Durham rockers Edenthorn‘s mission is simple yet effective. “Our main aim is to make sure that our listeners never get bored,” bassist and backing vocalist Faiba Gardner tells us, and they achieve it in style with second album Exist, which is self-released on Friday (20 April).
As Faiba explains: “There is nothing worse than listening to an album where every single song sounds like the song before. We don’t like to stick to musical trends, we just like to write good honest music from the heart. We strive to keep the listener entertained, and to take them on a journey with us through our music.”
The quartet of two sets of siblings, completed by vocalist Kyle and drummer Mark Tague and Faiba’s brother Dylan Gardner, first formed around five years ago, realised they loved making music together and have grown from there, honing a sound that Faiba describes to us as “raw, honest and never boring.”
Exist opens up with a cool little guitar riff in the intro to Out Of The Dark, which kicks into overdrive with big driving drums then drops into a singalong verse. A big cry of “Light the flame inside my heart” brings in a catchy chorus “If I had only known, That all I needed was a spark, A fire came to show, A way out of the dark.” It immediately jumps into a verse with a flittering guitar lick in the background, then the second chorus ends with a light guitar lick alongside repeats “Out of the dark, There’s a darkness in all of our hearts” then gives way to a final blast of the chorus, which feeds into a big blast of guitars to close.
Heart’s Still Beating begins at a low tempo but soon bursts into life with energetic, powerful vocals through the choruses. The second chorus leads into a drawn-out, more lively bridge with cool mini guitar solos flying in and out, then pauses for breath before a final chorus. Check it out in the video below:
Next, Power opens up with a cool lingering guitar riff which continues over bursts of guitar chords, then flows into a cool, laid-back opening verse that builds up to a powerful chorus dominated by Kyle’s impressive vocals. The second chorus flies straight into an awesome guitar solo that soon teams up with Kyle’s cried vocals for a really cool ending to the track.
They switch things up in the intro to Mind Like A Mindfield with chugging palm-muted guitars under Kyle’s vocals, then suddenly flying into a fast-paced romp of darting guitars and powerful rocky vocals. The stabby guitar chords continue into another verse, driven forward by pounding drums, and into a chorus of drawn-out vocals “I will defeat it, I can beat it, In the end I will win, I can break it, I’ll erase it, In the end I will win.” A big wah solo then kicks in over funky supporting chords, drops back into the palm-muted chords and more chilled out vocals before the pace picks up once more with a big chorus.
And there’s a more classic rock feel to the intro guitars to Live In The Now, which drop into a verse supported by palm-muted guitars and vocals that become increasingly intense and ends on a big smash of the funky intro guitars. A big high-pitched guitar creeps in and continues through a chorus of high, drawn-out vocals, which gave way to an equally drawn-out guitar solo.
The guitar riff that introduces The Noise In My Head is disgustingly funky, with low-tuned bursts of palm-muted notes then stabby high notes. A bluesy opening verse takes over, with the funky riff in support, then more powerful vocals “Life must go on, So much is wrong, But I don’t care, I hear the war, Outside my door, But I’m not scared, I like the noise that’s inside my head, Drowns out the sound of fear and dread.” A second repeat of it is followed by cool drawn-out guitars that are soon joined by cries of “Turn off the sound in my head, Wait for the madness to end” then the intro riff returns to usher in the last two lines of the chorus that bring the track to an end.
That’s followed by the equally funky The Unknown, with a cool fast-paced guitar riff opening it up. Light, flickering guitars support Kyle’s laid back vocals, then the lines “I see no sense in stressing, No need to worry now, Each day we lives a blessing, We’ll die but who gets out” give way to a more powerful chorus with call and answer between Kyle and Dylan’s darting guitar riffs. The second chorus is followed by repeating bursts of guitar that continue into a big powerful outro.
There’s a more laid-back intro to Black Cloud, with a cool guitar lick that drops into the opening verse, which showcases the band’s enjoyable songwriting style, with lyrics like “I’m easy to please, As calm as the breeze, Through the trees.”
And the band are possibly at their most peaceful and anthemic on Where Did You Go, which starts off slowly and gradually builds up to a verse dominated by Kyle’s vocals with light repeating guitar in support. That flows into a chorus of the big vocals “So we’re holding on to what we’ve always known, We’re hanging on to never let it go, Where did you go?” then drop into another laid-back verse. The track goes out with a fun guitar solo that gives way to big powerful vocals and pounding drums pushing it forwards.
Penultimate track Garden of Heaven opens with a cool riff then impressive high-pitched vocals “Are you here with me, Or high up in the stars, Did you find your peace, Wherever you are, I know now you’re gone, Your soul is alive and shining on.” There’s a cool little bridge that feeds into a big guitar solo that’ll have you wanting to air guitar to your heart’s content.
The album closes with Speak To Me, which opens with a laid-back light guitar riff and atmospheric background noise. After just over a minute echoey vocals kick in as the guitar goes into overdrive then boosts into a big high-pitched solo over big vocal wails, and continues in what is essentially a really cool instrumental track.
Exist is a huge statement from Edenthorn, with big guitar riffs and powerful vocals keeping us entertained alongside some awesome guitar solos, while the band mixes things up sufficiently to keep you wanting more.
In Faiba’s words: “You can expect catchy choruses, melodic vocals, massive riffs, tight harmonies and a solid rhythm section. It is, overall, a heavier and more solid album than The Maze… you can rock out a lot more to it.”
And when it comes to what inspires their music, Kyle tells us: “Most of my lyrics are inspired by my own personal experiences or experiences of others around me. I’ve come to realise that everybody goes through the same motions at some point in their life, so I aim to write lyrics that are relatable for the listener so that they feel a connection to the song and lyrics.”
Edenthorn are currently planning a UK tour which will take place from the end of April to the back end of the year. There’ll be plenty more to come from them release-wise, as Faiba tells us they’re, fairly ambitiously, aiming to release a video for every song on the album, alongside a couple of unheard tracks that didn’t quite fit on the album.