In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Religion isn’t the coolest and safest of subjects when it comes to album concepts, but on the pro (Theocracy) and contra (Avantasia) side of the spectrum, it has produced some excellent, powerful and most importantly, intelligent albums. Of course with a name and discography like Eden Curse’s, it’s no surprise they turn to religion for subject matter, but they still have to reach the levels of excellence, power and intelligence that their predecessors have. Just like Serenity on their latest, Eden's Curse opts wisely for some sort of unified content instead of a bigger story. It gives them the opportunity to use Christian iconography in favor of a lot of different angles.
Starting off with an almost Operation: Mindcrime-ish intro, Eden’s Curse storms out of the gate with the title track: an anti-preacher pamphlet with a thunderous chorus that would shake the pope from his throne and level Vatican City to the ground. Barely leaving any breathing space, they continue with the infectious “Saints Of Tomorrow” and the balls-out heavy single “No Holy Man”, featuring a shining guest performance from Dream Theater’s James LaBrie. Interesting note: LaBrie also does backing vocals here in the company of, among others, Carsten Schulz (ex-Domain, Evidence One, Iron Mask). Safe to say the choir nails it like the Romans did Jesus to the cross.
Eden’s Curse doesn’t just offer straightforward rockers, but dares to be different (this is an incredibly subtle inside joke) and provides some epic material too, with the splendidly engaging “Children Of The Tide” and the crusader’s anthem “Jerusalem Sleeps”. Weaker points include the misplaced ballad “Guardian Angel”, which disrupts the flow of the album and just isn’t very good anyway, as well as the too obvious and slightly dumb "Cant Fool The Devil", which feels like a Stryper-song. It isn’t until the crisis of faith-inspired “Rivers Of Destiny” that the album picks up again and crosses the finish line victorious.
As said before, Eden’s Curse doesn’t stick to one genre exclusively, but mixes melodic hard rock with heavy and power metal. It gives the album a unique diversity that can kick your ass one time and take you on a mesmerizing journey another. Just like the aforementioned Theocracy and Avantasia, Eden’s Curse has employed religion to release a career-high, and it just goes to show that when handled right, God isn’t the worst of blokes.
Arno Callens' rating: 4.25 out of 5