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This review is from: Smoke and Mirrors (Audio CD)
Feminine, swooning and sensuous are hardly adjectives associated with albums that fall roughly under the labels of `goth', `metal' or even `gothic metal' and yet these are the most apt for the lovely and rather paradoxical `Eden House Project' album `Smoke and Mirrors'. The undoubted steely and tough core is swathed in the delicate layers of unashamed romantacism.
The opener `To Believe in Something' is pleasingly synthy with powerful drum layers that is almost reminiscent of the really good bits of the 1980's. However the oddly ambiguous lyric that could address questions bigger than love itself prevent it from ever waving too much of a laced gloved hand to the era it nods to but never steals from.
`All My Love' is a sensuous affair that opens like the even darker cousin to David Lynch's Twin Peaks. This is over-scored by dark and feminine lyrics, that hooray, capture the essence of female sexual desire without sounding either wishy washy nor goth girl bunny boiler. It is heartening to see a band, that is comprised largely of men that seem comfortable with strong female brain, voice and yes, heart.
The sensuality continues and becomes even more (a)rousing on `Reach Out' which features a bass line so thundering, they can hear it in Berlin.
Things take a slightly different turn on the slightly Eastern tinged `Trashed Treasure'. With its incessant slightly other world violins juxtaposed with the thrust of the song, it could be a song sang by a siren of an Eastern brothel, 200 years ago.
Iron In the Soul is the black hole of the album, but in a bloody good way. Reminiscent of `Mezzanine' era `Massive Attack' it absorbs all light from the album, and yet amongst the strong and complex instrumentation of the surrounding songs on the album, it really works.
From this comes `Fire for You' a far more traditional affair with a gothic damsel offering up her life for her cruel love. Might sound banal, but after two listens, it sounds utterly gorgeous.
Wonderfully in an album that seems to have its finger permanently on the `off' button of the electric light switch and metaphorically exists totally in candle light there comes a song `The Beauty of Science, a clever and lovely meditation on the lighter powers that be in the Universe.
This is followed by the `Dark Half'. Clearly both the lyricist and the track arranger of this album are no sloths. Both this and `Sin' the albums closing track are compelling more electronic affairs that shouldn't work, but somehow do.
Check out this album. Its an enigma wrapped in a mystery. Goth? Yes. Metal? Yes. But not as we know it.....
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Initial post: 10 Sep 2009 15:20:48 BDT
Mark Broome says:
Really great review. This excellent album should keep me very happy until Carl McCoy from Fields Of The Nephilim, NFD and possibly Opened Paradise unleash their gothic rock albums on the world. Keep up the good reviews.
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