Three years ago, Gods of Eden released their self-titled EP on Bandcamp. Sure, they were a band that almost no one had heard of before, but that EP spoke for itself, the band didn’t need any pedigree. The Australian five-piece’s music is rather unconventional, so fitting any label to it would be a bit contrived, but “epic technical progressive metal” seems to be about the best one could do.
Perhaps that opening bit doesn’t do them enough justice. They sound unlike anything else. They blend playing worthy of technical death metal, powerful clean singing similar to The Ocean and some screaming , riffs and leads that disregard time signature limitations and have a distinct sound, and an array of synths, while making this all extremely melodic and memorable. While they’re not entirely similar to A Sense Of Gravity, Gods of Eden also take an unprecedented step forward to the future of progressive metal with a unique technical sound like them. From the End of Heaven is their debut album, and, as one can deduce from this introduction, it’s pretty incredible.
It’s not really an exaggeration to say that no one else sounds like Gods of Eden. Sure, they have some elements that are used by other bands, but the specific way they’re blended and the overall picture they paint is very distinctive. There are two key components to why this is so. First of all, the melodic texture they employ. While a lot of their songs have a Middle-Eastern-influenced feel, the way they employ those influences is rather off-kilter. Their riffing is very upbeat and mixes oriental sounds with an epic flair resembling film scores. The combination results in an aural make-up that is familiar enough to appreciate easily, yet completely fresh-sounding. The second part of their uniqueness is their expertise in rhythmic irreverence. Usually it’s rather easy to keep track of time signatures in music, as they’re either used with little variation or very distinct variations. This is not the case with Gods of Eden. Their riffing is like run-on sentences; not ending a phrase when you’d expect it to; flowing into the next one with grace and forming an overall meaning through breaking conventions on timing and spacing in expression. Simply put, it’s hard to predict when a lick will end, and this always keeps the listener on edge and engaged. These two aspects, combined, make listening to From The End of Heaven not just incredibly enjoyable but also very stimulating.
That’s a rather technical explanation of what Gods of Eden sound like, but what does the music do on a deeper level? Well, the fact that the music is quite upbeat and constantly flowing and full of uplifting synths means that this album is always incredibly energizing to listen to. There’s a level of smoothness to the songwriting that can’t easily be quantified. It’s as if Gods of Eden have been doing this for decades and have completely figured out their sound and are just blazing through quality song after song.
This isn’t to say they don’t make any missteps, as there are few complaints that can be leveled against this album, but in the grander scheme of things, they don’t really matter. What are those complaints? Well, there is really only one complaint that manifests through several minor issues. The complaint is the amount of content on the album. While it is true that every song is jam-packed with quality moments, the album is only 41 minutes long, and there are some build-up/interlude moments that eat some of that time as well. Coupled with that, there’s also an issue that is more based on expectations caused by their EP. Since the EP was shorter and only contained 4 songs that are full-blast crazy technical material; that creates an expectation for the album, but obviously it’s not easy (or even necessary) to maintain that level of intensity over a full record. Indeed, since the songs kind of flow together and have an overarching development, this means some songs are slower than the others, more intent on developing mood and setting up for later moments. Now, this isn’t really a slight against the album, it works better as a complete product this way, and the varied pacing gives it a more dynamic feel, but it’s also a step down from the EP in terms of how over the top it was. In the end, this is a change that one can easily get accustomed to over a few listens, and the album ends up being stronger for it.
In the end, From the End of Heaven is an incredible album. It’s an unprecedented leap forward for the genre of progressive metal, being extremely memorable, unique and quite technical. Their style of playing is ridiculously fresh, and they compliment their technical prowess with creative songwriting to create something truly special. This album is definitely a must-listen for fans of progressive metal.
Gods of Eden’s From The End Of Heaven gets…