Album / EP Reviews

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Classic Rock Presents Prog Magazine

[REDACTED] is a brilliant mix of foreground crunch and a deft layering of nuanced sonic detail which stretches back into the distance. It gives great depth to their sound and full disclosure to their talent.


Dutch Progressive Rock Pages

This is an extraordinary album because it is the one which will announce the re-emergence of Also Eden as a band of great substance and style. It sounds crafted and has a touch of real originality in the way they deliver their songs that never compromises the messages they are conveying. Perhaps a little on the short side at under 50 minutes, it is a masterful piece of work that captures your full attention and imagination throughout. (8.5 / 10)

For the full review, click here.


Liverpool Sound & Vision

Redacted is an album of incredible warmth, of imaginations allowed free reign in which music, lyrics and beautiful vocals are all bundled up in one. It also is a wonderful reminder to many of the reason why they fell in love with the genre in the first place. If ever you feel yourself losing your way and even perhaps slightly out of love with your first desire, put Redacted on, let it seep into your marrow and take heed of what the feeling is after, that is Also Eden. (5 / 5)

For the full review, click here.


ProgArchives

"The album reveals itself only through repeated listens, and sounds fantastic on a good pair of headphones. The mix is incredible...you get wide soundstage like a good Floyd album, but there's also a gorgeous depth... vocals sail cleanly about a spacious pillow of sound, buffeted by layers of guitars and keys. Listen closely and you hear things you won't expect... like C&W-influenced slide guitars, or the bits that sound like one guitar figure magically expanding into multiple tracks right before your ears..." (5 / 5)

For the full review, click here.

Think Of The Children!

Classic Rock Presents Prog Magazine

Think Of The Children is unquestionably the most welcome release of the year. In July 2010, frontman Rich Harding was critically injured in a motorbike accident and this album is a fitting tribute to his determination to recover from some horrific injuries. Ultimately, though, it's all about the music, and it's a mighty relief that this album is as inspiring as the circumstances that created it.

A loose concept album detailing the gradual erosion of freedom and dumbing down of society, Think Of The Children! captures Also Eden's distinctive sound and growing maturity. Part of that is their ability to pull off a mixture of dextrous music with memorable melodies. That's ably demonstrated on Oversight, with vocals that are delivered with a gravitas and drama that suits the subject matter of CCTV surveillance, and the impeccable Think Of The Children I. It's not all about Harding though, and it's clear that the unfortunate, enforced break has allowed the rest of the band to create their most complete and consistent album to date. It can only be hoped that this album is the springboard for them to be propelled into the lofty musical circles that they deserve.


Background Magazine

If you have the time and the patience to listen to Think Of The Children! as much as I did, you'll discover a very enjoyable album. People who like outstanding concept albums like The Wall (Pink Floyd), Brave (Marillion) or Fact & Fiction (Twelfth Night) will certainly enjoy this new album by Also Eden. It just got under my skin after a while and that's just how I like it!

For the full review, click here and follow CD Reviews >> Also Eden.


Dutch Progressive Rock Pages

When Messrs. Rogers, Hodson, Dunn, Nicholas and Harding get together something rather special seems to happen both in the studio and live. Their latest release Think Of The Children! is certainly no exception to this rule.

The penultimate and outstanding album track 1949 the second of the epics is where it is all at lyrically, a song that moved me the first time I heard it live; the album version is no less powerful, in fact this version takes the whole experience one step further. As ever it is full of those fabulous twists and turns that are associated with this band, its eloquent journey mesmerizes as does the impassioned playing. Close your eyes and build images to what you hear, this is just music to die for.

And so my friends Think Of The Children - II closes the album with the same beauty that it opened with although the approach is at the opposite end of the scale, acoustic dalliances than meander though no less electric or poignant.

Full review here.


Green Man Music

Any album that offers up a flowing continuum of songs, one that dovetails one seamlessly into the other is going to attract the C-word. But this is not so much a concept album as and album of related concepts. Subtle difference I know, but quite important.

