Leon : Images Of Eden is a band from Phoenix, Arizona that has been going at it since 1999. Under the leadership of Gordon Tittsworth three albums were released under this band’s name and now a fourth is out, 'Soulrise'. My former colleague Winston reviewed the previous two album of the band and was enthusiastic about both of them, ‘Sunlight Of The Spirit’ received a score of 81/100, and ‘Rebuilding The Ruins’ scored 75/100, but he was also a bit critical on the vocals of Tittsworth, who tends to sing everything full throttle. Now I was very surprised to see these scores after listening to 'Soulrise', the new album of the band. Is this a classic case of ‘matter of opinion’, or did the band just deliver a less good album?
After briefly listening to the two older albums I can say that it’s probably a bit of both, allow me to explain. With respect to the older work, it seems as if Images Of Eden has gone a bit more towards the hard rock / heavy metal corner and uses les influences from progressive rock/metal. The result is that all songs are too similar. This is mainly due to two things. On the one hand the lack of lead guitars: all guitars consist of power chords with few interesting rhythms, and on the other hand the vocals of Tittsworth, which I already found unpleasant to listen to after the very first few notes. I’m absolutely not saying that Tittsworth can’t sing, but his voice just doesn’t sound nice to me at all, and as former colleague Winston said before, everything is sung with the same intensity. Because of this you miss some dynamics in the vocals and music, everything sounds the same and is even more reinforced by the fact that he also uses a lot of simple harmonies to presumably bring in a bit more dynamics. Unfortunately this makes it sound even more the same. Instrumentally it might be okay but I far from impressed. The drums are unnecessarily busy, the guitars are pretty colorless, and I did not even notice at first that there were keyboards on the album. To be honest, I had a hard time listen to this record in full. Just compare it with a plate of rice and dry chicken, it may not be disgusting but you can’t really say that you like it.
Maybe the hard rock and heavy metal enthusiasts totally disagree with my point of view, as stated earlier, opinions can be very different. And that’s okay. But I would certainly dare to say that there are other bands in this genre that are just better. Maybe if Images Of Eden would enlist a fantastic singer the music would be more enjoyable, but unfortunately I am now so thrown off by the vocals that it was really a challenge for me to listen to the whole CD. Not a product from Eden I’m afraid.