The abundance of female-fronted hard rock and heavy metal bands is well known to most of us. Add the whole symphonic and, sometimes, gothic element to that mix and that very same gaggle expands even more. Enter, from the UK, Winter In Eden, another of the same, with their third album, Court Of Conscience. Is this more of the same?
Perhaps so, or not. Winter In Eden is definitely a band who has a firm grasp of their chosen genre. Part melodic hard rock and heavy metal, they effectively wrap their music in generous symphonic synths, welcome melodies, catchy twists in lyrics, and some significant groove. The wild card, in the best sense, is vocalist Vicky Johnson. Her voice is, quite simply, inherently natural. She can range from strong and forceful to lilting and whispering, and without losing control, straining, or going for that often nausating high pitch operatic gaga so common to the genre. Now bind this with some fine songwriting, good musicianship, and sound production, and you have the makings of a rather pleasing album. Fundamentally, the songs, this album, sounds pretty darn terrific.
Some highlights then. For those loving those large symphonic synths, they abound throughout, but notably inside Toxicate, especially in the latter third. Yet check out, second half of Order of Your Faith where they're also quite expressive. For some of that keen rock groove, Before It Began delivers, also with a catchy refrain and light lilting piano. Something tending towards melodramatic is the following The Script. Perhaps the lightest song here, it moves by a pleasant melody and Johnson's equally pleasing vocals. Constant Tommorrows and Behind Close Doors borrow equally from rock groove and symphonic synths for a large, even bombastic, sound. Finally, some might be surprised they sharp riffs that start and drive the final number, Affliction, making it, first, sound like traditional heavy metal, and then sound like symphonic melodic metal. Ultimately, Court Of Conscience is a fine and entertaining mixture of sounds: melodic hard rock to heavy metal, dressed in asymphonic robe and booted with rock groove stilettos. Good stuff, probably better than most stuff out there in the genre. Easily recommended.
Court Of Conscience is a fine and entertaining mixture of sounds: melodic hard rock to heavy metal, dressed in asymphonic robe and booted with rock groove stilettos. Good stuff, and recommended.
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