Ernest Hemingway: way more metal than Metallica.
So. Bands break up. It sucks, but that’s the way of things. For most of them, the reason is pure and simple; on some level, they suck. Whether it’s only a little, or harder than a $20 hooker, it doesn’t matter; the world doesn’t lose a whole bunch. The members go on with their lives, and probably go on to make a greater impact in other areas of society. Like mowing my lawn.
Then there are bands that are forced into submission for other reasons: money, conflict – both personal and artistic – or sometimes the fanbase only comes after they’re long gone.
This is a chronicle of those bands. Most you will not have heard of, for the very reason that they’re not even around to promote themselves any more. But trust me, they are bands that you really really should have heard of.
So, without any further ado: ding-fucking-dong, it’s Eden Maine.
I mentioned in my review of Kvelertak‘s debut album that it was produced by Converge‘s guitarist Kurt Ballou. This bit of information stuck out to me like a diseased winky for two reasons.
Reason the first: Kurt Ballou is the motherfucking man.
Reason the second: this isn’t the first producerly effort of his that I’ve loved.
Back in 2002 he cast his golden dingus over an EP by primo UK hardcore act Eden Maine. That EP was released forthence and subsequently became known as The Treachery Pact.
Whilst not the record I’m here to talk about, I feel it’s worth mentioning, as it’s pretty awesome too. Cold Light is a brilliant track, and Ephemera is just fucking furious. Check it out after the main event – it’s like a delicious dessert after the meaty main.
That meaty slab of main-course meat is known to many as To You The First Star, and to others as “what the sweet son of Dio was that?” The title sounds pretty emo I know, but trust me, it’s far from it. There’s a song called Hail Satan. There’s one about some dead chick’s body getting left on a cold hillside. There’s an old dude with no face. Gnarly.
02. Hail Satan
03. I Am What You Are
04. More Fireflies For The Candlelight
05. The Hunter and the Hunted
06. Do Not Move A Muscle, Do Not Breathe A Word
08. Murder Was Her Name
10. The Acidic Taste of Betrayal
11. The Atheist Light
Now, the more observant of you lot may notice a little gem hiding in there. Go on, I’ll give you a minute…
Yep, the last track; my long-time internet pseudonym. A word no mortal man can pronounce (given the verbal evidence presented so far), let alone give you the definition of. Anyway, it should give you a good idea of how important this band are to me.
As it is with many accidental musical discoveries, I came across Eden Maine through Myspace. Their player had but one song, and their page simply bore the phrase “we can because we’re motherfuckin Eden Maine”. The song was The Hunter and the Hunted, and whilst not a particularly flashy song by any stretch, it hit just the right spot. I like me a good song that builds, and this tune is just that. It’s even one of the more sedate tracks, sitting between the positively psychotic More Fireflies For the Candlelight and the almost black metal-like riffs of Do Not Move A Muscle, Do Not Breathe A Word.
Vocalist Adam Symonds has a scream like a werewolf getting buggered by a razor blade, and it is this element that gives Eden Maine their intensity for me. His lyrics are top form too, and I’m not ashamed to admit that one or two have been the inspiration for my greatest work of fiction. And that’s some fucking awesome stuff, I shit you not.
I was completely in love with the drumming, too. Especially for one so new to heavy music, I was enthralled by Kieran Iles’ rhythmic chops. Just watch:
Despite the acclaim heaped on this fantastic record, the band collapsed in on themselves in late 2005. A combination of foreign touring pressures and musical differences, however amicable, forced Eden Maine into that unholiest of unholy regions: the indefinite hiatus. All members are currently pursuing other endeavours: most successfully the guitarists, in pseudo-post-metal outfit *shels.
They promised that, if they ever reunited, they would never again play anything written before. Whilst no doubt a saving grace for themselves, it fucking sucks for the rest of us. In the meantime, I can only spread the word, in the hopes that a large enough fanbase will urge them to one day grace our ears again.
If any of this sounds good to you, go and check out their still-active Myspace page, on which you’ll find a heap of their tracks, including most of the ones I mentioned above, plus an unreleased gem.
I’ll leave you with the one video they ever made, for the track Cold Light from The Treachery Pact. Looks like they had a lot of fun.