EXIT EDEN – Rhapsodies In Black (2017) *HQ*

EXIT EDEN - Rhapsodies In Black (2017) *HQ* - full

With the new 2024 EXIT EDEN album out today, really worth to revisit their debut album if you miss the release back in the day.
Rhapsodies In Black” is the debut album from Exit Eden, an interesting concept reuniting the talent of four sensational female voices – Amanda Somerville (Avantasia et al), Clémentine Delauney (Visions of Atlantis), Marina La Torraca (Phantom Elite), and musical / session singer Anna Brunner – performing classic rock/pop from all eras arranged with a bombastic sympho metal, commercial catchy production. Avantasia’s Sascha Paeth is involved in the whole thing, so expect quality.
The choice of songs is well thought through, covering various decades and styles ranging from ’80s Bryan Adams and Bonnie Tyler to Katy Perry.
As the band claims, it became their unique plan to raise their very own edge: to show the world that almost every classic rock&pop song can be transformed into a solid metal-rock song. And Exit Eden manage to achieve this.

This is a typical cover album, and yet doesn’t quite sound like one. It has its own taste and angle. The girls have chosen to turn some pop songs into melodic metal tracks – very finely done (Madonna’s ‘Frozen’, James Arthur / Shontelle ‘Impossible’, etc).
Others, though, they have decided to keep as close to the original as possible (007’s ‘Skyfall’; Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse’), and they do it just as good. This is where they adopt the “normal” singing style and show that they do music just as any other vocalist and musician.

Where it is unique is the sympho / metal (but extremely melodic and accessible) interpretation of pop and rock songs, making them beautiful and enjoyable for metal fans who wouldn’t normally listen to this type of music. This is where they prove that what they have released is not just another compilation of hits.

Somerville shines with her epic, soaring vocals – particularly with their take on “Skyfall” (which also features Simone Simons as guest). Likewise, Delauney and La Torraca add some memorable moments to “Fade to Grey” and “Impossible” respectively.
The name most may be unfamiliar with, Anna Brunner, could easily walk away the breakout voice from the act, with her rock-ish singing giving some of the songs some extra attitude (see “Unfaithful”) – she can easily stand toe-and-toe with the more established names.
Ultimately, each song features a mix of players and it’s nice that each vocalist is given ample room to standout on their own.
Talented Rick Altzi also put a solid performance in providing the male vocals on their version of ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ (Bonnie Tyler), one that makes you want to jump out of your seat.

Each song translates well to the symphonic treatment, some surprisingly so. These aren’t just a case of saying “add electric guitar, a solo, and some symphonic elements and strings to the mix” in many cases.
“Unfaithful” appears the standout, giving it a darker and more aggressive tone in general. But the same goes for “Fade to Grey” (with some heavy riffs) and the oddly headbangable “Paparazzi.” “A Question of Time” keeps more of the original’s vibe, but the orchestral bombast that’s added gives it a fresh twist.
Even a few of the more directly translated numbers like Adams’ “Heaven” or Katy Perry’s “Firework” still soar with their added energy and the charisma of the vocalists.

What’s most convincing is that the band establishes a framework to which they can take this wide variety of tunes and while channeling the essence of each song, develop a sound of their own. It’s quite clear that they laid a firm groundwork from which to genuinely build up their vision.

Intriguing, interesting and well presented. Fine, beautiful vocals, gathered from musicians with extensive history. All this makes it a very special project worth a listen – even if you are not quite into this type of music, just to broaden your horizons and demonstrate to you how things can be done differently.
Highly Recommended


01. A Question Of Time (Depeche Mode)
02. Unfaithful (Rihanna)
03. Incomplete (Backstreet Boys)
04. Impossible (Shontelle)
05. Frozen (Madonna) feat. Simone Simons
06. Heaven (Bryan Adams)
07. Firework (Katy Perry)
08. Skyfall (Adele / James Bond movie) feat. Simone Simons
09. Total Eclipse (Bonnie Tyler) feat. Rick Altzi
10. Paparazzi (Lady Gaga)
11. Fade To Grey (Visage)

Amanda Somerville
Anna Brunner
Clementine Delauney
Marina La Torraca

Guest Vocals:
Rick Altzi
Simone Simons

Electric Guitar, Bass – Sascha Paeth
Electric Guitar – Jörn Heilbut
Electric Guitar, Bass – Evan K
Acoustic Guitar – Alexander Vallon
Electric Guitar – Ossi Schaller
Strings – Stefan Pintev
Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Johannes Braun
Keyboards, Drums, Programming – Hardy Krech, Mark Nissen



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