I recently reviewed Edensong’s latest release, Years in the Garden of Years, and would like to recommend the album that started the critical acclaim for this band, The Fallen Fruit. I would suggest picking both of them up at the same time to fully appreciate a band with one of the best catalogues in years.
Formed in 2004, Edensong, from Middletown, Connecticut, are an orchestral progressive rock band that pays particular attention to the imagery, their album covers decorated to look like well-read books with tattered edges, giving the suggestion that they are full of mystery.
This is the kind of music that reminds me of my childhood, The Moody Blues, Jethro Tull and Kansas being immediate comparisons that come to mind on the opener Water Run. It’s an explosive track full of power that hopes to spark our awareness and loosen our hold on apathy, but there are softer moments of acoustic guitar, violin and flute as Edensong create the perfect balance between the modern progressive storm of Dream Theater and the classic sounds of the bands mentioned above. It’s a difficult balance to achieve but Edensong understands the dual audience perfectly, older listeners who crave the classic sound and the younger audience that want more power.
Windy acoustic guitar opens The Baptism before flute and soft drums lead us on a galloping Hobbit trail towards the Shire with deep standing bass and acoustic guitar, reminiscent of Rush’s Tears. The musicianship is perfect and the lyrics and James Byron Schoen’s vocals mixed with that wonderful pipe organ sound will take you back to Queen. The flute returns to keep the mystery growing, lyrics portraying a betrayal of spirit and a difficult challenge between heart and mind, eerily reminiscent of Rush’s Hemispheres. The acoustic elements continue into Reflection with more dark but sincere lyrics which provide a biting insight into the mystery of the developing story:-
I start to see a face that I have long forgotten in my past
And then I kneel beside this face
And look into his eyes, and find out who I am at last
They say that tomorrow can build our yesterdays
And no matter what we’ve done, we still can change
But as hard as I may try to change my ways
I can’t escape the fact that this is who I am”
The Prayer is full of imagery, you can almost see the man, possibly someone’s father, lying in bed, pondering his final days. Imagine Kansas playing with Jethro Tull and you have an idea of how the music matches the power of the lyrical content. Nocturne features Eleanor Rigby themes, tinged with a hint of Genesis’ Ripples. The emotional vocals are surrounded by strong piano, flute and powerful bass and drums. Imagine Kansas and Jethro Tull playing in tandem… at Dream Theater pace. Yes, I like that image!
The Sixth Day is a difficult examination of belief. With so much suffering it seems impossible for the protagonists of this story to believe, despite their early spiritual upbringing. Reality makes belief difficult and the music on this track handles the internal conflict well with flute, piano and acoustic guitar. One Breath to Breathe is another deep, emotional lyrical powerhouse set to acoustic guitar and standing bass. A tough story of addiction that can be a real downer, except for the flute and guitar work. Definitely a dark look inside a growing global epidemic.
The Reunion includes some final thoughts on the loss of absent friends, whose lives have been cut too short. One bright light of hope opens with these lyrics:-
That’s only if we can make ourselves believe
but here on Earth we can hold our hands together to share this moment with each other
and share the love that we receive”
This is a difficult album, reflecting the obviously troubled times endured by the band members and their battle to cope with the aftermath of searing family loss. It may serve as an album of comfort for all who have lived through such times.
01. Water Run (6:01)
02. The Baptism (6:37)
03. Reflection (5:04)
04. The Prayer (8:02)
05. Nocturne (9:19)
06. The Sixth Day (9:59)
07. One Breath to Breathe (4:24)
08. The Reunion (21:43)
Total Time – 71:11
James Byron Schoen – Guitars & Vocals
Tony Waldman – Drums & Additional Vocals
Stefan Paolini – Keyboards & Additional Vocals
Barry Seroff – Flute
TD Towers – Bass & Additional Vocals
Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Date of Release: 1st July 2008