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Flight of Eden - Dante's Inferno Award winner

Flight of Eden
Dante's Inferno
by Mark Machlay at 11 April 2020, 1:58 PM

FLIGHT OF EDEN, the 4-piece progressive metal band hailing from Reading, UK formed from the ashes of previous group ZODIARK. Guitarist and overall mastermind Simon Robins, bassist Christian Sturgess and vocalist Kurt Jones went through essentially a name change and a small stylistic change from their previous outfit, added drummer Gualter Couto and went on to release a short EP, 2019’s “Transition”, blending their groove-laden abilities with their progressive influences, choosing to emphasize a more technical metal sound. On their latest EP, “Dante’s Inferno”, they have steered into a much more Proggy sound, pushing the boundaries of their abilities and seeing how far they could push their music.

From the clever artwork the band commissioned from artist Will Cross – artwork that incorporates many of the themes the EP presents lyrically, providing many nuggets for fans to pour over and find something new each time – to the gorgeous tapestry of a mix and mastering job done by Robins himself, this is an amazing feat of musical brilliance. I am absolutely blown away to hear such beautiful production from a self-produced and mixed and mastered album. There are moments in this piece of work that give absolute chills and I cannot decide if it’s the mix, the music or both. The aching, unconventional melodic contour of the solo in “Canto II – Cerberus” left me guessing where it was going and pulled at every fiber of my being. Halfway through “Canto IV – Morning Star”, a chorus of voices seems to open up to the gates of a hopeful heaven and the placement behind the chugging, relentless bass, guitar and drums is breath-taking. In “Canto V – Purgatory”, there is so much space, it feels cavernous, like you are literally in the bowels of hell as the dissonant turning to consonant clean arpeggiated guitar chords lead the way.

There sound is hard to describe, but they would definitely fit into the multi-faceted label of progressive metal. Much of the time is spent in more introspective, poignant, ethereal moments ala a harder edged PINK FLOYD or the lighter moments of DREAM THEATER, mostly prior to 2003 at which point they went full progressive METAL. The EP even feels like a bit of homage to the second disk of their 2002 album “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence” with the last track beginning with a guitar climax that began building on the previous track. But the riffs do come, they come hard and heavy sounding similar to Djent-y PERIPHERY or Metalcore giants Killswitch Engage.

In addition to the sublime mix, a special mention has to be given to vocalist Kurt Jones. He can go from Rob Zombie modern metal sludge delivery to pure cookies monster death metal vocals without breaking a sweat. But the man can really sing too! In places where a more lilting or even layered chorus voices are needed, it can sound like Metalcore Trivium’s Matt Heafy or progressive metal Pain of Salvation’s Daniel Gildenlow. He is truly the diamond for this band alongside mutli-talented guitarist, synth and production extraordinaire Robins. But I could heap praise on the bass lines of Sturgess and break-neck speed and complexity of the drum fills of Cuoto as well. They all provide a tremendous amount of talent to this EP and I only wish it was a full-length. Whatever piece of classic literature they use next, I can only hope it’s a full LP.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Nessus
2. Selva Oscura
3. Canto I – Virtue
4. Canto II – Cerberus
5. Canto III – Heresy
6. Canto IV – Morning Star
7. Canto V – Purgatory
8. Canto VI – Paradiso
9. Virgil
Lineup:
Kurt Jones – Vocals
Simon Robins – Guitar, Synth, Mixing/Mastering
Christian Sturgess – Bass, Backing Vocals
Gualter Couto - Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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