We are used to reviewing the good, the bad and the downright ugly around these parts but sometimes it’s nice to get something that is simply drop dead gorgeous and beautiful and that is exactly where The Eden House fit in. It’s been a while since they dropped last superb album ‘Half Life’ in 2013 but obviously this revolving troupe of musicians and vocalists have been spending their time crafting what seems clearly to be their most consummate release so far. This time around it would appear the core musicians are Stephen Carey – Guitars Tony Pettitt – Bass & Simon Rippin – Drums but don’t go expecting a guest slot from anyone like Carl McCoy here. Angelic voices are provided by siren singers who we will come to in turn, so the masculine and feminine lines are very much divided but both work in perfect co-ordination to provide a dazzling array of songs. I got this some-time before release date, played it once and put it down for a while. Coming back each of the 12 numbers hit hard, already having made a hell of an impression. I can’t think of any better recommendation than that to tell you that this 70-minutes worth of music are straight from the heart and likely to dissolve yours no matter how cold and wretched it might be!
Single ‘Verdades’ is up first and thaws things straight away with warm sinuous and balmy tones twisting away with sultry melody and the bewitching voice of Monica Richards of Faith And The Muse. It’s a song that reminds of supping wine and falling in love on a balmy Mediterranean night, well it does me and even if that has never actually happened, it’s exactly where this takes you. Foreign verse gives an air of intrigue and mystery and it’s exotic and near erotic as it totally infects. Monica does the lions share vocally and that’s no bad thing as she has my ‘One Heart’ by the second number. There’s a real 4AD flavour to things as much as there is the Gothic tones from the musicians jay jobs. On the whole songs are mellow and light without much danger within them, charm and intoxication is no bad thing to submit to though as the approach more than adequately proves. New to the band Louise Crane jousts vocally amidst the rapturous tones of Bob Loveday’s violin playing on ‘Misery’ and it’s another match made in, well the garden of… I am reminded a bit of All About Eve at their gentlest and that’s no bad thing in the slightest. Perhaps a love lost is the theme, I’m uncertain but it will have your heart yearning and there’s nothing miserable about falling into its delicate arms. ‘12th Night’ is probably the song where those Nephilim bass tones are most prolific and indeed it does pick the tempo up a bit and has a bit more of an urgency and power about it. I would not like to hear McCoy replacing Richards here but could kind of imagine it and it has the flavour of an album like ‘Mourning Sun’ about its chorus and guitar and bass lines.
This is so in danger of turning into a long track by track review and each and every song has identity deserving of such a write up. I think it’s probably for the best to leave some mystery here though and move onto those other singers and their particular numbers. I guess you can fill in the dots and work out just who Meghan-Noel Pettitt may be related to but forget any claims of nepotism, here place is guaranteed on 2 numbers and ‘The Ghost Of You’ suitably haunts the senses as much as the gentle flow of the music numbs them. Meghan provides backing that is at first subtle and rising to gloriously luxuriant. Lee Douglas of Anathema whose new album I am next to fully immerse myself in should need no introduction. Here she naturally graces ‘It’s Just A Death’ a slow-burning song that’s designed to have people swaying live and getting a sea of lighters waving in the air. When she chants out “I will not die for you” you best believe it too. This just leaves Kelli Ali of The Sneaker Pimps to mention on ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ a song title that will no doubt have every real old school Goth thinking of The Specimen. The song is in no way a rocker like that though but a gentle one flowing along with the near elfin tones of the singer; yet another spell is cast and naturally it too enchants.
I feel kind of guilty for the songs I have missed as they are all equally good and although the album is a long one it will absolutely captivate your senses and your soul. I think I best leave it there before I get anymore carried away but if you are looking for musical love in your life this is an album that you are going to want to pledge a life-long commitment to.
(9/10 Pete Woods)