British symphonic metallers Winter In Eden allowed themselves nearly two and a half years to follow their well-received second album, Echoes Of Betrayal.
They’ve also called in the big guns for some backup. Court Of Conscience was produced by Within Temptation guitarist Ruud Jolie and mixed by that group’s guitar player, Stefan Helleblad. There are vocal cameos from Jolie’s Maiden England bandmate Damian Wilson (Threshold, Headspace) and, more incongruously, Jermain van der Bogt, who, despite a past collusion with Ayreon, is actually a rapper. The patronage of the biggest act in female-fronted symph-prog must be earned and sure enough, Winter In Eden fulfil their side of the bargain. In terms of delivery, Vicky Johnson isn’t as flash or ostentatious as Floor Jansen or Tarja Turunen, but her velvety tones are imbued with warmth, power and one heck of a range. The songs are ably constructed, and Jolie deserves kudos for balancing the staccato riffs of Samuel Cull and the keyboard colouring of Steve Johnson to create optimum melodic effect. An assured album that suggests that bigger and better things surely await Winter In Eden.