REVIEW: EDEN’S CURSE – “Cardinal”
Eden’s Curse are back with their fifth studio album ‘Cardinal’, the follow up to the 2013 album Symphony of Sin. Cardinal is their first studio album to feature drummer John Clelland, and new Finnish keyboard player Christian “Chrism” Pulkkinen. The album opens up with “Prophets Of Doom”, and from the moment you hear the lead-in keyboards it comes out at you full force before Nikola Mijic greets you with a very strong vocal presence, which is only made more powerful by the impressive backing vocals. You can clearly hear some ‘Manowar’ style vocals coming from Nikola Mijic, which actually work quite well with his vocal style and with Christian “Chrism” Pulkkinen on keyboards, in places the track sounds a little like Nightwish.
The album progresses nicely with tracks like “Sell Your Soul” being a song which is very uplifting and upbeat track, and got stuck in my head for hours. “The Great Pretender” lets the listener hear just how outstanding a vocal range Nikola Mijic possesses, and features some amazing guitar work by Thorsten Koehne in the middle of the song. A real standout track is the nearly 7 minute epic that is “Find My Way”, which in my opinion is one of the best songs that Eden’s Curse has ever produced. Mijic, Koehne and Pulkkinen all put in outstanding performances, while the rest of the bands were also on top form. If I had to recommend any track from this album to someone, it would be this one.
There are a few shorter tracks after “Find My Way”,” Kingdom of Solitude” is a nice progressive track which has a strange bluesy undertone, but it works for the song. Other good but not particularly noteworthy songs like “This Is Your Moment” and “Rome’s On Fire” follow. Then we come to “Unconditional”, which quest stars Liv Kristine, the ex-Leave’s Eyes singer. The vocals of Nikola and Liv compliment each other fantastically well in what is, at it’s core, a love song, and a very powerful one at that, yet in places finds space to rock out a little bit. This track may be the most radio friendly song the band has ever created, and everything in it just works so well.
The closer of this rather impressive album is “Jericho”, which at almost 8 minutes is the longest track on the album. It’s based on the Biblical tale of the battle of Jericho as told in Joshua 6:1-27. The story song throws everything at your ears as it takes you an exciting journey from start to finish. Paul Logue and Thorsten Koehne worked together on creating the track and did an amazing job. The keyboard and guitar work of Pulkkinen and Koehne are again outstanding, and Mijic is on fire with his almost flawless vocals. It’s the perfect way to end an album; it really leaves you wanting more. I can’t wait to see what this song is like when performed live, I expect it’ll be something special indeed. Eden’s Curse has given us a truly outstanding album here, and I can only hope this is a sign of what we can expect from them in the future.
If you’re a power metal fan, the album displays some amazing guitar work by Thorsten Koehne and such amazing vocals from Nikola Mijic. They display influences from a few different bands at times such as Nightwish and Manowar. This album is without a doubt, the bands best release to date. With that being said, at times I think one or two of the track run a little long but that doesn’t take away from what an amazing album this is by the band.