding", sees the group underline its exceptional status in melodic metal and puts an end to their creative hiatus of almost three difficult years.
"We had to come to terms with a number of personal setbacks, which is why the production of the album took longer than originally scheduled," explains guitarist and main songwriter Lanvall, who, among other things, suffered the loss of his father due to suicide. In addition, EDENBRIDGE underwent an unexpected lineup change: bassist Simon Holzknecht had to be replaced by Wolfgang Rothbauer (DISBELIEF, ZOMBIE INC.).
Yet the band's great compositional qualities, the amazing voice of singer Sabine Edelsbacher and EDENBRIDGE's unconditional determination to not only validate, but to surpass the undisputable strengths of each predecessor album are omnipresent.
"The initial ideas were developed as early as 2010, immediately after the release of 'Solitaire', but due to our private trials and tribulations, it took us until autumn 2012 to conclude the recordings for our new album," Lanvall looks back at the taxing months marked by one ambitious goal: to complement the new album by a real orchestra in order to support the material's symphonic direction.
"Our style has always had an unmistakably symphonic quality," says Lanvall, "so the only question was: how do we finance a big orchestra?"
At this point, outside help arrived, in the form of support from fans and sponsors. Thanks to a major joint effort, the band succeeded in bringing to the studio the Klangvereinigung Orchestra of Vienna under the direction of Georg Luksch to cap the atmospheric and at the same time dynamic songs on "The Bonding".
Says Lanvall: "When it was confirmed that the Klangvereinigung Orchestra would come to the studio, I concentrated on writing scores for our songs, so we were able to integrate these additional elements more concisely than ever before. Of course, it would be a mistake to drown our songs, which also feature guitar riffs, choirs and rhythmic details, in orchestra sounds. It was all about positioning the orchestra in a way that would create an additional dynamic level. I think we've succeeded in doing just that on 'The Bonding'."
Another outstanding feature is Sabine Edelsbacher's voice, whose warm, pleasantly melancholy timbre refines every EDENBRIDGE track.
"I've worked very hard on my voice in recent years to intensify not only expression and power, but also clarity and nuances," she explains. "It's very important for me to devote myself totally to my music, to be able to immerse myself 100% in every song."
Which is probably one of the reasons why "The Bonding" has turned into the band's most haunting and ambitioned album so far, including truly impressive numbers such as "Mystic River", "Alight A New Tomorrow", "Shadows Of My Memory" and — more or less as the grand finale — the 15-minute title track, a memorable duet by Sabine Edelsbacher and Erik Martensson (W.E.T., ECLIPSE).
Says Lanvall: "This song is the culmination of the album's general theme, which is about universal energy, about birth and growth, about memories and reflection."
In line with this, EDENBRIDGE also presents two different sets of cover artwork for the digipak and jewel-case editions, both related but unique in terms of their design. In other words: orchestra, renowned guest vocalists and fascinating themes included, "The Bonding" is an exceptional release in every respect and a real must-hear!
"The Bonding" will be released through SPV/Steamhammer in Germany on June 21, in the rest of Europe on June 24 and in the U.S./Canada on July 2 as limited-edition ecol book with a different cover, including a bonus CD, double coloured LP, standard version and download.
"The Bonding" track listing:
01. Mystic River
02. Alight A New Tomorrow
03. Star-Crossed Dreamer
04. The Invisible Force
05. Into A Sea Of Souls
06. Far Out Of Reach
07. Shadows Of My Memory
08. Death Is Not The End
09. The Bonding
* Sabine Edelsbacher: Lead Vocals
* Lanvall: Lead, Rhythm, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Piano, Kacapi
* Max Pointner: Drums
* Dominik Sebastian: Lead, Rhythm Guitar
* Wolfgang Rothbauer: Bass, Grunts on "Shadows Of My Memory"
"The Bonding" standard edition:
"The Bonding" limited edition: