Album review: WINTER IN EDEN – Social Fake

WINTER IN EDEN - Social Fake

Firestreak Media [Release date 25.03.22]

This is Winter In Eden’s fourth studio album and you may well be thinking: “I’ve never heard of them before”.  You’re not alone.  Although to be fair we were aware of their previous release ‘Court Of Conscience’, reviewed by Jason, and before that ‘Echoes Of Betrayal’. They are certainly known to the “prognoscente” as a result of their festival appearances and trailblazing by “Whispering” Bob Harris.

The modus operandi is clear from the outset and the heavily orchestrated synth-driven/symphonic rock vibe of ‘Social Fake’.

Musically the band fall somewhere in the ball park of The Gathering and Within Temptation.  As previously, there are no extended “epics” just well-focused songwriting that comes in at the sub five minute level.

‘Never Let Go’ is a fine vehicle for vocalist Vicky Johnson who is the lynchpin of the band together with partner Steve Johnson who supplies the keyboards and orchestration throughout.

There is a widescreen element at work here as evidenced on ‘Out Of Touch’ , the three part ‘Critical Mass’, whilst ‘Smiling Assassin’ is a Bond theme in waiting.

This album sees the debut of guitarist Benji Lynch who replaces Samuel Cull.  His contributions are complementary but it is really the keys and the arrangements that shine.  And Vicky’s vocals.

Some symphonic metal/rock can be bombastic and formulaic.  Winter In Eden have succeeded in creating a highly accessible and aurally attractive version with elements of both prog and pop.

But maybe the gap between the previous album, Covid notwithstanding, says it all.  For a young band on the ascendancy 8 years between releases is a real chasm.  Let’s hope the renewed vigour demonstrated here brings them a much wider audience.  ****1/2

Review by David Randall

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