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The Eden House – Smoke and Mirrors
2009 – 10 tracks – 54’35
Style : atmospheric trip-rock

Label : Jungle Records

Note : 10/10

Can an album be perfect? I have asked myself this question a lot of times, and the answer is probably a resounding “No”; because our emotional reaction to music is so subjective, our criteria are so different. But what the hell, I’ve gone to give a perfect 10 to Smoke and Mirrors, as indeed this is the best album I’ve heard in a long, long time. It just grabbed me to never let go, from first listen. It is beautifully written, wonderfully sung and perfectly executed by a bunch of musical magicians out to steal our hearts once and for all. Behind The Eden House, we find an impressive cast of talented and experienced musicians, with at its core the duo of Tony Pettitt (Fields of the Nephilim, NFD) and Stephen Carey (This Burning Effigy, NFD, Adoration). Ex-members of FOTN, Nefilim and NFD guest on some tracks, together with people who have played with Bob Geldof, Penguin Café Orchestra and Van Morrison. Smoke and Mirrors was mastered by Andy Jackson, who has worked with, among others, FOTN and Pink Floyd.
But the album wouldn’t take its extraordinary quality without the contribution of the four singers who take it in turns to give their voice to the music: veterans Monica Richards (Faith and the Muse) and Julianne Regan (All About Eve) share the limelight with relative newcomers Evi Vine and Amandine Ferrari. The sumptuous melodies and the rich voices work together to create the sonic equivalent of pure emotion.

Nothing formulaic here, the tracks carry a complexity of melodies and rhythms that keeps surprising us at every turn and prevents the band from falling into any category. All My Love, Reach Out and Iron in the Soul all possess the darkly groovy electronic undertones of trip-hop mixed to a stunning effect to violin flourishes, atmospheric bass and guitars and carefully controlled drums. If the languorous, smoky atmosphere of Fire for You enthrals, it still doesn’t prepare us for the double assault of the powerful, guitar-dominated last two tracks: The Dark Half is an evocative apocalyptic epic, while Sin, at almost 7 minutes long, is a boisterous tribute to humanity’s propensity to pursue forbidden pleasures …
Smoke and Mirrors is a perfectly named album: with uncommon virtuosity, the musical illusionists of The Eden House enchant us and trick us into believing in a world of lights and shadows, of make believe and very human weaknesses. It is possible, just possible, that this world might be called Life. And The Eden House has turned it into the most fascinating story ever told.

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Version française

Fabienne T.

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