Edenbridge: The Great Momentum (Steamhammer/SPV)
Austria’s Edenbridge released its debut album, Sunrise in Eden, in 2000 among a slew of similar female-fronted symphonic metal bands. Many have come and gone, but Edenbridge—still led by angelic vocalist Sabine Edelsbacher and mononymous multi-instrumentalist Lanvall—is going strong with album number nine. The Great Momentum finds the band striking an enviable balance between guitars and orchestra, sounding at times like Dream Theater (especially on “The Die Is Not Cast”). Opener “Shiantara” is inspired by Star Trek and adheres to the celestial imagery that has become an Edenbridge signature. The album loses a bit of its great momentum in the middle, but “A Turnaround in Art” emphasizes the band’s metallic side, and the 12-minute finale, “The Greatest Gift of All,” features a choir and orchestra performing in all their glory. Following a recent trend among some metal bands, Edenbridge includes a second disc with instrumental versions of all nine songs from The Great Momentum.