I must confess I had never heard of New York Edensong before I got their album Years In The Garden Of Years. Of course I did some research on the internet and more than once found the description: heavy rock meets progressive rock meets folk rock. The first time I listened to the album the influences of Jethro Tull were obvious. Edensong use flutes and violins in their songs, so the comparison with Jethro Tull isn't strange. But Edensong is more than just a copy of Jethro Tull. The band also has much heavy rock and progressive influences. The heavy influences more or less remind me of Enchant. The progressive influences remind me of Yes. Especially the keyboard parts are Rick Wakeman-like. With these three ingredients you can boil an interesting soup! I think Edensong has succeeded at this.
The first time I listened to this album I wasn't enthusiastic at all. I found the concept too messy. But sometimes music has strange ways. After listening a couple of time I started to like the album. I think I must say: I got used to the music.
Edensong stands for Stefan Paolini (keyboards, vocals), James Byron Schoen (vocals, guitar), Barry Seroff (flute), TD Towers (bass guitar, vocals), Anthony Waldman (drums, vocals). Guest musicians are Adrian Belew (background vocals), Malcolm Piper (background vocals), Luna Skye (cello), Eric Stephenson (cello). When Adrian Belew is on your short list, music must have some quality! I will try to give a brief review of the songs.
Cold City is a mid-tempo song with great chorus parts. Intermezzo's have nice tension. End Times In Retrospect has a nice acoustic intro of guitar and violin. Mid-section is heavy rock with some flutes. The end of the song is a little psychedelic. I like this song because the different atmospheres. On In The Longest Of Days flutes and violins are more in the background. Therefore it is a more mainstream song. I really like this one! The Hollowed is another song with an acoustic start. The song has great atmospheres and nice vocals. Down The Hours is a mid- to up tempo song. Piano parts are great and remind me of old-style Genesis. The first part of Chronos is nice and modest. It recalls some trance in me. The middle section is rather heavy. The keyboards are taking the lead. One of the best songs on the album. Generations is a strange but great song. It starts with sound bowls and ends with a Yes-like ballad. The epic song The Atman Apocalypse has a lot of tension parts in it. Most of them are really heavy. I think you can say that the guitar is taking the lead in this song. Regenerations has a rather long guitar and piano intro. The atmosphere is absolutely great. The end section gives the song the heavy twist. The last song on the album Yawn Of A Blink is a mid-tempo song with a heavy character.
Years In The Garden Of Years is an album you have to get used to when you're not familiar with folk. If you are, there is a chance it will get you. I like the album a lot and therefore 4 out of 5 points.
**** Aad Bannink (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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