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Exit Eden – 'Femmes Fatales' Album Review


Tracklist:

1. Femme Fatale

2. It's A Sin (PET SHOP BOYS cover)

3. Run! (feat. Marko Hietala)

4. Separate Ways (JOURNEY cover)

5. Buried In The Past

6. Désenchantée (MYLÈNE FARMER cover)

7. Dying In My Dreams

8. Poison (ALICE COOPER cover)

9. Alone (HEART cover)

10. Hold Back Your Fear

11. Kayleigh (MARILION cover)

12. Elysium

I haven’t heard Exit Eden’s first album so I came to this, their second album, with no preconceived ideas of what to expect. I did notice before listening that it contained a number of covers, some of which really intrigued me and two of which I will admit caused me some concern as to whether Exit Eden could pull it off.


The band themselves could be classed as a supergroup, having been drawn from three different bands, who ply their own blend of symphonic metal, a genre I haven’t listened a lot to so I was very intrigued by what this album would sound like.


All three members share vocal duties which makes for some interesting moments as you wonder who is going to lead on each song, I bet other bands wish they had this many great vocalists!


Opening song, and title track, 'Femme Fatale' is a great example of what the band are all about, guitars turned up, a driving rhythm section but most importantly the vocals, there is an almost operatic quality to many of the songs which combines with a clearly cinematic understanding of music all of which makes you think this would be a great band to see live.


The second song is one of those that I was concerned about, of which more in a minute, there are a total of six covers on this album (the rest of the album is original material but of such high quality there’s no discernible difference), at least three of which I would argue should have a place in the best songs of the 80’s. Clearly Exit Eden have faith in their own abilities, should they?


This first cover is probably one of the best pop songs of the 1980’s, a perfect mix of dance energy and theatre that was rightly a number one at the time and one which one of its writers has said is, at its heart, a heavy metal record, 'It’s A Sin'. It was at this point I realised I was going to enjoy this album. Pet Shop Boys purist might hate it but I think Neil Tennant would enjoy this cover. Exit Eden have made it sufficiently their own song to make it work. I found myself enjoying it which surprised me as I expected it to be the song that sunk this album as a Five.


There are a some other covers such as 'Alone', 'Poison' and 'Separate Ways' that are probably truer to their originals but one thing I would say, if you’re having any doubts about whether this band can sing, is my other half thought the 'Alone' cover could have been Heart themselves, a huge compliment!


The original songs sound like they could have been released anytime in the last 40 years, which is also a compliment as they are that good, they are incredibly well written, melodic, theatrical songs that should grace any stage they are played on!


The other cover that concerned me was 'Kayleigh', this was a song that I loved when it first came out (like 'Alone' also but I could see how that would work). My initial reaction on first listen was it didn’t work for me, it was the one time on this album that I questioned its five status, however, repeated listens have convinced me while it’s different and they have perhaps removed some of the sense of longing and pathos, they have added a slightly harder edge to it that makes you identify less with the singer and more with 'Kayleigh'. Personally it’s grown on me and while it will never replace the original in my listening it’s actually a really good, and unique, cover.


It’s time to answer my earlier question, should Exit Eden have faith in their own abilities? The answer is an emphatic yes.


All in all my only question is when Exit Eden are planning to tour the UK, I think they could be tremendous live. Can I go please?

Website - exit-eden.com



Review - Iain McClay

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