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Edge of Paradise – Universe Award winner

Edge of Paradise
Universe
by Rachel Montgomery at 06 January 2020, 8:46 PM

EDGE OF PARADISE features a haunting soprano and amps the instrumentals and symphonics up to eleven in a high-octane album to satisfy contemporary fans of Gothic and Symphonic Metal. Based in Los Angeles, California, the band is releasing their second full-length album after their EP, “Alive,” hit on the Billboard 100 upon release. The band is memorable, and for good reason – their instrumentation is innovative and while the vocal technique can be hit-or-miss, when it’s employed well, it’s remarkable.

Fire” is memorable, but your mileage may vary on whether it’s good, and for that reason, isn’t a great choice for the first song. It begins with high-pitched ethereal vocals that straddle the line between haunting and hokey. They get better as she lowers the notes, and I like her vocals more in the chorus when they’re lower and less nasally; she can put more power behind her voice in her mid-range, adding to the power of the music. The instrumentals are solid, but they are the same galloping melodies found elsewhere in Gothic and Symphonic Metal.

However, the album gets better from here. The title track has a rocking, powerful chorus that features ethereal belts from the vocalist and a strong backbeat that keeps the verses rocking. The climbing solo is also impressive, with clear hits from the guitar. The techno elements are strong on “Hollow,” ramping up in the intro and the choruses.

Face of Fear” brings up the symphonic elements in the intro and brings an anthemic flavor to the song with low, horn-like guitars and beating drums while still keeping the electronic flavor. Also noteworthy is “Stars” for its intensity and progressive tempo changes.

Electrify” is a standout for the way it utilizes the singer and the music to compose a thematic blaster. Again, the vocals can be nasally in the second track, but they’re used to better effect, dialing back to a higher, wispy range before zapping you with a power belt. The instrumentals fit the theme incredibly well, and they utilize electronic, artificial instrumentation in innovative ways. Under the instrumentation is an orchestral symphony which ups the intensity of the song.

Also noteworthy is “World” for an ambient intro featuring a winding, ticking clock. Like the opening track, the vocals begin as wispy and haunting. While it’s slower, the drums keep the song heavy. The belt in the lyric “we are all slaves to time” is pushed back, but the belt sounds clear behind the instrumentals.

Sometimes, the lyrics can become overly edgy, particularly in “Alone,” following a FLYLEAF inspiration. If you’re into that, again, this is an album worth checking out, but your mileage may very on emotionally direct lyrics.

Finally, “Burn the Sun” features a long intro with guitar play and ambiance that rockets the song up and really highlights the instrumental talent. A completely instrumental track, it lets the guitar run loose with sweeps and the orchestration push this song beyond the limit. The harmonies here are progressive and show all the band is capable of.

Overall, the album is an intense ride combining symphonics and electronic music in an innovative, progressive way. It’s a masterpiece from start to finish, full of complex, intricate music that features traditional, symphonic, and contemporary elements. If you’re looking for more simple music or weren’t a fan of female-fronted Metal bands in the 2000s, this may not be for you, but if you like progressive elements and want to hear a heavier version of FLYLEAF or EVANESCENSE, this album is a perfect match.

Songwriting: 9
Production: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Fire
2. Electrify
3. Universe
4. Alone
5. Hollow
5. World
7. Perfect Disaster
8. Face of Fear
9. Stars
10. Burn the Sun
Lineup:
Margarita Monet – Vocals
Dave Bates – Guitars
David Ruiz – Guitars
Vanya Kapetanovic – Bass
Jimmy Lee – Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records
     


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