By Andrew Bansal
Los Angeles based metal quartet Edge Of Paradise was formed in 2011 but has already gained attention, recognition and respect in the LA hard rock and heavy metal community through their two full-length albums ‘Mask’ (2011) and ‘Immortal Waltz’ (2015) as well as live performances. While they embarked on several adventures into unchartered territories far and beyond LA in the last year or two, they were also hard at work on new music, and the result is now in front us, in the band’s first EP and third release, ‘Alive’.
Emerging bands are often faced with budget limitations when it comes to investing in studio time, personnel and equipment to record albums of presentable quality, and it’s often a better move to aim for an EP release rather than wait indefinitely to be able to record a full-length. Edge Of Paradise have done exactly that with their new release, and because they focussed on just five songs spanning 18 minutes, they left no stone unturned in making them the best possible representation of the band’s collective musical repertoire in the year 2017. They recruited some of the industry’s heaviest hitters to assist them in creating the product that is now ‘Alive’, as Chuck Johnson is the producer on this one, and the EP has been mixed by Mike Plotnikoff, Michael Wagener and Jay Ruston.
Always citing the likes of Black Sabbath and Ronnie James Dio as their primary influences and very much wearing them on their sleeves and hearts, Edge Of Paradise has its roots in classic heavy metal, but has increasingly infused modern, industrial elements, and this is far more evident and dominant on the ‘Alive’ EP than past releases. The title track opens the five-song set and puts forth a clear indicator of the band’s newfound modern metal sound, a composition that retains the dark, melodic undertones of Edge Of Paradise’s past work but presents them with a whole new approach and at just the perfect tempo to keep things lively, yet allow all sonic layers to breathe.
The title song, as well as the closing tune ‘Shade of Crazy’, have been out in public for a good while in the form of music videos and have rightly represented the EP pre-release, but the real gems lie hidden, as the songs ‘Dust to Dust’ and ‘Humanoid’ truly showcase the excellent manner in which the band has transitioned to modern metal, while the ballad-like ‘Mystery’ reiterates that the band is full of pure musical talent which transcends beyond any genre preferences and can be appreciated and enjoyed by all music lovers.
Vocalist Margarita Monet expresses herself fully on these five tracks and the expertise with which she brings them to life is there to be heard and felt. It is almost hard to believe that the same girl singing perfect renditions of Black Sabbath and Dio songs can do equal justice to songs so vastly different. That being said, her band mates are not to be undermined, as guitarist Dave Bates, bassist Nick Ericson and drummer John Chominsky also prove themselves as the seasoned musicians they are through the ‘Alive EP’. Lineup stability is indispensably crucial for the success of any band, and in these four members, Edge Of Paradise have hit the jackpot.
And with the kind of names mentioned earlier, it almost goes without saying that the production and mixing on the EP is absolutely flawless and enhances the impact of the band’s musicianship without overpowering or watering down the output one bit.
Overall, Edge Of Paradise’s ‘Alive’ is the kind of EP that will not only satiate modern metal fans but also has the power to compel metal purists to find themselves enjoying not-so-traditional metal, for a change. ‘Alive’ ends abruptly and all too soon, but leaves you wanting much more. On the strength of this stellar EP, Edge Of Paradise is alive, and well.
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Release Date: March 10th 2017
1. Alive (3:08)
2. Dust to Dust (3:39)
3. Humanoid (3:28)
4. Mystery (4:38)
5. Shade of Crazy (3:18)
Total Duration: 18:11