Melodic Metal Night
The Portland Arms, Cambridge, UK
Review by Paul Monkhouse
Edenveil are the brainchild of singers Vera and Onyx, two classically trained vocalists who, after touring the circuit as an acoustic duo decided to go over to the dark side and unleash their full symphonic rock side. Whilst the two are incredibly polished and their soaring voices mesh perfectly with the material, the real surprise was the quality of the whole ensemble considering this was their debut gig as a full band. There was a real nervous energy and excitement onstage that translated across through the music and filled the room with a lush soundscape that truly befitted the genre.
Opening with ‘Seen Not Heard’, Edenveil soon stamped their mark on proceedings and staked their claim as ones to watch. Filled with a great sense of dynamics and with Vera and Onyx’s angelic and passionate voices diving in, out and over of the heavy guitar, drum and bass attack it was the perfect introduction to the new project. There was a real mix of influences from some of the giants of the genre but it was still very much their own creation, the twist and icing on the cake being two equally outstanding female vocals as opposed to the usual sole female or female/male vocal combinations that are established. There was a real freshness in that both voices are classical and the contrast this brought to the fire of the band. Having performed together for five years there was a real connection between Vera and Onyx, and this was enhanced by the carefully selected musicians, all the members gelling into a perfect storm.
Elements of folk music tinged ‘Weightless’, a haunting number that was a brave shifting down of gears after the opening barrage but built up the drama as it headed into a soaring chorus. As Vera delicately picked at her acoustic guitar, Onyx swayed, lost in the moment with the two coming fully to life as the song lifted and lifted. With the transition from acoustic to hard rocking there is obviously a period of adjustment going on behind the scenes as originally stripped back and naked songs are beefed up bit by bit, the songs slowly morphing from one thing to another. It will be interesting to see how the writing changes as the new six-piece band develop more and more material that stretches it beyond the original two voices and a guitar set-up.
This was always going to be a short set, squeezed as they were in an evening with three other bands; the Viking Metal of headliners Atorc, melodic thrashers Akilla and the incendiary Far From Refuge, but they were determined to be remembered. Third song ‘Wicked’ was another good indication of the direction they are heading towards with its galloping riff played over a piano melody, mirroring the perfectly balanced contrast of the symphonic rock style. Whilst it was obviously a joyful tribute and a well-known song, their set closing cover of Nightwish’s ‘Amaranth’ seemed a bit of a two-edged sword. It highlighted their musicianship and ability to make a classic their own but also may have indicated a lack of their own heavier material presently and the need for a filler. It would have been better to finish with another epic Edenveil original to be the lasting memory of their set but that will come in time. As for now though you can’t but help to be impressed with this fledgling outfit and more gigs and studio work will see them really grow.
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