This band is 100 per cent set up around the operatic vocal talents of Vicky Johnson. This is not a criticism, per se. Yes, there are a couple of great solos (from guitarist Sam Cull and keysman Steve Johnson), and while the general music style is far from avant-garde, it isn’t generic. But when you have a bona fide talent like Ms Johnson fronting your band, you play to your strengths.
Opener For The Few tinkles into full string-laden symphony in next to no time, but ultimately it’s the Amy Lee-esque singer that lifts this song. This is to be a common theme: she rightly dominates the album from first to last.
Take the slightly more gothic tones of Suffer In Silence, where her throaty howl rises easily above the sharp strings and non-descript guitars and The Awakening Chapter III – Regret, where the chimed pianos disappear as soon as she arrives. average album dragged above par by a stunning vocalist.
With better songwriting and musical execution, Winter In Eden could have a future in the symphonic metal world, but until then you wonder if they’ve got enough to rise to the level of the likes of Nightwish and Within Temptation.