Almost twenty-year active, the Austrian symphonic metallers Edenbridge present their ninth studio album without any surprises. It is full of catchy guitar riffs and orchestral parts that fit nicely. There are some Middle Eastern elements in some tracks that add to the atmosphere of the disc. Especially in “Return To Grace” which is full of staccato guitar riffs and fast rhythms that gives the necessary power that is needed. Also, it contains one of the finest guitar solos of the album. The influences from Nightwish are evident in the song “The Visitor” without being annoying.

I have to admit that the soft tone of Sabine Edelsbacher’s voice didn’t impress me, though technically she’s very good. I think she lacks the power that is needed in the faster tracks of the album. As much as the choirs try to help, she doesn’t offer something that is remarkable. I was impressed when I first heard her in the awesome ballad “No Pain For The Dead” by Angra but in this album she sounds monotonous and after a while it started to tire me. In the ballads “Until The End of Time” and “Only A Whiff Of Life” though her voice fits perfectly and she makes your mind travel. Also the appearance of Erik Mårtensson (Eclipse) was good in the first song.

In the magnificent mid-tempo “A Turnaround In Art” the orchestra works flawlessly with Lanvall’s low-tuned guitar and the rhythm of the band.

The impressive twelve-minute “The Greatest Gift of All” is one of the most beautiful epic moments on the album. A magical journey full of orchestral parts and choirs.

I’m sure fans of Nightwish and symphonic metal in general will enjoy this release as it’s full of emotion and grandiose compositions. Edenbridge’s collaboration with the Junge Philharmonie Freistadt Orchestra is a treat as it creates a pleasant sense of melody and lyricism throughout the disc.