Gods Of Eden- From the End of Heaven (Own Label)

Is this a forbidden fruit worth tasting?
Release Date: 
16 Oct 2015 (All day)

There are pros and cons to being musically illiterate when reviewing an album. On the downside, you don’t have a musician’s ear, so you can’t pick up on all the little compositional tweaks that go into a piece of art. However, having a well-tuned layman’s ear critique an album is important as it gives a bit of perspective on the 90% of non-musucians any given band’s audience is going to consist of. In other words, I might not have a degree in music theory, but I know what I like.

The reason I mention all this is because I probably would enjoy Gods of Eden a lot more if I had that musical expertise. The Sydney 5-piece plays what you could tentatively call technical progressive metal and this includes everything that you would take this to mean; widdly guitar, mind-bending time signatures and an “everything plus the kitchen sink” approach to song-writing. Sure, it’s all well and good that your press release can boast orchestras, electronics and death metal as a part of your repertoire, but what I’m interested in is the songs

Well, one thing you could say that Gods of Eden is definitely not lacking is impact. From the opening few moments of The Overseer (Lunar Ascendency) complete with conspiracy laden sound bite, the band grabs your attention. The soaring cleans remind me of a variety of prog acts like Voyager and Dream Theater, but that’s not all; there are death metal sections and synths too. It’s all rather heady stuff and an impressive display of musicianship, which is all bolstered rather well by the modern but not too sterile production job by Jens Borgen

However, on repeated listens it kind of feels like the band has shown their entire hand in the first song. It’s not that things get formulaic from here on in, but there is a definite lack of surprise. Although there are lots of different ingredients thrown into the mix;  it all comes out tasting the same. That’s not to say there aren’t some curveballs thrown our way, there are some interesting atmospherics on Shiva’s Dream and the album peaks when the middle-eastern tinged instrumental Rub’ al Khali leads into Beyond The Persian Veil. Rather than any real innovations, what makes From the End of Heaven enjoyable is the simple fact that the songs are good. 

Thankfully, Gods of Eden manages to resist the temptation of prolonged navel gazing that afflicts so many prog bands the world over. At a deft 41 minutes long, the band shows a remarkable sense of pacing. The album goes on just long enough to leave you wanting more, which is an absolute boon in the prog world.

Is From The End of Heaven a groundbreaking masterpiece? No, it isn’t. But at the end of the day it manages to impress with musicality and hooks. If you’re a prog fan and want something a bit more immediate than the latest 80 minute conceptual odyssey, I suggest you give this a shot.