Female-fronted Power Metal bands seem to automatically make me think of Nightwish - and for good reason. The vast majority of them sound like a variation on the Nightwish theme. Edenbridge is like a more symphonic version, mixing soaring female vocals with orchestral arrangements, while still retaining much of Power Metal’s conventions. In terms of vocal performance, Sabine Edelsbacher is top notch. Her delivery is on-point and shows a surprisingly broad range. If it came down to it, she can match power and range with the best in the scene. What brings The Bonding down isn’t the singing, though. It’s the music. The symphonic keyboards that could have made this LP powerful and bombastic are buried behind the guitars, which are relegated to “barely there” status most of the time. The riffs are bland and lacking in punch. For a symphonic band, they were remarkably passive in their delivery, which effectively neutered the music’s impact. Nothing on here reached out and grabbed me by the throat and commanded my attention. There were occasional flashes of greatness, but as a whole, the overall lack of enthusiasm pulled this down.
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