The technical metal lovers among you will be in heaven with the intriguing sound of Reading band Flight of Eden. The quartet’s progressive modern metal sound is signified by a mix of heavy riffing, odd time signatures and technical exploration, which they describe as “powerful, atmospheric and emotional.”
The band began with bassist and vocalist Christian Sturgess and guitarist Simon Robins, who’ve known each other for nearly 20 years and written music and been in various bands together for more than 15 years. Christian met lead vocalist Kurt Jones at University, where they were in a former band, before Christian joined former band Brutai. In 2018, they decided the time was right for Flight of Eden and recruited Gualter Couto on drums then released their debut EP the same year.
They’ve just released second EP Dante’s Inferno, which is about as colossal as it sounds like it should be and has a fascinating story behind its concept.
As Christian tells us: “We have honestly been blown away by the reception so far, the response from our fans is incredibly supportive. Especially at a tough time like it is, but with the support of Jade from Memphia PR, it has been awesome.
“For anyone interested, Dante’s Inferno is a concept EP which aims to tell the story of the great poet Dante’s journey through the circles of hell, the monsters, demons, trapped souls and eventually finding his way to paradise. Guided by the ancient Roman poet Virgil, the story itself takes on many twists and turns through various emotions and layers of the human spirit.
“We aimed to capture this with a progressive metal setting, meaning that there is likely something for every metal fan with this release. I believe Simon was quoted as aying “our goal is to make progressive metal that is as accessible as possible” and I can’t put it any better!”
The EP opens up with a short introductory track Nessus, then Selva Oscura, before getting into the meat of the music with six episodes of Canto – which means “I sing” in Italian.
The first Canto, Canto I – Virtue, opens up with a fun chugging guitar riff then a little twisting lick takes over then continues as the riff joins in again. The chugging guitars continue as Kurt’s powerful vocals take over then dive into higher-pitched vocals.
Eerie stabbing piano and guitars come in then jump back into the chugging guitars and heavy drums, which drop into a verse of dual vocals. And the track ends with more high-pitched vocals, then streams straight into Canto II – Cerberus, which opens up with stabbing guitars over wild drums.
That gives way to huge, terrifying screams over heavy guitars and develop into even more booming vocals. High-pitched vocals alongside more melodic instrumentals, then a cry of “Edge of violence” ushers in the return of the heavier guitars with crashing cymbals in the background. A delicious guitar solo appears out of nowhere to bring the track to a serene ending.
That serenity continues as a light piano lick takes us into Canto III – Heresy and is soon joined by light guitar and drums. Rolling drums lead into a heavier, but still melodic instrumental section then darting guitar notes under a high-pitched guitar lick give way to a huge rumbling bassline and stabs of guitar that take us smoothly into Canto IV – Morning Star.
This sees the heaviness instantly ramp up with a little guitar riff feeding into fast-paced stabbing guitars over pounding drums as gruff screamed vocals jump in. Scary screams cry out “Fire rains from the sky” and drops into stabbing guitars then a sexy little bass filler drops into more of the stabbing guitars.
Clean vocals “Liars and seducers, See the future falsified” come in over the top and feed into a big melodic section that ends with a huge scream of “For betryal.” That ushers in another blast of huge booming guitars and rolling drums, then a cool lingering high-pitched guitar over unrelenting pounding bass drum brings the track to a close.
There’s a laid-back recovery at the start of Canto V – Purgatorio while the final Canto, Canto VI – Paradiso, is a somewhat unexpected epic anthemic rock track. It soon develops into a symphonic metal ending as it merges into outro track Virgil.
It’s a superb, enticing EP telling a story that has the listener gripped from start to finish. We love it and firmly encourage you to go and give it a listen.
The band’s members all bring different musical tastes, influences and backgrounds to the table, along with what Christian describes as “A love for all genres of metal (yes, even the obscure ones!).” Within this, Christian tells us he’s been influenced by everything from bassists like Jaco Pastorius and Billy Sheehan, producers like Massive Attack and Rokysopp, through to classical composers such as Holst and Debussy. On top of that, a list of bands that includes Northlane, Myrkur, Godspeed You Black Emperor and Behemoth.
While in terms of what inspires them to write music, he adds: “A lot of our original themes for songs come from topics that are close to our hearts, our previous EP had a song about Kurt’s daughter Luna, and we have new material in the works already that has elements of climate change / animal rights at its core.
“Primarily, we just love to write music, and a lot of our ideas come from jam sessions, but Kurt is always on the hunt for lyrical themes and these often collide.”
The band had planned a couple of tours and festival appearances to support the Dante’s Inferno EP, but the focus has of course had to be diverted. They are currently busy creating social media content from their home studios. As Christian says: “We need to get creative in order to keep the release cycle going, so expect much more with our endorsers and social media channels very soon.
Its just fantastic to be given the support and opportunities we have so far and continue to receive. Flight of Eden is a band routed in emotion for all of us, we are life long friends and really want to make this succeed, and play to as many of our fans as we can. We appreciate all the support we receive and for those of you who are yet (or about) to check us out, we are so very grateful!
You can follow Flight of Eden on Facebook and Instagram, and check out their music on Spotify, Bandcamp and YouTube. And, if you want even more then Christian and Gualter also have their own dedicated YouTube channels (just click the links on their names).