The Eden House @ O2 Islington Academy

8th February 2014, Review by Ben Spencer

After wrapping up an interview with four members of tonight’s head liners it was time to race back upstairs to catch what I could of Red Sun Revival.

the eden house
After entering a gradually filling out venue, the symphonic Goth rock band played through their set to a enraptured crowd, with a strong use of melody and tight sounding bass grooves. Vocally, their set remained consistent with dark written lyrics and tormented clean vocals to top things off, the layers of keys and violin kept their music sounding refreshing and enticing.

‘Miracles’ played out with clean guitar strumming and an impressive vocal range that harks back to the early post punk era, reminding the room of just how formidable the genre can be.

Going out in style their last song off their upcoming EP breezed through with ease and with a violin led crescendo the track scaled its way into a cathartic closure that had the room nodding along in approval. These guys were a great opening act that definitely set the tone for tonight’s performance. Full of atmosphere and impressive guitar solos littered throughout, they were a band whose well harnessed sound is enough to make any fan of the genre become reeled into their fan base and check out their music.

Next up, And Also the Trees take to the stage to a well rounded applause from the venue’s onlookers as they open with the delicate sounding ’Rift Ridge’. The eerie vocals and melodic guitars sweep through the opening moments as the lights dim down to the tension filled opener.

‘Maps In Her Wrists & Arms’ slides in with a similar emphasis towards the fragile sounding ambience as the vocals take a more urgent stance with clean guitars and slow bass lines wading their way through.

The progressive undertones of this band make it easy to understand why they are so highly revered with the harmonica touches in ’Hunter Not the Hunted’ and the Eastern guitar influence leaking into ’Only’, a track so full of density it plays out to an all consuming standard to the mesmerized crowd.

The dark sounding ‘Angel, Devil, Man & Beast’ was received as one of the venues favourites with sombre sounding guitars and melancholy vocals, the drums brushed by with intensity keeping the momentum running high.

After returning for an encore, ‘Virus Meadow’ topped their set off on a high note with cathartic singing, slightly heavier guitars and consistent drum work as the crowd sang the lyrics back as the vocalist ascends into a more angst ridden territory towards the tracks climactic departure.

What was great about And Also the Trees is their ability to hold a crowd, their music isn’t one that particularly shifts into any direction but one that holds you suspended into their murky imagery and keep your interest throughout to a hypnotic standard. Impressive work that requires your time and dedication.
Finally, tonight’s head liners The Eden House take to the stage as the crowded room cheered to the assembled band members as they unravelled with the electronic layering of ‘Dark Half’ with its foreboding drums and sensual female fronted vocals, it served as an interesting prelude to their set.

Following up with their single release ‘Neversea’ the drums slam in instantly with the guitars, giving the track a greater sense of immediacy. The carefully laced guitars strum through with violinist adding an extra layer before the lead guitar wades into the final moments.

‘All My Love’ unfolds with ghost like vocals and tight sounding guitars as the drums set a downbeat tonality full of weight and remorse. Heavily textured and rich in its classical dynamics, it easily stood out as one of the band’s strongest offerings.

Pulling some of their earlier material out of the bag ‘Indifference’ shows just how formidable the band’s sound is as the sweeping soundscapes reveal no sign of letting up as the vocals coarse with delicate tones, with the guitars mirroring the reflexive vibe throughout.

Meanwhile, the tortured narrative of ’Hunger’ with its infectious sounding groove and the heavily distorted guitars of ’Sin’ kept the band’s sound vibrant and full of enough range to keep the venue engaged.

Closing off with ’To Believe In Something’ the crashing drums and bass solos pump away with a prominent sounding lead giving the track a faster pace and a more distinctive sounding aura.

Tonight was a great show which saw a procession of bands whose sound is well refined and a performance that reminds you of just how alluring the Goth rock scene truly is. Full of meticulously crafted music and poetic narratives, the show is one that will no doubt be remembered by those gathered tonight for this one off show.

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