Thematically it is based around society's gradual crawl towards a dark and repressive Orwellian future, how our reliance on technology and blanket acceptance of manipulated media is the butterfly's wing that will beat in a hurricane of dystopian chaos. It starts out in innocent enough territory, the carefree days of childhood past and as the album progresses the music and message seem to build in passion and ferocity to arrive back at the starting point having explained exactly why we should view our actions and choice with future generations in mind.

Full review here.


DA Music

The English label Festival Records extends its excellent portfolio with 'Think Of The Children!', the third album from southwest England (sic) proggers, Also Eden. The choice of Rich Harding as the new singer appears correct.

Harding was already introduced on the very beautiful EP, 'Differences As Light' (2010). This proved that they were ready for the big time. The three tracks seemed written especially for Harding, because they left a lot of room for his clever, narrative voice. A lively story also shines out from 'Think Of The Children'.

Sophistication and melody are blended beautifully together. The rarified keyboards of Ian Hodson and Simon Rogers' layered guitar sound weave ingenious textures. But Rogers can also rock out, with feeling enhanced by the mixing and production. The dynamic range of the recording is finger-licking good.

The two bookends of the record are comprised of the title track, 'Think Of The Children!' Such a compelling power is present from the very beginning, that the following songs seem to flow out from it. This is a work that bears witness to a coherent vision, both musically and lyrically. The whole transcends the sum of its parts, so it's best to listen to it as a piece.

This album grew out of jam sessions in June and July last year. Harding's serious car (sic) accident in July 2010 appears to have had only a limited effect on the development process. Harding - who wrote all the lyrics himself - was inspired by a quote from Benjamin Franklin: "Those who would trade essential liberty for a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Harding argues that politics and media leave our society sleepwalking, with democracy as a smokescreen for manipulation and deceit.

The subject has often been raised, but Harding uses descriptive language that perfectly accompanies the sophisticated arrangements. Think of it as a political treatise, as a concept album - either guarantees an intriguing read. Those listening to this ensemble of nine songs will experience the same fascination.

Original review, in Flemish, here.


Music In Belgium

Think Of The Children!, which has just come out... is a concept album, focussed on the way our society is drifting and what this implies for our future, or rather the future of our children. It's true that the outlook is far from rosy... The context of the album is set by the many ways in which society is drifting out of our control, and we are trapped as in a spider's web, powerless to avoid the many cameras that have us in their sights. The world is playing chess with numbers; we are manipulated and constantly observed. Should we build a fortress on a rocky promontory to protect ourselves?

The mood of the album recalls Marillion in the 80s, in particular Fish and 'Clutching at Straws'. Richard Harding's voice has many echoes of Fish, and captivates us from beginning to end. Ian Hodson's keyboards provide a constant melodic background to the songs, against which the aggressive riffs of Simon Rogers' guitar stand out effectively. Steve Dunn on bass and Lee Nicholas on drums maintain a powerful rythmn, and Harding's singing voice is marvellously expressive.

The songs form a continuous whole, which is how we are invited to understand the album. Two epic tracks in particular stand out from the whole, 'The Greater Game', where tension mounts as the song progresses, and '1949', whose sombre initial tones resound like a cry for help, then take on a harder edge leading to a guitar solo which sweeps all before it.

To sum up, this is an album which will delight the fans of Marillion and Fish, particularly since they don't have much to get their teeth into at the moment. Also Eden offers them a powerful album, which is also personal, despite its influences, which the band in any case rises above. It would be a pity to miss it! Warmly recommended!

4.5 / 5

Original review, in French, here.


