Published on November 28th, 2016 | by Justin G.
Eden’s Curse: Cardinal
Just when I thought I had my “best of 2016” list sorted, here comes multi-national melodic metal band Eden’s Curse with what may be the strongest album of their career. Their latest album is titled Cardinal, and it’s their fifth studio offering. There was a bit of turnover in the Eden’s Curse ranks, so Cardinal sees drummer John Clelland (ex-Code of Silence) and keyboardist Christian “Chrism” Pulkkinen (Adamantra) joining the fold.
If Eden’s Curse’s previous album (2013’s Symphony of Sin) was meant to reintroduce/redefine the band after the messy split with their previous singer, Cardinal is a perfect example of just what this band is capable of now. I walked away from Symphony of Sin relieved that the band was able to carry on. I walked away from Cardinal thinking that Eden’s Curse had done the impossible and topped their massive 2011 album Trinity, a personal favorite. Guitarist Thorsten Kohne and bassist Paul Logue still have a great songwriting chemistry, and they’ve come up with some fantastic material here, with the kind of catchy hooks Eden’s Curse is known for, balanced by heavier, more epic passages. On the vocal front, Nikola Mijic seems perfectly at home now, and just owns these songs, bringing a soulful swagger and remarkable range.
Once again, Eden’s Curse uses religious themes and symbolism heavily on Cardinal, from the literal – the nearly 8-minute “Jericho,” based on the biblical battle – to the figurative – “Messiah Complex,” “Saints and Sinners.” The cover artwork is another nod to that influence.
It’s tough to narrow down just a few highlights on Cardinal, since all twelve of the album’s songs are “A” material, but if you’re looking to get a feel for the overall sound, “Saints and Sinners,” “Prophets of Doom” and “Rome’s on Fire” definitely get the job done. The epic “Jericho” is another standout, as is the very melodic “Unconditional,” which features guest vocals by Liv Kristine (ex-Leaves Eyes).
At their very best, Eden’s Curse delivers an electrifying style of metal that’s as heavy as it is melodic, and is as grand as it is catchy. Like Dokken meets Helloween. Cardinal is Eden’s Curse at their very best, and is one of the year’s more memorable melodic metal offerings. It’s one of those albums that will have great crossover appeal with fans of melodic rock, hard rock, power metal and heavy/traditional metal. If you like your metal heavy and melodic, missing this album would be a cardinal sin.
Summary: Eden's Curse at their very best.