In June 2017 came out big news about new project (it can be said “super-project”) Exit Eden, where Amanda Somerville, Clémentine Delauney, Marina La Torraca and Anna Brunner joined their forces. These names (at least three of them) are well known by all sympho-metal and female vocals fans. At the same time their debut album ‘Rhapsodies In Black’ release date was announced with track list, which caused come questions.
Few words about Exit Eden‘s line-up, before we go to the album. So, Amanda Somerville is primarily known by her participation in Avantasia, her own band Trillium, Kiske Somerville project and a couple of her solo works. Actually, her name attracted my attention to this project. Clémentine Delauney is a Visions Of Atlantis vocalist now, and before that she worked with Serenity and Melted Space (also she took part in Kai Hansen’s first solo album). Marina La Torraca also was in Avantasia, and now she is Phantom Elite vocalist. And finally Anna Brunner, the “dark horse” of a project, because before it she didn’t took part in any band or formation (at least I didn’t found any).
So, we have four women with great voices that join forces in one project, and now release cover album. What is more, covers mostly for pop-music: Rihanna, Adele, Madonna, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga etc. However, 80’s were not ignored also: Bryan Adams, Bonnie Tyler and Visage (the synthpop band, that somebody can hardly remember).
Of course all the songs made in sympho-metal, with wind (“Question Of Time”, “Incomplete”) and string (“Unfaithful”, “Impossible”) instruments. This is emphasize once again the talent of composers, which work in music industry (pop-music industry, you know). Metal arrangements with Amanda and Clémentine operatic vocals, more melodic Marina’s and Anna’s raw (in comparison with other participants) vocals make these songs powerful, epic and deep. Anyway, I listened to some of them a couple of times for my own pleasure, and not only to write a review. Bu sometimes this formula isn’t work so good: despite all musicians’ efforts, “Incomplete” sounds like a cheesy ballad (original song has a good “it’s-a-boys-band-with-songs-for-the-girls” excuse); “Firework” didn’t went far enough from original song, and “Skyfall” in a time was played too much, that lose all its value.
On the other hand, Madonna‘s “Frozen” made so marvelous (with Epica‘s Simone Simmons), that it’s hard to stop listen to it. With countless number of covers for this song (including metal covers), that was hard to make something original and memorable, but Exit Eden did it great. It can be also said about “Paparazzi”, epic “Heaven” and “Fade To Grey” (where Anna shows all her vocal skills and Clémentine sings in French).
But there is a big question beside all of this: why the hell these four ladies, whose talent is undeniable and the vocals are admired, decide to record a pop songs covers album (we’re not talking about Depeche Mode now)? First answer, that comes to mind is “for the money”, of course. But let’s take a realistic look on the things: album sales revenue? In 2017? Really? Or Exit Eden will perform 100-200 times a year though major media-company that ostensibly stands behind this project (for sure it does)?
It can also be said, that this album is an easy way to declare the band. But front women don’t need it (except Anna Brunner, maybe). And if we say, that this album is a “warm-up” before something bigger then I don’t think it was necessary to record it.
But if you will abstract from this question, you can just enjoy the music, great arrangement and magnificent vocals. Hope I didn’t spoiled the mood to anyone.
‘Rhapsodies In Black’ will be released on August, 4 via Napalm Records.