|Musical Style: Melodic Metal/Hard Rock||Produced By: Daniel Holter|
|Record Label: Z Rock||Country Of Origin: USA|
|Year Released: 2008||Artist Website:|
|Tracks: 10||Rating: 80%|
|Running Time: 48:41|
Scream In Eden got its start in 1991 when it placed the track “Till The End” on the Star Song compilation Brave New World. After shortening its name to Eden, the group independently released its full length debut, Fan The Flame, in the mid-nineties but a lack of promotion prevented the album from receiving the acclaim and notoriety it deserved. That all changed in 2003, however, when Fan The Flame was digitally re-mastered and re-issued by Retroactive Records with new cover artwork. Fast forward to 2008, which finds the band returning to its originally moniker, Scream In Eden, and re-issuing Fan The Flame on Z-Rock records under the new title Original Sin with, again, updated cover artwork.
On Original Sin, Scream In Eden plays eighties influenced melodic metal/hard rock in the vein of Dokken, Whitecross, Joshua, Tesla, Stryper, Impellitteri and Babylon AD. Just check out the huge chorus hooks characteristic to “It’s A Shame”, “Forgotten Child” “Need Somebody” “Show Me” and “Morning Star”, five standout numbers that in another era might have challenged for airplay on FM radio(if given the opportunity). “Fan The Flame” is a customary – and very classy - acoustic laced ballad and “Tomorrow’s Yesterday” a gritty blues-drenched rocker. Rounding things out is the straightforward hard rock of “Give Me A Reason” “Love Rolls On” and “Back To The Garden”.
Lead vocalist Joe Dokken (no relation) brings a ton of sass and swagger with a soaring lead vocal style that hearkens back to the metal and hard rock scene of the eighties. Think Stephen Patrick (Holy Soldier), Paul Stanley (Kiss), Dan Mariano (Rage Of Angels) and perhaps even John Schlitt (Petra). Guitar wise, the albums original packaging lists a guitar team of Mark Villareal and Curt Anderson but it is actually Rex Carroll of Whitecross fame who handles all guitar duties here. And he does not disappoint. “Need Somebody”, “Give Me A Reason” and “Morningstar”, for instance, allow him to exhibit his first rate abilities- there are many who rate Rex with the better guitarist to come out of the eighties.
While an all around thinness characterizes the production to Original Sin, it is important to keep in mind this is an independent release recorded using mid-eighties technology.
Joe Dokken begins "It's A Shame" with a scream that would turn the head of Michael Sweet (Stryper). However, it is Rex Carroll who takes center stage throughout the song, his edge-laden playing driving a tough as nails chorus (very solid hook here) in addition to an instrumental section of the extended variety.
"Forgotten Child" is by far the albums strongest track. Introduced to several seconds of searing lead guitar, the song settles down as the rhythm guitar takes a back seat in the mix for its first verse. As "Forgotten Child" picks up in pace, the rhythm guitar returns to buttress a chorus with one of those catchy hooks that will pull you in and refuse to let go. "Forgotten Child" talks about child abuse:
A child's cry echoes in the hallway
tears of fear streaming down his face
Now and then he wants to get away
Just escape to a quiet place
He thinks back to times of joy
All together like a family
He can't believe it's now destroyed
The snarling rhythm guitar that introduces “Give Me A Reason” soon quietly fades to a diminished place in the backdrop. The rhythm guitar returns to its place of prominence, however, as the song regains its momentum and moves on to a chorus carried at a steadfast mid-tempo pace. Rex stands out with a minute of the albums best lead work.
The acoustic guitar at the start of ballad "Fan The Flame" is soon joined by a trace of rhythm guitar, the two leading the way to a chorus standing out with its overriding commercial feel. A poignantly charged guitar solo complements the emotional scene.
A noteworthy melody characterizes “Need Somebody”. Set in motion by several seconds of open air guitar, the song flows ahead in fixed fashion prior to the attainment of an infectious chorus backed by a touch of vocal harmonies. Rex returns with more of his high-octane lead work.
A crisp rhythm guitar propels “Show Me” at a staunch mid-tempo clip, upholding its gritty verse portions and gripping chorus of the radio friendly variety. Give credit to Joe Dokken for his passionate lead vocal performance here. Rex stands out as well, adorning the scene with his bluesy soloing abilities. What we have here is a song talking about an individual looking for direction in life:
I spent my whole life searching for what was right
In front of my eyes
I was blinded by my pride
And the truth must have passed me by
Living in a lost world
Trying to figure life out
A catchy guitar riff accented by keyboards drives the groove-flavored "Morning Star" from front to back, a smoothly flowing and hook filled chorus shored up by backing vocals answering all the questions asked in the previous track:
The fool he walks by sight
But the wise man listens to advise
To live is Christ, to die is gain
Our King has won, death is slain
One of the albums finest moments takes place as "Morning Star" slows for a bass guitar solo followed by an add lib vocal performance from Joe Dokken: "Ooh yea, morning star, shine on morning star, keep shinin' on, shine on morning star." A brief but intense guitar solo follows. Brilliant.
Initiated by a riveting blend of rhythm and lead guitar, “Love Rolls On” decelerates to an acoustic guitar at the start of its first verse. After momentum is slowly regained, the rhythm guitar returns and leads the way to a chorus in which an energetic setting is put into place. Carroll delivers a flashy guitar solo before the song closes by continually repeating its chorus. "Love Rolls On" talks about the purpose Christ brings into our lives:
You are the One who takes my sin away
Take me from this place to another day
You are the One who came and died for me
Look to You, walk in victory
I feel Your power deep inside my soul
I might describe “Tomorrow’s Yesterday” as the albums least descript track. Far from bad, this one amalgamates a nice blend of rhythm guitar and organ but does not quite deliver the same energy and inspiration of the better material here. I occasionally pass on this one – again, a bit more bite and edge is needed – though I can see how others might get into it.
“Back To The Garden” can best be described as straightforward hard rock with its shouted chorus – I got to get back to the garden!/Back to the garden!/Spirit voices calling me/Back to the garden! - and unrelenting guitar driven momentum. A riveting stretch of lead guitar helps to close things out in very fine fashion.
Review by: Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: "Need Somebody" (5:10), "Show Me" (4:32), "Morning Star" (5:23), "Fan The Flame" (5:00), "Tomorrow’s Yesterday" (4:30), "Forgotten Child" (6:02), "Give Me A Reason" (4:57), "It’s A Shame" (3:32), "Back To The Garden" (3:54), "Love Rolls On" (5:35)
Joe Dokken – Lead Vocals
Rex Carroll - Guitars
Phil Medeira – Hammond B3
Mark Robertson – Bass
Brian Wirt – Drums