Edge of Paradise – Universe [REVIEW]

If you listen to a lot of metal you may have noticed the recent surge in bands with female singers. I view this as a good thing, as does anyone with common sense. When you think about it, there is actually a scientific case for females being better metal singers. Their voices are typically higher pitched and they are more easily able to hit higher registers and notes than male vocalists.

Listening to the new Edge of Paradise album I just kept thinking “Wow Margarita has such a great metal voice” because she can so easily hit all these high notes that male metal singers are going to sound screechy attempting.

There I said it – Margarita from EoP can easily hit the notes Bruce Dickinson wishes he (still) could.

That’s not a slag on Bruce, let’s be clear – he is a god. Iron Maiden paved the road for a band like Edge of Paradise. But Bruce is older, he’s been doing this for years and he’s a male. His vocal register is just naturally going to be deeper as a guy along with years of wear and tear on his vocal chords.

This review is about Edge of Paradise‘s new album Universe and rest assured vocalist Margarita Monet hits all the right notes with ease. She also painted the cover art – the woman is multi-talented.

A lot of the new material has a dancey feel to it – I would point to the title track Universe as well as the song Hollow which is one of the stand out tracks on the record to me. The production on this album is also more polished than the bands previous efforts.

Here’s a quick track by track rundown of the album.

Fire – This is the first single and the first track on the album. The high energy and upbeat chorus make it a memorable track. The band does a great job of combining a classical metal sound with a more modern, electronic backed style.

Electrify – The vocal melody on this is really interesting, it almost has a Middle Eastern / Egyptian feel to it.

Universe – This is the title track and it definitely has a dance metal vibe. Margarita’s voice takes on a more seductive tone during the verses of this one. These guys also get really great guitar tone – big thick walls of guitars.

Alone – The guitar riff on this track is fantastic, it’s very reminiscent of classic metal. The chorus is also beautiful, the melody and harmonies are huge and powerful. You can tell there was a lot of emotion put into the vocal performance. I think this is probably my favorite song on the album overall and it looks like it’s the 2nd single – so the band and label know how good it is. I really dig the brief solo sections and just the overall dynamics of the song. It has a lot of hills and valley’s and really cool production elements like the symphonic strings that come in during the chorus.

Hollow – This is another track that has a very dancey feel to it. It reminds me a lot of artists like Rob Zombie or Static X but Margarita’s vocals and the way the song shifts styles during the chorus make it another one of the stand out tracks on the album. Lyrics like: “Faceless men in fancy suits will suck your spirit dry” paint a vivid picture and there’s a really unique break where the melody changes and this great string arrangement comes in. I really dig the vocal cadence on the chorus hook of this track as well.

World – A nice gentle piano piece opens this track. I don’t like to pigeonhole bands by comparing them to others but this one reminded me a lot of the band Evanescence.

Perfect Disaster – This seems like a song tailor made for a vocalist like Margarita. If we’re being honest, as the sexy frontwoman she is a large part of the band’s draw. A song like this plays to that and she all but reveals it when she sings the line: “I’m your perfect disaster – your fantasy.” Don’t get me wrong though, there’s nothing wrong with this – sex appeal is a huge part of music. It’s actually refreshing to see the band acknowledging it and openly playing on it.

Face of Fear – The grooves on this album are machine like. They are razor sharp and precision. This particular song is a great illustration of that – the groove on the verse is so well timed it almost sounds like a ticking clock. The strings and vocals round it out and give it a more organic feel. This is a really cool song, another one of my favorites on the album.

Stars – Also a really cool song. This is the last big emotional track on the album. It’s a great end cap before the final track which is an instrumental.

Burn the Sun – (Instrumental) – This song really gives the band a chance to show off their chops. It’s not any less interesting without vocals and I’m sure that Margarita contributes keyboards to it. When I interviewed her I asked her about that and she said that at the moment they are not playing it live… but maybe eventually when they do their own headlining tour it will be a part of their set.

This was a good album overall and it’s great to hear the band really progressing and further defining their style and sound.

You can watch or listen to our interview with Edge of Paradise vocalist Margarita Monet here:

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