Album Review: Eden Shadow – Phases

As I was searching through the Twitterverse, I stumbled across this next band. After listening to their album, I could not help but playing it on the car ride to work, at work, at home, and while falling asleep. The band Eden Shadow has become part of my daily routine, and I am thankful for their wonderful music.

Making their home in the UK, Eden Shadow consists of Ryan Elliot on guitars/vocals/keys, Alex Broben on bass/synths, and Tom Burgess on drums/percussion/synths. With all members of the band born in 1992, I am easily amazed at the versatility and range of sound they create at such a young age. It is hard to narrow Eden Shadow to just one genre of rock, but they can be easily classified in progressive rock. The number of influences each member states on their website is phenomenal, consisting of some of the greatest musicians in rock history. The crazy thing is that not only are Eden Shadow able to recreate the sound of their influences, but are also able to create such a unique and original sound at the same time. Their latest album “Phases” is a great example of a combination of rock’s greatest resources, with a unique sound.

The percussion section of each song flows so well with the overall progressive vibe of the album. It is able to groove with the other instruments, but it also able to shine in the spotlight in different sections of the album. Songs like “Imagination” and “Restlessness” contain the heaviest drum fills and beats, reminiscent of such influences like Marco Minnemann, Gavin Harrison, and Neil Peart. The crash of the cymbals thunders throughout the songs, generating those classic head-bobbing moments. Burgess nails each song with his precision, and is a driving force on this album.

Eden Shadow - Phases
Photo by Eden Shadow

The bass guitar is simply fantastic in this album. Broben provides some memorable moments in this album, especially in the songs “Hallucinogen” and “Hope You’re Happy.” I can easily hear a mix of Colin Edwin from Porcupine Tree, Johnny April from Staind, and Tony Levin in his style of play. Without taking away from the other members, Broben produces some of the greatest bass tracks I’ve heard in some time. It is easily present in each song, unlike many rock bands that downplay the instrument entirely. I love the presence of the bass guitar in “Phases,” as it adds that missing element that is present in many albums nowadays.

I also have to give a tip of the hat to the synths and keyboards in this album. Without taking away from the band, the presence of synths helps guide each song and acts as a change of pace during intro and bridge sections. Most noticeably heard in the song “The Stars Unfold,” it is the perfect backing to each instrument, from the groovy drums, to the hard hitting bass sections, to the guitar solo near the end of the song. Reminding me of the sections in the songs “Stop Swimming” and “Collapse The Light Into Earth” from Porcupine Tree, the synths and keys are absolutely necessary to the album, and without it would result in an entirely different album.

Playing guitar and singing in this album, Elliot shines in several songs. His voice is a mix between Maynard James-Keenan of Tool, Peter Gabriel of Genesis, and Jon Courtney from Pure Reason Revolution, putting him in some great company. I love his vocals in the songs “Hope You’re Happy” and “First Phase,” showing great moments of range and quality. His overall guitar playing is fantastic as well, adding to his greatness. Using different styles of play, he genre-jumps  from bluesy guitar in “First Phase,” to hard rock in “Hallucinogen,” to classic rock sound in “Imagination.” The excellence of his abilities should be heard by everyone who listens to rock music.

My favorite song on this album happens to be the first song I heard from them, being their song “Elgon.” It is a great mix of many genres all packed into one song, containing highlights of greatness from each member of the band. It has clean guitar in the beginning of the song, time signature changes throughout the song, heavy riffs mixed with hard drum beats, and absolutely astounding singing that always grabs my attention. The lyrics has such great depth and meaning, causing myself to even ponder and think about my own life. I love the lyrics within this song’s bridge:

“You can think, You can feel / Surpass that suppression, / All those superficial obsessions, / You can think, You can feel, / Seek and you will find, / Ask and you shall receive, / The door will be opened up to you.” (source)

Eden Shadow - Phases
Photo by Eden Shadow

“Phases” is absolutely fantastic. I cannot praise this album enough for its creativity. For fans of their influences, ranging from bands like Porcupine Tree, Tool, Pure Reason Revolution, Genesis, Rush, Pink Floyd, and Dream Theater, I urge you to listen to this album. It is a beautiful piece of art that should be heard by all. I look forward to their future plans, and am eager to listen to any future productions they release. Please support the band Eden Shadow, and their newest album “Phases.” It can be found here, or on iTunes.

Enjoy a complimentary listen of “Phases” from Bandcamp below:


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