Edenbridge: A Higher Metal Triumph

Over the years, Edenbridge from Austria has been releasing several masterworks, their latest being the mighty Solitaire, now available from Napalm Records.  Symphonic metal with progressive sounds abound, complete with the stunning vocal work of Sabine Edelsbacher.  A complex, brilliant piece of artistry, the band may surely count this, their 7th studio album, as a major triumph.  Fans of Nightwish and Lunatica are sure to thrill to the majestic sounds of not only this, but the other brilliant Edenbridge albums.  Here is a recent interview we conducted with guitarist / keyboardist Lanvall to discover more about the wondrous Edenbridge and their treasure trove of sound…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Edenbridge, and how long the band has been together.
Edenbridge was formed in 1998. Sabine Edelsbacher, Kurt Bednarsky (our former bass player) and myself (Lanvall) played together in another project before, and when drummer Roland entered the band, the line-up for our first CD-production was complete. We recorded Sunrise in Eden in 1999 on self-finance basis and sent it to about 30 labels around the world. Two weeks later Massacre records offered us a deal. The album was licensed to all important markets of the world (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, South and North America) and was a great success. In late 2000 we were on European tour with our label mates Pink Cream 69 and Axxis. In 2001 we recorded our second CD Arcana which marked a big step forward. Then we went on tour with Metalium here in Europe which led us from Spain to Scandinavia. Right after we went to Korea to play a show on the International Busan Rock Festival in front of 20.000 people and a double-headliner show with Sinergy in Seoul. In January 2003 our third album Aphelion saw the light of day followed by a triple-headliner tour with Trail of Tears and Sirenia through Europe. A show on the famous German “Summer Breeze Festival” in front of 12.000 people followed. In April 2004 we played our first shows in Russia, Moscow and 2 shows in England on the Bloodstock festival which were a huge success. Then our first live-album/DVD A Livetime in Eden came out. In October 2004 our 4th studio album Shine was released followed by a tour through Europe supporting Angra. In 2006 the first cover version saw the light of day, the release of a single with the famous James Bond title song For your eyes only (originally sung by Sheena Easton). The single was followed by the 5th full length studio album The Grand Design. In 2006/2007 Edenbridge toured in Europe and Asia (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong). Right after we had to split with drummer Roland. He was replaced by Max Pointner. We signed with Napalm Records world wide. In 2008 MyEarthDream saw the light of day, featuring the Czech Film Orchestra followed by a big European tour with Rage followed by our 2nd visit to Krea where we headlined the Jump Guro Open Air in Seoul. In 2009 we did a European headliner tour. Finally in 2010 our 7th studio album Solitaire was released and charted in Germany !

Is there is any story or concept behind the Solitaire title?
Solitaire is about the process of questioning old dogmas and the correlating paradigm shift we are in between.  It´s about the universal power within us, which has been present down the ages and will exist forever. A diamond connection which is undestroyable. This part in us is unique and is finally shown to advantage in the chain. Like each water drop is unique and forming to the sea in connection with other water drops.

How does Solitaire compare to the previous Edenbridge releases?
Solitaire bundles all the symphonic and heavy elements of MyEarthDream and brings in a lot of new aspects into our sound. It is our most atmospheric and melancholic album so far. We continued working with 7-string guitars and the symphonic parts have much more richness in detail. The new album only consists of 7-string guitars tuned down a half step to Bb. I love writing in the Bb keys cause they have this dark and melancholic vibe. When the orchestra appears, it´s most of the time a blast. All in all Edenbridge have never sounded more varied than on Solitaire.

Please pick two particular songs from the Solitaire album and tell me what the inspiration was behind the lyrics.
Higher is about reaching aims and getting higher and higher. We break our back and fight and don´t recognize when we fight it´s a fight against ourselves. If we recognize this, we don´t need to fight anymore to get higher in life. To reach this aim is much more valuable than the little goals what we are aiming for normally.
Brothers on Diamir is the story of the Messner brothers, who dared to climb the Nanga Parbat over the rupal face, the highest face on Earth in 1970. They descended over the Diamir face, where Günther was swept away by an avalanche. It was obvious for me that this song has to deal with a mountain drama. The joy at the victory in the wall and the pain at the loss of the own brother are very close together.

What was it like working with the Czech Film Orchestra? It must have been pretty exhilarating watching it all come together.
We didn´t work with a real orchestra this time like we did on our last album MyEarthDream, cause it wouldn´t make sense financially this time. You must not forget that working with real orchestra costs a fortune of money. But I have one of the best sounding samples at home and also know what to do with, so I think the orchestra sounds great on the new album.

Sabine Edelsbacher has an absolutely stunning voice. What kind of vocal training has she had in the past?
She is doing a lot of body- and breathing exercices,- a kind of yoga. Newest she likes to wear MBT shoes when she sings at home 🙂 – this lets her stay relaxed upright. Warming up for the show is always energy work with body, mind and voice.
I have to say that not many singers in the metal scene have her depth in the voice; she can be recognized by the first tone she sings. Her range is simply astonishing and I can write in all keys, so this doesn´t limit the songwriting at all, which is absolutely great !

Has Edenbridge ever played here in the States or do you plan to do in the future? If you have played here before, what was the experience like?
Unfortunately we haven´t played in the States yet but we would love to of course.

What was the experience like playing in China and was it difficult to get shows over there?
We did 3 Asian tours so far. Korea twice and China and Taiwan once. Last week we returned from a one week promo tour from Indonesia prepairng the shows for November there. Our music seems to be very popular in Asia so we constantly get offers from countries there.

Russia must have been a grand adventure to play. What was that experience like?
The show in Moscow was amazing and I remember I had goose bumbs at the end of the show when all the people sang to the songs.

Two part Star Trek question – what is your absolute favorite episode of Star Trek and why?
There are 2 of course. What you leave behind from Deep Space Nine and All good things from The Next Generation; both were the ending episodes.

What is your favorite Star Trek movie and why?
I don´t have a favorite one as I like the series more than the movies.

Have you ever thought about doing scores to movies? Is that something that would interest you at all?
That would be very interesting of course. As I am doing the whole orchestrations for Edenbridge on my own I wouldn´t see a problem scoring movies.

Both you and Sabine cite Celine Dion as a favorite singer. Have you ever met her or seen her in concert and does she know about Edenbridge?
I don´t think that she knows about Edenbridge, unfortunately haha. We have seen her last year in Vienna and it was unbelievable. What a great concert. She is the one ! What a voice !

Any messages for Edenbridge fans here in the States?
Keep demanding Edenbridge over and over again !!! I hope we will tour the US sometimes soon !

(Interview by Kenneth Morton – Photos by Günter Leitenbauer)

Edenbridge on Myspace

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