Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Slicing their way out of the Holy Land and into the world wide metal scene come Edgend, with their debut album A New Identity on Nightmare Records. The promo material indicates a prog metal sound more akin to Symphony X. That maybe true but to these ears I hear a lot of Dream Theater comparisons.

According to the band they they’ve attempted to incorporate classical elements into the music. Those influences are there as well as the effect of their Israeli culture. There is lots of melody and wonderful arranging. Dynamically this album is like a painting with darks, colors, splashes and the sublime. Metal from the land of Israel and it scores a touchdown with me.

Upon the first listen the layers of depth are very apparent, so really that first listen is more about becoming familiar with what is before you. A New Identity is accessible but one must first come to it with an empty pallet and be prepared to hear new pieces upon each listen. I’ve heard bands say “It takes some effort but once you ‘get it’ you’ll like it”, right, if it takes that much effort what’s the use. In the case of Edgend I found it exciting to discover the depths of the melodies and the arrangements. This is an album made for headphones in my opinion. Just so long as you have a long chord because your head is gonna start swayin' back in forth.

Comparisons to Symphony X should really be made in passing. Symphony X is about the speed and ‘noodle the oodle’ factor, nothing wrong with that, where the guitar is the main attraction. And with them that is the case. However Edgend uses the guitar as a part of a whole with keyboards adding many melodic overtones. Don’t misunderstand this disc is heavy; just listen to ‘The Pain’ for a prime example. They don’t rely on one instrument to carry the load.

From ‘The Internal Fire’ all the way to ‘Voices’ there is a lot of tasty progressive heavy metal. The songs themselves are haunting with great musicianship. Vocalist Rami Salmon is gritty and strong, in the same range as a Russell Allen but with more edge. Make no mistake this is a strong metal offering.

A New Identity brings progressive elements such as time changes and melodic interludes throughout. However what I see happen in many bands of this genre is that they become self indulgent ala Dream Theater. Nothing wrong with a little self indulgence, but Edgend seems to be able to keep such indulgences in check for the betterment of the song. There aren’t any 10 minute+ songs here. One song wings in slightly over 9, near closer ‘Balance’. Opening with a piano intro with a beautiful vocal part this song then starts its ascent into another powerful musical whirlwind.

Truly this being a debut effort there is much to applaud. The production is solid with even levels of all the instruments. David Ezuzs keyboards, piano are crucial to the elements of these songs. The sounds they achieved are like a fine dessert, very rich and deep. An amazing effort. Less you think that the guitars or bass guitars were unimportant which I’m sure none of you did, they are handled with skill and precision by Sharon Halachmi on the former and Ben Metal on the later. They shine throughout.

Listen to some of the sample tracks on their MySpace which will give you a feel for what is to come. Lyrically the band is extremely positive with songs of introspection and determination in this life. A New Identity has wonderful compositions throughout that bring out the air guitarist in me.

I’m hopeful of what the future will bring Edgend, they have the potential I think to a splash in a big way. If you enjoy prog metal with heavy melody than get this album immediately, don’t wait. Get one of the most intriguing releases in recent memory.

7 axes


Ryan M. said...

I'd agree. A very good album. The keyboards remind me of Symphony X a lot but the guitars don't. more melodic sounding also. Great vocals!

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