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Edenian - The Rise of The Nephilim

Edenian - CD Review
The Rise of The Nephilim


Edenian - The Rise of Nephilim





CD Info
BadMoonMan Music
English lyrics
10 tracks


Doom metal has been around for a long time. But, these days, there is a classification called Gothic / Doom metal that may or may not be something new, depends on who you listen to and what you believe. But, classifications are a big deal with any type of music; we’d hate to find ourselves listening to the Beiber because someone said he was going dark and was now “Gothic Beiber”. But Edenian is clearly about as close as we can get to that classification, assuming you are comfortable with some nomenclature and characteristics that tend to be associated with that approach to the music. But, any way you look at it, it’s a popular musical style with a lot of people, witness Draconian being on the bill this fall at Oktoberhallen.

So what exactly is Gothic / Doom? Well, my area of expertise is research and statistics generally, but I do have some professional experience on the very dark side so music in this domain is not entirely beyond my areas of expertise. We all have our perspective on interpretation so mine is only one of many. To me, the Gothic tends to address the eternal, the path that looks at that point where life ends and whatever comes after that begins. Doom talks about a broader eventuality that looks at the pain of life. Both often focus on a direction that looks at that point beyond out last breath, the eternal that only the poets feel comfortable addressing. But that’s what’s so interesting about music in this domain. You not only deal with the darkness from a lyrical sense, you have to deal with it in a musical sense. How well you do that, both lyrically and musically, has a lot to do with how well your music is going to be received.

During the days of my youth I was involved in writing music that was dark for the times. But, it was dark in a different way. We talked about violent death, we talked about pain, but it was self administered. Edenian goes in a different direction. They see the pain of life in a larger sense. They don't talk about the pain of an individual, their stories have a broader perspective. They look at life and mortality with a broader scope. They see it as a common condition. There is no hope beyond eternity; we will all arrive there, it’s just a matter of how, and they address the dark scenes along the road that gets us there. And, you have to admit, there’s a lot of interesting perspectives that can be addressed relative to that topic.

So that’s what the release is about. But, beyond the lyrical material, there is a corresponding musical theme that gives their thoughts an even more profound reality. This is dark music, there is no other option for providing the message. But the band brings that message through with some fine music, both in terms of tone, melody and structure. And they do it with some interesting approaches.

The release begins with And The Sea shall Bring Up It’s Dead which is about as dark as you really need to hear. There’s solid guitar work, a death metal vocal that drives the sound and a bit of the female vocal, just enough to let you know that this will be a form of Femme Metal. But, the more substantial material begins with the second track, “ Sign of Retaliation”. This one addresses the traditional themes but gets there from a different direction with a spoken introduction:

Come on God, answer me. / For years I’m asking you why.
Why are the innocent dead and the guilty alive / Where is justice, where is punishment
Or have you already answered, have you already said to the world, here is justice, here is punishment / here in me. . . .

Now, I thought I’d heard that somewhere before, but couldn’t place it. The accent sure wasn’t Ukrainian but I figured they probably brought in a ringer to do the narration. So I asked Tom Max Molodtsov of the band about the track and he provided this explanation, “Well, if you’re familiar with the Marvel Universe and like superhero-movies , you can easily say what is the song about. But if you ain’t - “Sign Of Retaliation” is dedicated to the comic hero – Punisher (aka Frank Castle). The spoken intro and outro of the song are taken from the 1990’s movie “The Punisher” starring Dolph Lundgren. It’s his voice you hear actually. And his sign was a skull. Wherever you see this sign – you know that retaliation has come for you;).” Bet you didn’t see that one coming, I sure didn’t.

There’s a lot of great material on this release. However, there is one track that has stayed in my head for a long time. It doesn’t get a lot of commentary on reviews, I’m not sure why. It doesn't even have a video but I may correct that problem in the near future. The title is “A Farewell Rose”. I’m not sure that the music is especially darker than any of the rest of the music, but the lyrics have stayed with me beyond anything the music could have provided. It’s a song of loss, a song that addresses that part of reality that can drive a lifetime. I can’t think of anything to compare it to. The introduction is melodic:

If I'm gone when you awaken / Please don't think I was unkind
As I left, I thought about you / And still hold you in my mind

The vocals are alternated; first the female vocalist, than the harsh death metal male. And they are intense. But, the message is clear:

When you lay me on the table / 'Fore you put me in the ground
Whisper close and say you loved me / So that I may keep the sound

As you wander in the graveyard / Past the roses growing on the wall
Pick a bloom and take it with you / For another at the ball. . . . …At the ball!

This is another track I asked the band about, their response was at least as interesting as the previous one: “Farewell Rose – very interesting history hides behind the title. One day I was lurking through Youtube, watching amount of different vids, songs, guitar covers etc. and suddenly I was struck by the…original ukulele song. Some old man was playing and singing it. Just the voice and ukulele, you know. And the lyrics were just great, so sad and…doomy! I thought in that moment: ‘Holyhell, it could be just fine in metal re-arrangement!’ I dropped a line to the author and he gave me his permission to use the lyrics as I want to. And I did actually. And..here you go with “Farewell Rose”. BTW – the author listened to our version and he really liked it! I think he’s a real doomster in his heart!))” I have more than a little problem seeing this song moving from a ukulele based number to a crushing Doom metal track but I guess anything’s possible. Maybe there is a future for Gothic Beiber.

The remaining tracks continue with a selection of Doom sounds over Gothic messages. The stories have some interesting origins as the band relates: “ First of all it’s my feelings, emotions and carks, these are the things that inspire me to grab a guitar and combine this stuff into a song. Dreams too, nightmares, all these things, you know…Also it may be a movie, a book, a story. I do like classic English and American poems, often use them in my lyrics, making adaptations etc.” Tracks like The Departed provide a frame of reference that does a fine job of capturing this style of music. Two vocals in the B & B mode, solid symphonic backgrounds with just enough of the metal to focus the music. Other tracks, while they may share many of the same characteristics, seem to focus more on the melodic. Nearer My Love to Thee is almost a soft ballad, at least as soft as this band gets. Maybe a little more focus on the female vocals but soft is definitely a relative term here.

Doom metal has its supporters and detractors, like any other form of music. However, the crossover to a Doom / Gothic Metal component seems to be catching on. You’re beginning to see a lot of it, and, for some of us, it’s a welcome development. I’m not saying it’s totally new but there does seem to be a directional change here to some extent and it’s providing some of the more interesting music in the general domaine. Edenian is certainly at the tip of this movement.

9.5 / 10