The Eden House: Half Life

The sweet sound of British gloom.

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Standard bearers for the UK’s gothic rock underground, The Eden House struck morbid gold with 2011’s Timeflows EP and its dazzling role call of vocalists and contributors.

Their second full-length effort builds on their sumptuously atmospheric sound and also manages to cast its shadow across an ever more impressive range of moods and influences. Opener Bad Men is underpinned by a darkly funky cyclical riff, strongly redolent of Massive Attack’s Safe From Harm (and, by default, Billy Cobham’s Stratus), but it is the ethereal squall that surrounds it that makes it such a mesmerising entry point.

The shimmering Hunger harks back to the swirling sweetness of Cocteau Twins’ Blue Bell Knoll while retaining its grip on goth’s essential darkness. Ultimately, however, these are simply beautiful songs, delivered amid an enticing fog of reverb, rumbling bass and exquisite female vocals, with numerous Floyd-saluting guitar solos sealing their prog credentials.

Peaking with the simply stunning City Of Goodbyes, featuring the sublime voice of Anathema’s Lee Douglas, Half Life is an irresistible voyage through a world of waking dreams and tantalising shadows.