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Exit Eden: Rhapsodies In Black
Exit Eden - Rhapsodies In Black CD Album Review

Exit Eden: Rhapsodies In Black

Symphonic Melodic Metal

Why not? Why not have a melodic metal super group that features four prominent female vocalist from the genre? That's what you have with Exit Eden. I'm not sure who's the brainiac behind this creation, but it was both a smart and creative move. Exit Eden features Amanda Somerville (Avantasia, Trillium, Kiske-Somerville), Clementine Develay-Thieux (Visions Of Atlantis), Marina La Torraca (Avantasia, Phantom Elite), and Anna Brunner, an aspiring young singer. Together, they deliver their first album, Rhapsodies In Black, a collection of cover songs.

Exit Eden Band Photo

Exit Eden: Clementine Delauney, Amanda Somerville, Marina La Torraca, Anna Brunner

You read that right. Rhapsodies In Black is not an album of original music. Instead, Exit Eden are taking many popular songs from present and past, largely from female artists and vocalists (makes sense), and translating them into symphonic melodic metal tunes. The complete list of songs and artists is below, but include the likes of Rihanna, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Shontelle.

Of course, we know that cover albums can be a double-edged sword for any artist. You have to pick songs that, at the very least, most people know. Second, also at the very least, you need keep the melody of the arrangement so that same person will recognize the song. In other words, don't screw up or you'll die by your own sword.

I was tripped up by the first necessity, the need for recognizable songs. I don't listen to popular music, at all. I don't know what the Top Forty songs and artists are of any present popular genres. I know who Madonna is. Who doesn't? But I barely know Rihanna, and I've never heard of Shontelle. Lady Gaga? Really? Gag me. Depeche Mode and Visage, I've never listened to either one of them. Essentially, there were eight songs out of eleven that I've never heard. Since I wasn't about to take the time to find and listen to them all, I have no idea if Exit Eden did them justice. I will say this though: however they may sound in their original form, they sound pretty awesome as melodic metal, especially Unfaithful, Incomplete, and Frozen.

As for the three songs I knew, they were Bryan Adam's Heaven, Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse, and Adele's Skyfall, from the James Bond movie of the same name. For Heaven, with Exit Eden at the helm, the song takes on a female perspective. For Total Eclipse, Exit Eden tinkered very little with the songs core arrangement and melody. It feature's Rick Altzi (Masterplan, AtVance) doing the male part. As a Bond movie song I thought Skyfall was lame. Yet I love the music, melody, and how the lyrics entwine both, and Adele has a fantastic voice. Again, Exit Eden didn't really mess with the arrangement, and it sounds fine.

So there you have it, a long commentary on Exit Eden's album of cover songs. Sure, I liked it, but I'm wondering if and when they will do original music. Or maybe this just a one-off gig for the gals. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Cover list: Question Of Time - Depeche Mode; Unfaithful - Rihanna; Incomplete - Backstreet Boys(?); Impossible - Shontelle; Frozen - Madonna; Heaven - Bryan Adams; Firework - Katy Perry; Skyfall -Adele from the James Bond movie; Total Eclipse - Bonnie Tyler; Paparazzi - Lady Gaga; Fade To Grey - Visage - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

Amanda Somerville, Clementine Develay-Thieux, Marina La Torraca, and Anna Brunner, four top vocalists from the European metal scene, become Exit Eden, and deliver an album that converts popular hit songs into symphonic melodic metal tunes with fine results.

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