Acid Dragon Magazine

The story is told in the liner notes and the lyrics and I won't spoil it for you. Suffice to say this is the best concept album I've heard for a long, long time. 'Think of The Children' has everything but most of it all it has heart and soul. For lovers of everything that is great about progressive rock there are great lyrics, melodies, top notch instrumental work and singing and even a scintilla of grunge guitar to keep metal heads happy. Most of all, this is a powerful melodic prog album that will appeal to fans of all or any of the following: Anyone's Daughter, Marillion, Rush, Gabriel/ Carptree, Genesis/Hackett. It also reminds me of what Land's End (remember them?) might have been. Tracks effortlessly follow tributaries from the main conceptual stream so there is no point in describing individual movements. The album demands to be listened to as a whole over and over again. Is this Also Eden's first album? If so it is going to be a hard act to follow - absolutely superb.


Prognosis

Seems to me that quite a few very good Neo-Prog albums have come out recently... and Think Of The Children by Also Eden is perhaps the best one of the bunch.

Firstly it's the quality of the songwriting. Never am I reminded of a given song by more famous bands. Also the soloing and instrumentation are quite original on this CD. Again and again the musicians find the way of incorporating in the pieces some keyboard and guitar instrumentals or soloing that do not sound like they are from Genesis or IQ (to name a few). This is quite a feat in a music genre that typically has trouble to reinvent itself... in my book Think Of The Children by Also Eden is as good as it gets.

Read the full review here. It's such a nice review, we'll forgive Marc the Neo-Prog tag!


Differences As Light EP

Silhobbit

"The band have been growing and maturing with each release (2006's About Time and 2008's It's Kind Of You To Ask), and seem to be in the ascendancy right now. Rich's arrival has injected a new focus into the band, and the end result is something that manages to be both modern and classic, relevent and yet satisfyingly retro-indulgent. The modern crystal clear production lets the music shine thru, whilst the impressive artwork adds a great deal to the whole package."

Read the full review here.

DPRP

Differences As Light is an EP containing 3 new pieces of music featuring replacement vocalist Rich Harding, and the first thing I should say is that I really should not have worried. With the new tracks on this CD, we see that the band have a new energy and slightly different direction. There is a heavier edge to the music, which enhances their blend of powerful, melodic and orchestrated instrumentation and thoughtful and evocative vocals and lyrics.

Seeing Red is the first track on the EP and opens with a tranquil guitar led intro before roaring into a superb keyboard/guitar riff, instantly getting the hairs on your arms standing up. This leads into the powerful and theatrical vocal section reminding me a little of Steve Hogarth of Marillion. The quieter moments are balanced with some fantastic crescendos, really showing off the power and range of Rich Harding's voice. The overall guitar/keyboard refrain is highly catchy and sticks in the mind, weaving its way throughout the course of the track until its fade out.

Oud En Nieuw, track two, and something completely different! Here we have a much more mellow and reflective piece with lyrics talking about the turn of the year, taking stock of the past and looking to the future. Subtle piano, together with acoustic guitar, meander through the song with the addition of violin to add texture.

Reality Cheque is the third and final track on the CD and is a stomping multi-paced prog' classic split into three parts. This to me is the stand out track. Although not as immediate as the first track it's a real grower. Part one is called Fool's Gold and features a strong vocal melody with multi-layered guitars leading into a flowing lyrical guitar solo. Part two is called Dead Reckoning and is full of staccato vocals and stuttering aggressive riffs, mechanical keys and heavy drums and bass all careering along at a frantic pace. Rainbows End is the concluding part, and to my mind the best bit. Changing the mood again, it opens with a haunting single voice before fading into fantastic (shiver down the spine) harmonies, which slowly build to an instrumental climax of restrained power and beauty.

This is a great EP and I can't wait to hear a full album of new music. Although all the classic Also Eden sounds are in place, the new energy and heavier sound give them an added dimension. You can still detect their roots - Marillion, Pallas, IQ, Genesis etc, but they are forging a sound, which is unique to them, being powerful, melodic, theatrical and thought provoking. Long may it continue!

