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Discussion in 'Eden's Fall - Reviews' started by Eden's Fall, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. Eden's Fall

    Eden's Fall METAL

    Dec 9, 2005
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    EDEN'S FALL - Harmony Of Lies
    Nothingheart Records (2006) 5/10
    By Mary Iatropoulos

    Eden's Fall - Harmony Of Lies

    01. Blur The Lines
    02. Planet Hate
    03. Lost Again
    04. Chemical Dreams
    05. Bleed
    06. Dead Thought Matrix
    07. Liquid Christ
    08. We Betray
    09. Nothingheart

    "Harmony Of Lies", the debut from Chicago's EDEN'S FALL, is almost a good Heavy/Death Metal album. The credit listing alone would be enough to attract fans to pick it up, given that the legendary Dan Swanö (EDGE OF SANITY, BLOODBATH) mixed it, and James Murphy of DEATH fame mastered it. Yet this album is not perfect. In fact, when I first put the disc in, I almost couldn't listen through it entirely. Let's put it this way: John Barr has a really high voice. But this is not a Dickinson-esque, theatrical falsetto sort of high voice. It's not a Lindberg-esque, raspy, throat-ripping howl sort of high voice. It's a high-pitched voice that screams lyrics. It's what Davey Havok from AFI would sound like if he sang for a Metal band. Occasionally, he slips into a Death Metal growl (check out "Blur The Lines" towards the end, or "Planet Hate" two minutes in) but when he's singing, the vocals inevitably take center stage and dominate what the listener hears.

    The fifth track, "Bleed", provides a good example of how the vocals determine the shape of the song. A soft, solo-laden, melodic interlude worthy of comparison to OPETH opens the song, but just as you're beginning to be led, dreamily, into the song, Barr's voice comes cutting through the music, and suddenly, you wonder if you're listening to Nu-Metal. For the rest of the song, the guitars flare out into meaty riffs, classic thrash outs, and a memorable chorus line, but whenever the vocals come in, the rest of the band seems to slump in the background.

    This vocal upstaging may be intentional, considering that EDEN'S FALL's lyrics center on political injustice and revolution and that they probably want their lyrics to be easily understood. Many bands place this importance on the perceptible presence of lyrics in the song, particularly if the subject matter covers personal or controversial topics. In addition, the vocals are very high in the mix, so they're naturally the most noticeable element of the music. If you give it a chance, the music is, overall, admirably executed, but it takes quite a few listens through the album to be able to concentrate on the music under the vocals.

    After a few spins, as the musicianship under the vocals becomes more apparent, the talent displayed is excellent and admirable. The guitar leads are sweet and triumphant. The rhythm section is unrelenting and heavy. The drums are fast and fierce, and the musicians play together seamlessly. At four minutes into "Bleed", I was literally headbanging; three minutes into "Liquid Christ", I was on my knees, air-guitaring. On "Dead Thought Matrix", guitarists Rob Aquino and Tony Gronowski wear their Amott influences on their sleeves, opening the song with cascading chromatic scales at a take-no-prisoners pace, and then switch to pummeling you with off-tempo MESHUGGAH-esque break beats. There is quality Death Metal to be found on "Harmony Of Lies", that much is certain. It just takes some determination to find it.

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