Album review: EDENBRIDGE – The Bonding


There are a lot of female fronted symphonic and progressive metal bands out there now, possibly too many and it takes something a bit special to make the listener sit up and take notice. Luckily Edenbridge are one such band and they first came to my attention from an online recommendation from Steve Williams of Power Quest.

The key factor to any good symphonic metal band for me is the vocalist, as the pomp and strings are rarely second rate on albums, and Edenbridge have a real asset in the soaring vocals of Sabine Edelsbacher. ‘Mystic River’ highlights this amply and the choral arrangement and symphonic arrangements are stunning. Looking closer at the credits a certain Robby Valentine is credited on backing vocals and choirs, that’d explain the Queen-like harmony vocals on ‘Star-Crossed Dreamer’ then!

Lanvall is the other key driving force in the band aside from Sabine and his musical ideas are simply stunning at times, be it the ebb and flow of the musical mood on ‘Into A Sea Of Souls’ or ‘Far Out Of Reach’ that could teach Nightwish a trick or two. It is a like the key song in a film soundtrack, glorious stuff.

‘Shadows Of My Memory’ is my personal stand out, with its orchestral pomp, massive metal guitar riffs and some growling vocals (I must admit when used well and sparingly a few cookie monster vocals can work wonders in a song). Uplifting melody and chorus, mass of keys, timely guitar solo…it’s all as it should be in this song.

The epic fifteen minute ‘The Bonding’ has it all plus W.E.T.’s Erik Martensson duets on this one. The fifteen minutes flies by and there are so many musical time changes from gentle acoustic passages switching to heavy guitar and soaring strings. Using a full orchestra adds to the album’s sound greatly as the studio produced string/orchestral effects never sound as musically rich or powerful.

Edenbridge have been on the edge of greatness previously and this is their best album to date without a doubt.


Jason Ritchie

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