EDENSONG - Years In The Garden Of Years
Progressive rock has been a genre that always smiled on artists self-indulging their skills, and Edensong are one such band from New York that really pulls all the stops on their sophomore record Years In The Garden Of Years which follows eight years after their debut album The Fruit Fallen, although in between they released a nearly one hour long EP featuring studio and live material.
Itís clear that the quintet has worked for a long time on their new album, considering that it contains between the first and the last song a song cycle made up of eight parts that is nearly one-hour long. This cycle, titled like the album Years In The Garden Of Years, is a major tour de force displaying all kinds of facets that might turn up in your comprehensive progressive rock collection. Even though I read somewhere that Edensong want to be a part of the more contemporary oriented prog bands like Coheed And Cambria and The Mars Volta, I do rather see them in a retro light that owes a lot to Jethro Tull because of the copious amount of flutes and to Kansas due to a certain American touch that also reminded me at times of Echolyn, another American prog band that sounds rather vintage.
At times the song cycle recalls other bands, like Emerson, Lake And Palmer on IV: Down The Hours because of the prominent keyboard playing, or Van Der Graaf on VII: The Atman Apocalypse with its cello intro. Lots of playfulness can be discovered on the nearly ten-minute long instrumental V. Chronos.
And yet I find the band more appealing on the two shorter tracks. The opener Cold City, not really that short at seven and a half minute running time, starts with an appealing two minute proggy intro, before the vocals join in and turn the song into a catchier direction, although its pop appeal is well balanced by its dramatic orientation. The concluding Yawn Of A Blink is six minutes long and another example of how well Edensong can distil their ideas into shorter material.
Donít get me wrong: Years In The Garden Of Years, the album and the song cycle, are both very good, but at time the bandís ambition is bigger that their focus. They could be a really great vintage prog band if all the songs had the same appeal as their regular songs, but I guess once in a lifetime an artist just wants to do something really big and bold. Fans of bands like Echolyn, Transatlantic and the likes will know what to expect and be right at ease.