8/10 (Ken Truman)

Prognaut - Ron Fuchs

"After repeated listens, it leaves me wanting more. I think the best is yet to come. Once Rich recovers from his accident... I’m sure the band will dive right back in to create some future “classics”. If you’re a fan of Twelfth Night, Marillion, IQ and Galahad, as well as the previous albums of Also Eden, then this EP needs to be in your collection. Highly recommended, you betcha!"

Read the full review here.


It's Kind of You to Ask

Prognaut - Ron Fuchs

"Also Eden continues on with excellence from their debut on It’s Kind Of You To Ask. If you enjoyed the first album, then this is a must have addition to your collection. Simply epic sounding neo-prog that isn't stale sounding at all. Highly recommended!"

Read the full review here.

posted 17 Oct 2009

Propwalhalla

In 2006 Also Eden released their acclaimed debut CD entitled About Time and when I looked at my review then, I wrote: I am delighted about their pleasant sound and the flowing and shifting moods and accelerations. The singer has a strong and quite distinctive voice with a melancholic undertone. As references I would like to mention IQ and Marillion, but with a more modern sound. If you are up to neo-prog, this is a band to discover! . Well, listening to their new album (2008) I quickly conclude that it is in the vein of their first one. To me the music sounds like a very tasteful 'neo-prog-stew' with Pendragon and Pallas as the most obvious ingredients, especially in the long first composition Star: a dreamy track with warm vocals but also powerful with propulsive guitar work and bombastic mellotron-choir eruptions. Also the final track Photographs is alternating and compelling, a kind of early Marillion meets Pallas. All seven songs sound melodic with a wonderful colouring by the guitar and keyboards. We hear pleasant vocals, interesting shifting moods and musical ideas like the sumptuous break featuring fiery guitar and powerful organ in the romantic Artificial Light and the strong build-up from mellow to compelling in the captivating Skimming Stones. The 'magnum opus' on this album is A Widow's Eyes (close to 13 minutes) in which we can enjoy Also Eden in its full splendour: from dreamy with twanging guitars to propulsive with mellotron waves and synthesizer flights. Check out this promising neo-progressive band!

Progarchives.com

It took me quite some time to get myself ready to review this album. This is usually the case with very complex albums but to say that this is such an album goes too far I have to say. In fact it appears to be a pretty accessible album by Also Eden, a new name for me by the way. And yet it was a hard one to get a grip on. Also the level of compositional quality was hard to judge this time. I will review song by song to get the picture together for this one. Star is a long track with a strange soft/silent like start (I even thought my boxes were not ok) for the first two minutes but after this it turns to a normal song. This opener gives a good idea about the standard of this album that treats of loneliness. The vocals and lyrics are very important on this album. Accessible and yet complex is what I want to call the most of this album and certainly also this first track.

Artificial Light goes on the same way more or less though it's a track of only half the length as the opener. It results in less attention for the instrumental bits and pieces on this one. 3,5*. Skimming Stones is a very good example of the significant lyrics. This is a very sensitive song and impresses in this way. Usually not what I'm personally looking for in music but still this one moves me in a way. 3,75*. Outside In is a longer track once again and this is the heaviest track on the album at least in the first half of the song with pretty heavy guitarplay. Halfway down the piano takes over in a beautiful way to introduce the more quiet second half of the mini-epic. Another very good song. 3,75*. Together Alone is the shortest and least track of this album with again a strong focus on meaningful lyrics. Still a pretty good track, 3,25*. 6th track is the very highlight called A Widow's Eyes. Besides the also on this one important lyrics this track offers quite a lot for the more instrumental minded listeners like me. Especially in the second half of the song this becomes obvious. Excellent song this. 4,25*. Photographs is a very good closing track of this average length album (1 hour). It summarizes the average standard of this album just like in the opening track. So if you want to check out this one in the store or wherever, first and last track suffice to make up your mind. 3,75*. And the given score for most of the tracks (3,75*) is actually what this album is worth for me. Therefore 4 stars is the only fair outcome I can think of. It's hard to compare this band with other bands. They remind me somewhat of Abel Ganz and Millenium but those are not really very famous neobands. If you want a big name it's a bit problematic, Just Hogarth era Marillion is a slight similarity but no more.

