Here we have a long overdue review of an album that really left its mark on me and I think it deserves to be heard by a wider audience. The opening track "Death Of A Diamond" was also featured on the Die Seele compilation "Stimmen Der Seele Vol. 3" last year. EDEN is a dark wave band that was formed in Melbourne, Australia, in 1987, by Sean Bowley, Pieter Bourke (who has worked with Lisa Gerrard) and Ross Healy. Eden re-formed in 2015 by founding member Sean together with Anthony Cornish and Matthew Sigley. With this new line-up they released the bands fourth album "The Edge of Winter", 22 years after their previous 1995 album "Fire & Rain".

The CD version of "The Edge of Winter" features twelve tracks (while the digital version has only 10) and over an hour of new EDEN material. The album’s launch took place in June 2017 at the Schauspielhaus, Leipzig in conjunction with EDEN’s debut European performance at Wave-Gotik-Treffen. On this album the band delivers the distinctively diverse, uniquely sumptuous sonic palette that they have been long known for. Creating a sound spanning from darkwave, neo-psychedelic and ethereal genres and featuring the renown sublime eastern-tinged baritone vocals of Sean Bowley. 

As a three piece with Sean Bowley on vocals, 6 and 12 string guitars, Matthew Sigley on bass, keyboards and Anthony Cornish on 6 and 12 string guitars and keyboards, the band deliver a wide range of styles, from neoclassical dark wave, gothic rock, dream pop and neo-psychedelia, blending it all very nicely together making a warm, majestic, lush, solid sounding album.

The opener "Death Of A Diamond" is a great example of the album’s overall sound, full of guitar arpeggios in the background and dominant of Sean’s passionate vocals. On "Lost And Found" that follows, we have a guitar driven track that has distinctive guitar riffs, while on the next track "Girl With The Violin" the band delivers a majestic sounding song with layers of atmospheric keyboards and guitars. Another great example of their beautiful songwriting, full of grace, emotion and memorable choruses. Things are calmer on "All The Time In The World" which is dreamy in ways and on "Suantriade" that follows we have the first instrumental track that has the ability to transfer the listener to distant lands.

The title track "The Edge Of Winter" is something completely different from the rest of the album. Here, over a drone, we have Sean's baritone vocals relating something in between an orthodox church service and a middle eastern kind of chant. A very impressive and dramatic piece. In similar mood "Returning" continues the hypnotic eastern charm, then on "Perfume Garden" the mood switches to a more uplifting tone, on "December" we get one of the more rhythmic songs and with "Fryerstown" we are transferred to a dreamlike, nostalgic state.

The last two tracks "Sky Above", "Winter" are both instrumentals and are exclusive to the CD version. A fine example of how this band can make instrumental pieces of music that stand out although they don’t have vocals. On "Sky above" we have that exotic eastern essence while on "Winter", a perfect track for closing the album, we get an elegiac nostalgic feel that reminds us of early 80’s darkwave and goth.

Review by Nick Drivas