Band Website: www.edensongtheband.com
Release Date: 2008
Some people thrive on the creative energy of a band framework…others have such a clear vision of their craft they prefer the lead role and bring in others to help accomplish the task. Such is the case with Edensong, a project very much masterminded by James Byron Schoen. He wrote, and arranged the eight tracks on The Fruit Fallen. In the process he’s called upon an extensive cast of eighteen others performing all sorts of instrumental and vocals to bring his vision to fruition.
The Fruit Fallen is without question influenced by the classic progressive rock style. The songs are all on the long-ish side ranging anywhere from five to ten minutes. The last track while listed as over twenty-minutes really is one song that is ten-minutes and then a hidden track that appears after three minutes of silence. One of Schoen’s previous band efforts was the prog-metal outfit Echoes of Eden but there are very few moments on this disc where that heavy guitar shows up. For the most part the emphasis tends to be on acoustic sounds; guitars, violins, flutes, pianos, cellos, that sort of thing. The heavier electric guitars or keyboards tend to make their appearance more for emphasis. This provides an exciting contrast to the music. Keep in mind these are longer compositions and each of them goes through many changes in dynamics and textures; loud, grand and intense one moment and soft, introspective and chamber-styled the next. There is an overall plaintive or even mournful tone to the songs here, a feeling that comes mostly from the vocals, flutes and especially the violin. It’s the kind of music that reminds me of bands like Discipline, that same kind of minor-melancholy feel. Each composition seems to have its share of ringing acoustic guitars and flutes which bring to mind early Genesis. The flutes and violin along with the acoustic guitars make for a strong folk-feel. This however is balanced in other spots with more aggressive vocals, guitars and organ making for an interesting musical Yin and Yang.
Schoen is a man with tons of ideas and with Edensong I think he’s gone in the right direction bringing in others to help him actualize his musical vision. The music on The Fruit Fallen is though-provoking and shows a level of reserved-complexity that I’ve not seen very often. The balance between acoustic and electric is really well thought-out and the result is something I think will appeal to many fans of symphonic progressive rock old and new.