The fertile Ukrainian scene delivers us an interesting new band devoted to a rather traditional and, perhaps because of that, decidedly welcome gothic doom. Edenian, from Kharkiv, are currently a duo formed by multi-instrumentalist Eternal Tom and vocalist Valery Chudentsova: their debut record dates back only to 2012, when the Ukrainian musician had taken care exclusively of the instrumental part, leaving two different singers to take care of the vocals. On this occasion, however, the band’s mastermind decided to do almost everything himself, devoting himself to the growl vocal parts and calling young Valery to assist him on the female counter vocals. The result is an album like Rise Of The Nephilim that, admittedly, does not rewrite the canons of the genre, going toe-to-toe with such undisputed champions as Draconian in a rather obvious way, but the whole thing is still a good listen all the same, as Edenian displays melodic taste and songwriting skills of the first order. In fact, a number of objectively splendid tracks, contained mostly in the first half of the work, such as The Departed, Beside The Dying Fire and I Desolate, prove beyond eloquent regarding Tom’s talents both as a musician and as a vocalist capable of exhibiting a sufficiently varied and expressive growl. Indeed, the guitar sound is also very close to Johan Ericson’s, but even this, in the end, can hardly be considered as a flaw, given Tom’s ability to weave engaging and undoubtedly evocative melodies; Valery’s vocals integrate rather well into the context and her entry into the scene occurs with an appreciable sense of proportion: at some junctures, however, she still needs to refine her technique, as happens for example in The Evenstar, where she is forced to perform on tones not entirely suited to her characteristics but, overall, the performance can be described as quite satisfactory. Even the length of Rise Of The Nephilim, which runs for over an hour, backfires somewhat against Edenian’s work, since the last tracks, however good, prove less brilliant (with the exception of Nearer My Love To Thee, where hints of Morriconean crosses early Evereve), ending up partially tracing what has already been heard in the first half of the work. But, beyond these details, which tend to be pointed out precisely when one likes an album and precisely because of that one is looking for the nitpicking, Edenian turns out to be, at least for me, a very pleasant discovery and another gem hitherto hidden in the seemingly inexhaustible musical mines of northeastern Europe.

2013 – BadMoodMan Music