@planetmosh reviews Live with the Curse by .@edenscurse
A while back I reviewed a “live” album that sounded like it was recorded in a pub in the middle of nowhere on a wet Tuesday, attended by one man and his dog. It was awful. If you’re going to produce a live album there are rules. First, the sound has to be good, there’s no point if it isn’t studio quality. Second, and this is vital, if you are recording an album in front of a live audience, the sound of that audience must make it onto the album. If you can’t hear them cheering, clapping, singing along you’d have been as well staying in the studio. After the disappointment of the aforementioned review, I was keeping everything crossed that Live With the Curse would reflect the electric atmosphere at Glasgow’s Classic Grand on that night back in November. You see, I know the crowd was rocking that night, and I know the band sounded great, because I was there.
So, I sat down today to listen to the album, hoping against hope that Eden’s Curse had got it right. Man have they ever got it right. I defy anyone to listen to this without feeling like they were actually there. Mixed and mastered by Dennis Ward, who has worked with the band throughout their career, every bit of the live experience is included, from their onstage introduction by Tom Russell to the little chats with the crowd and the unholy racket the crowd made at every opportunity.
Tom Russell, Godfather of Rock is a legend in these parts, he’s been presenting rock radio for longer than I’ve been alive (sorry Tom!) and having him announce you is quite an honour. From that point on this album is relentless. Nikola’s vocal never misses a note, Thorsten plays guitar like a man possessed and Paul, John and Steve bring it all together into something pretty close to perfection. Nikola does a brilliant job of bringing the crowd into the show as well, introducing songs, explaining what they’re about and getting some crowd participation going. It all adds to the atmosphere, which as I’ve already said is crucial to a live album.
Highlights for me include opening track Symphony of Sin, which sets out the bands intentions from the very beginning. This gig, this album is going to break you. The pace and energy is non stop, as Nikola roars at the crowd and they roar back. Covering tracks from all four Eden’s Curse albums the band powers through a set list which translates to a two disc album of over 100 minutes. It’s long, but it never drags, as the energy refuses to drop. Towards the end of disc one look out for an extended guitar solo from Thorsten. Now, I don’t play guitar, but I know enough to know that this man is one of the best guitar players you will see. He rarely lifts his head, lost in the music but he plays as if he has two pairs of hands. One of my favourite things about Eden’s Curse is the storytelling in each song, from Masquerade Ball to Rock Bottom. It means that the songs improve with each listen, as you move from listening to the tune to actually taking in the lyrics. I have to also mention my personal favourite Eden’s Curse track Evil and Divine. I don’t know why I love it, I just do. And that’s what it’s all about.
As final track Angels and Demons ends the crowd begin to chant, “Eden’s Curse, Eden’s Curse, Eden’s Curse,” and I sit here straining my ears because if I just listen hard enough I might hear myself. I cheered them that night, and I’ll be cheering this album from the rooftops. It’s out on Friday, March 13th and I will personally Curse any of you who don’t buy it!
Symphony of Sin
Break the Silence
Just Like Judas
Fallen from Grace
Time to Breathe
Devil in Disguise
Wings to Fly
No Holy Man
Evil and Divine
Angels and Demons