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Winter In Eden - "At The Edge Of The World" (CD/EP)

No cover art found for Winter In Eden - "At The Edge Of The World" CD/EP

"At The Edge Of The World" track listing:

1. Fate Will Oblige
2. At The Edge of the World
3. Cry

Reviewed by on June 22, 2009

"Never have I heard a better demo, nor can I believe that these guys aren’t signed yet."

I first came across Winter In Eden while perusing Sirenia’s Myspace page. I heard the first song in their music player, and fell in love – so much so that I sent them a message and asked them to send a demo into Metal Underground for review. Though I may not have gotten a hard copy of this northern England symphonic band’s three song demo, "At The Edge of the World," I was able to hear the whole thing through Roadrunner Records’ Unsigned Artists Page. I can honestly say that never have I heard a better demo, nor can I believe that these guys aren’t signed yet.

Winter In Eden is not hardcore metal by any means. They may in fact be a gateway to metal, particularly for those who like the kinder, gentler styles of symphonic and folk metal. Regardless, their compositions can’t be described without using the word beautiful. All three of the songs on their demo are ballad-y, but it’s anyone’s guess as to whether Winter In Eden will stretch their wings and take on something harder once they release a full album. At this point though, if you’re a fan of Sirenia or Nightwish, chances are you’re also going to really like Winter In Eden.

The album opens with "Fate Will Oblige," a goth-tinged symphonic tune. Vocalist Vicky Johnson’s chords are strong and pure, and not once does she go flat or nasally, unlike many symphonic sirens. Keyboards are provided by Steve Johnson, and are the best I’ve heard in many moons. Johnson doesn’t once try to overpower the drums or guitar, and his notes provide a lovely backdrop for the other layers of instruments and vocals.

The title track is a bit more poppy and mainstream, but it’s not completely airy. There’s still plenty of chugging bass and hard hitting drums, and the breakdown shows off some nice guitar shreds.

Winter In Eden closes things out with a beautifully rendered ballad called "Cry." Perhaps a bit melodramatic, it’s a soulful, classic ballad with heart wrenching lyrics. There’s also an unidentified high-pitched wind sounding instrument that may simply be some more skill and prowess on the part of Steve Johnson, but it lends the tiniest bit of folk sound to the track.

Winter In Eden’s soft sound may not be the thing for everyone, but they’ve proven with "At The Edge of the World" that they’ve definitely got the potential to go places, and deserve to get picked up by a great label.

Highs: Vicky Johnson’s voice is one that is sure to become renowned in the world of symphonic metal.

Lows: The only thing wrong with this album is that it was too short.

Bottom line: A breathtakingly beautiful demo by England’s latest symphonic act.

Rated 5 out of 5 skulls
5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)