From the same forum.....

Quite interesting obscure band from the United Kingdom. Also Eden produced an album that sounds deceptively simple and even sometimes popish at first listen. But the overall length of some tracks (10 to 12 minutes) betrays its complexity and abundance of details when you hear it with atention. Ok, this is not your average symphonic group, although it does have some strong influences (early Genesis and Pink Floyd are the most evident). It seems to be conceptual album about loneliness. The instrumental breaks with some fine guitar and keyboards interplays are the highlights. I also liked the emotional and sincere vocals, Huw does not have a particular strong voice but he very convincing and poignant in his delivering.The lyrics are good and certainly the CD has no fillers. The album flows very evenly. But the true gems are the last two tracks, A Widows Eyes and Photographs, both great epics where the band uses their full potential both as songwriters and players. I liked their balance between the simple and the elaborated. In the end I found Kind Of You To Ask to be a nice surprise and Also Eden a truly promising band. If they keep working on their strong points they can be very big. My rating is somewhere between 3,5 to 4 stars that IŽll round up to full four because their tasteful and rich sound lift up my spirits today.


About Time

Prognaut - Ron Fuchs

"If you enjoy classic era neo-prog with a modern production, then look no further. About Time is highly recommended for fans of the aforementioned bands as well as good melodic progressive rock."

Read the full review here.

Background Magazine -(NL - trans)

One of the best album releases of 2006 is the debut album made by the British progressive rock band Also Eden. For me is it a true masterpiece. With "About Time" they've made an album which contains only highlights. Every musician in the band spent a lot of hours at the Steep Studios. The result was an album which contains fantastic music which reminded me of bands such as Pendragon, Pallas, IQ and early Marillion. But also Genesis must have been an influence for the band. Lead singer Huw LIoyd-Jones has a very warm voice sometimes sounding like Peter Gabriel in his younger days. But another great singer came most of all to my mind when I played the five tracks on "About Time". His name is Alan Reed (Pallas). Just like this Scottish singer has Huw a lot of passion and emotions in his voice. Bravo! But I also have to give the next two persons a big complement. Simon Rogers (guitars) and Ian Hodson (keyboards) are musicians who dare to play great solo's on their instruments. We don't hear so much awesome playing nowadays. Also the rhythm section has to be mentioned. Without Ralvin Thomas (bass) and Mark "DB"Hall (drums) the music would not have the drive which it certainly needs. Unfortunately the last one had to step out of the band due to personal circumstances. Hopefully will they get a good replacement for DB. Sometimes a review does not need a lot of words to tell how incredible an album is. "About Time" belongs to this category. I can simply say that it's about time that every proghead gets this album as soon as possible. Don't wait another day to get this masterpiece in your collection. Highly recommended and therefore only the highest rating is good enough for an album which took almost 13 years before we finaly could enjoy it! ***** (Henri Strik).

Progarchives - full review HERE)

Also Eden is not a typical neo prog band.I think the display symphonic prog.instead. Neo prog.is the more easy listening symp.modern prog. with touches of electronic pop prog.

This band interprets symphonic prog.because is a mix of melodic prog with art rock. In this state of things i must say AE is an expression of the resurrection of the symphonic prog.based in the traditional bands of this style of prog as Genesis, Yes and early King Crimson.

Vocals(which are beautiful) are very similar to Alan Reed,s of Pallas. I think this is a perfect mix between Genesis,IQ and Pallas but with their original touch. Excellent melodies, instrumental arrangements and instrumental interpretations.

5 stars - Robert Sargent

Fireworks Magazine

My introduction to Also Eden was somewhat unorthodox, as you will read in my live review elsewhere in this issue, but I certainly saw and heard more than enough to realise that this band are special. I bought a CD immediately and I am pleased to say that my instincts didn’t let me down as it is a superb release and one of the best debuts I have encountered in a long time.

