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Exit Eden - Rhapsodies in Black

Format: Download
Released: 2017
Label: Napalm Records
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 8.5/10

Exit Eden is a supergroup comprised of Amanda Somerville, Anna Brunner, Marina La Toracca and Clémentine Delauney, whose resumes include work with Kai Hansen, Michael Kiske, Avantasia, Visions of Atlantis, and Kamelot. Their first collaborative full-length release, “Rhapsodies in Black,” is a cover album of Symphonic Metal interpretations of Pop songs from the past four decades, and it’s really something special.


Amanda Somerville and Marina La Toracca bring similar operatic Disney Princess styles, but the newcomer of the group, Anna Brunner, gives a coarser edge, while Clementine Delauney falls somewhere in the middle. All four of the leads are pinnacles of vocal ability, and even with similarities, they’re distinctive enough to tell apart when the microphone is passed. Individually, and together, they bring enough vocal power to launch a thousand warships.
The majority of the songs on “Rhapsodies” are fantastic, heavy recreations, but a few of the song selections are uninspired Top40 choices. Take Katy Perry’s “Firework,” for example. The original was already full of bombast, and - - whatever you think of her - - Katy Perry’s massive, earth-shaking voice. Exit Eden’s take on it feels more like a redo than a new creative Metal reinterpretation. True also of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” and the fucking Backstreet Boys song they do. In these cases, the plastic commercial Pop originals still sound like Pop Metal songs.
But anyway - - let’s focus on what works, because there’s some really great stuff here. I was hooked from the opening flute notes of “A Question of Time.” Exit Eden pay tribute to a great Depeche Mode original, fully utilizing the ladies’ voices and their Symphonic Metal support to the fullest. THIS! This - - this is how you do it. They also do goosebumps-good interpretations of Bryan Adams’ “Heaven” and Adele’s “Skyfall,” which I think improve upon the originals. (Although I like both of the original songs too. Fight me.) The album’s final track, “Fade to Grey” by Visage, is an excellent rendition of an old New Wave hit that was previously unknown to me.
Amanda Somerville, Anna Brunner, Marina La Toracca and Clémentine Delauney are immense talents on their own, but there’s also tremendous audio chemistry between them on each of the songs. Even if a few of the cover selections are a bit Pop for my liking, the successful tracks are magnificent. Make sure you check this one out.

01. Question Of Time - Depeche Mode
02. Unfaithful - Rihanna
03. Incomplete - fucking Backstreet Boys
04. Impossible - Shontelle
05. Frozen - Madonna
06. Heaven - Bryan Adams
07. Firework - Katy Perry
08. Skyfall - Adele
09. Total Eclipse - Bonnie Tyler
10. Paparazzi - Lady Gaga
11. Fade To Grey - Visage


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