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Eden’s Curse – Revisited

 

Eden’s Curse – Revisited

It is not often I get to review an album I am totally familiar with. Usually I have at most two weeks to get accustomed with an album before sitting in front of a keyboard so it was brilliant to revisit(pun intended) an old friend.

Here is the tricky bit…I am not a great fan of reissues, for me it kind of steals the magic from the original unless you can put a deliberate twist on it that is new and original and with “Revisited” that ticked the box enough for me to sit down and listen and to give an objective viewpoint.

I bought Eden’s Curse debut when it came out way back in 2007 on a recommendation from the legendary Scottish DJ Tom Russell. That man has put me onto so many bands over the years it is scary…he really should get an award of some kind. I was living in England at the time, my life was very different but as had always been the way over my life music was a main player.

The recommendation from Tom and the fact that there was a member of the band from my hometown was enough for me to spend my hard earned cash, cash that was well spent as this album has been played solidly over the last decade. It spoke to me amongst the Nu metal popularity. At that point I had no idea of why the album spoke to me so strongly, I also had no idea that five years after its release I would be heading back home to Glasgow and to eventually stumble(mmmm, blagging more like) into the music business. I would never have thought I would get to know that member of the band in Paul Logue and work alongside him with many events.

This friendship finally opened my eyes to why Eden’s Curse resonated with me. Hearing from the horses mouth the bands that had influenced him, his favourite alums matched mine so closely there was no way I would never have enjoyed this band.

For me that debut sucked me in with brilliant songs, an incredible guitarist and fantastic vocals, vocals that WERE Eden’s Curse. I must admit I was a bit surprised when I heard the details come out that the band were going to cover the album with (not so) new singer Nikola Mijic but when I thought it through I thought why the hell not. I have seen this man cover these classics live more times than I ever did with the original singer, so if anyone could touch them it was going to be Nikola.

For the last week I have listened alternatively to the original and revisited and I can honestly say…the intro hasn’t changed one bit ha ha. Seriously though after that intro we get to “Judgement day” and one of my all time favourite curse songs, the hooks are brilliant, the harmonies beautiful and the guitars(swoon). For me this is as close as you can get to a perfect song, live it is a killer and Nikola just owns it, there is no other way to put it.

From here you move onto “Eyes of the World” and I remember 10 years ago thinking holy shit, this band is amazing only two songs into the album. This is another live monster, always one of my favourite tracks when the band are on stage…it always reminded me of another favourite track in Eyes of a Stranger, yes, both myself and Paul are huge Queensryche fans…and I would bet we both agree one of our highlights of 2016 was watching Geoff Tate playing an acoustic show that Paul’s promotion company put on and I was lucky enough to photograph.

Stronger Than The Flame” is also heavily influenced by Queensryche, you can hear it from the intro, through the guitars all the way to powerful vocals which Nikola handles beautifully. This track is the softer, more radio friendly side of the band that they have always squeezed into every album and I have no doubt it is why the band are where they are today.

With “ The Voice Is Gone” you have another song type that is predominant in every album, the ballad. It is something this band does so well. I have always been a sucker for a ballad and the guitar on this was what won me over instantly. It also shows that Eden’s Curse can turn their hand to anything. “After The love is Gone” is another classic, this album produced one after another in quick succession.

Fly Away” dragged on board that Nu Metal feel, the chunky sound, the frantic guitars, just another string to the bow. A song with a hypnotic and contagious chorus. The guitar and keys are pure Malmsteen. “What Are you Waiting For” is for me the weakest track on the album…and I still love it. There are no fillers here people…every one a winner.

I loved that the band had a song with the band’s own name, it seemed to be an old school idea that was dying out but folks, this shit works, Maiden are still doing it live after 40 years so listen up young bands….sort that out now!

In “Don’t Bring me Down” we get a real Joe Lynn Turner Rainbow feel. The pace is lifted and we get a straight forward rocker. I did remember thinking when I first played this album the band haven’t found their sound yet so it is funny to look back on this and see what has stuck and what was left behind. I feel the straight forward rocker has been set aside for the symphonic feel which the band are known for but this track still sticks out but with those guitars it always would.

Back to another another live beast in “ Heaven Touch Me”, a sing along, a scream at the top of your voice beauty. A lazy, sexy assed number that kicks your ass. Now to a song that stirred my heart when living down south, the intro will get any Scot shouting freedom and diving for the blue paint. “Fallen King” is just sheer class, enough folk to pull at the Scottish genes( no wonder the band went down well in the states). The story is one we were taught in schools and maybe this song should be introduced into school music lessons on how to write a masterpiece.

The album finishes with “ We All Die Young” and it also has Scotland running through it…musically this time. A bastard offspring of Simple Minds and Runrig tied together with a seriously powerful chorus.

Revisited will never replace the original but it is one hell of a companion. I will have no hesitation in slotting the CD right next to the original(yes, out of album sync) but it will leave me with one problem, what one do I play next?

Review Ritchie Birnie

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