With new bands everyone wants comparisons so I give you Pallas, mid-period Marillion, Arena, Jadis and IQ, and yes they thoroughly deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as such exalted company.

For an independent release the sonics and production are stunning and every one of the five tracks really hits the spot in terms of composition, melody, performance and lyrics. In vocalist, Huw Lloyd-Jones the band have someone with a wonderfully sonorous and distinctive voice, which to me comes across as a delicious mix of Alan Reed (Pallas), in terms of expression and Alison Moyet for the timbre. Guitarist, Simon Rogers, is another talented player who will delight anyone who hankers after the sort of divine, fluid and expressive solos Steve Rothery (Marillion) used to serve up. Ian Hodson, produces a nice range of keyboard sounds with a perfect balance between leading and underpinning depending on need. Indeed Rogers and Hodson both do an excellent job of accentuating and embellishing without loosing focus of the song at hand.
Unfortunately, drummer, Mark Hall, and bassist, Ralvin Thomas may no longer be part of the band, which would be a shame as both demonstrate some fine moves on this album.

In true neo-Prog style the tracks are lengthy, the shortest being ‘Pandora’ at 6 minutes, which is acoustically driven and features a great refrain that hooks into the brain with ease. In fact that is a feature as each song has melody in abundance. Every track has substance but like all the best Prog the longer tracks never outstay their welcome as they flow effortlessly, and every one of them is a highlight.

Opening track, ‘Between the Lines’ starts with a great riff, bass pedals and atmospheric keyboards, which spells class the moment you hear it. The quality never wavers from that point. Also Eden are a wonderful addition to the Prog family and had I come into possession of the album earlier it may well have featured in my ‘Best of’ list for 2006.
Review by Gary Marshall

Progarchives (full review HERE)

I was such a lucky one to listen to this album. I came across it occasionally, and it struck me with its beauty, emotions and crafty melodies. Imagine a mix of classic MARILLION, GENESIS, IQ, PENDRAGON and PINK FLOYD hooks like ballad codas, rocky moments (frequent double bass drum!), catchy and memorable verses and choruses with thought-provoking lyrics, touching guitar solos and excellent keyboard work (from “Cinema Show”-like solos to background Mellotron/Hammond/synth layers). ALSO EDEN are brave enough to release “About Time” on their own, without any label’s help. Unfortunately this can work against the band – they’re really that much good and professional to be recognized among Top Retro-Proggers of today like MAGENTA or FLOWER KINGS. They are very much sincere in what they’re doing, and if you would like to get something classy like “The Masquerade Overture” (PENDRAGON), “Mirror of Insanity” (RED SAND) or “Moonshine” (COLLAGE), look for nobody else but ALSO EDEN folks (and their CD!). Extremely recommended without hesitation; 4.5 stars and high hopes for future works to come. Thank you so much for the music!!!
Review by Igor Sidorenko (

SonicBond

Fans of IQ, Genesis, Pendragon and Arena are sure to enjoy the fresh, powerful sound of South West of England-based Also Eden.
Fronted by the powerfully-voiced Huw Lloyd-Jones, the band have built up a strong reputation built around some key live performances, most notably at the Summers End Prog Festivals in 2005 and 2006. Their debut album - About Time - has just been released and has been well worth the wait - a delicious selection of prog epics with soaring, Hackett-esque guitars, lush keyboards and poignant lyrics.

DPRP (full review HERE)

Over all, About Time is a promising debut album. The CD is well packaged and looks better than a lot of major label releases. If you remember the so-called prog-rock revival of the 1980s with fondness, then Also Eden have done a decent job of updating that sound and may well be worth checking out. Go on, take a listen to the samples on their website, you know you want to!
Conclusion: 6.5 out of 10

Simon Rogers - Guitars and Backing Vocals

Simon Rogers
Guitars and Backing Vocals