(AFM Records)

The truth is that most metal, rock, and punk albums are all going to talk about the same shit. It’s how they do it that makes the album and the band stand out. The newest release from Eden’s Curse, the melodic metal montage that is Cardinal, is a surprisingly enjoyable textbook of hard rocking guitars, classic metal bass lines, lyrics that most metalheads have tattooed on their foreheads, and fast paced guitar licks that scream for the need to be on the next Dragonforce album.

Cardinal is a solid effort from the progressive rock band, who took two years to put the songs on the album together. The time paid off, giving quality over quantity – however the beginning and end of the album are much stronger than the middle, which washes into itself in a sea of identical chord progressions and high pitched vocals that squash away the importance of the lyrics.

Start to finish, the album is radio-ready, itching to take to the airwaves for stations that aren’t looking to challenge their listeners but do want to entertain. Songs like Prophets of Doom and Unconditional are meant to catch the ear – and succeed in a positive way. However, there is such a thing as being too safe, too ready to appease, and rock fans expect just a little bit of risk taking.

I went into this album in a crappy mood and it helped to ease those tensions – which is partly what music is supposed to do. Cardinal is enjoyable and a must add to any metalhead’s list – especially if one is a prog metal type. But don’t be fooled by the album art if you’re a newbie to the band. Sadly, Eden’s Curse isn’t all female and ready to kick ass. It’s dudes, rocking out. But don’t worry, they do okay.

– Shauna Brock

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