1. Crosses In The Sand
2. Human Angels
3. Tribal Scars
4. Dreams unbroken
5. Sorrow’s End
6. Rebuilding The Ruins
7. My Stigmata
8. Native To His Land
9. Children Of Autumn
10. On Elevated Ground
11. Sunlight of the Spirit Part IV- Images of Eden
Images of Eden is a progressive metal band from the states that was found back in 1999 by mainman Gordon Tittsworth. „Rebuilding the Ruins“ means the bands third full length release and is a consequent follower to their last release „Sunlight of the Spirt“. That means that every first song of a new album continues the stories of Eden where the last album ended. Published by Nightmare Records this album could be a two step forward chance for Tittworth’s ideas and works. Let’s see…
„Crosses in the sand“ starts with a mystical piano part followed by hard guitars. The vocals have a strong Queensryche touch. Sometimes you could think Geoff Tate in person is performing here.
Typical progressive tempo changes and various kinds of guitar playing are characterising this song.
Some oriental vibes mixed into the song round up a good opener in tradition of bands like Queensryche or Fates Warning.
In the same way continues „Human Angels“. Hard guitars in the beginning. A slower vocal part in alliance with keys appears. Again Tate-like. Midtempo song with a strange and mystic refrain. Guitars dont play a big role in this song, except the wonderful solo in the middle and at the end. More harmonies makes it more catchy. A good 7 minute song full of feelings and vibes.
„Tribal Scars“ is the bands first single. As result this song is more straight. Harder guitars support Tittsworth’s vocal lines, in the refrain with sliding accoustic strings. For me that song is near to older Fates Warning than to Seattles finest. By the way…not the worst reference bands. Shorter song but not catchy enough as normally a single has to be. Good stuff anyway.
Real slow start in „Dreams unbroken“. Balladesque guitars/pianos and vocals. Offers a sad touch to you. The song has a little bit of Silent Lucidity in form of the arrangements. More a ballad than a rock song, but with rockin elements in between. Transporting sad feelings. But we are here in Eden, so think positive. Maybe we are searching for our way to reach our unbroken dreams….
And as I wished…here comes „Sorrow’s End“. The mood is changing happier. Some kind of easy swinging song underlined by rhythm guitar and bass. The drums make it faster heading for a short bass break. The song becomes more disharmonic then, caused by several vocal lines that fight against each other. A guitar solo with Iron Maiden touch (somewhere in time) interrupts it before the song fades out in a faster vocals/guitars way.
Title track next. Guitars are timed deeper. Background speech and more rough vocals than before rule the scene. Is this really Gordon Tittsworth performing ? This song lies more in the line of bands like Symphony X without their symphonic base. The base is hard rock in progressive style. Weird guitar solo in the middle, mystic vibes caused of background choirs all the time. Makes it epic.I don’t know where the ruins come from, but Images of Eden made it here to rebuild it.
Straight guitar riff opens „My Stigmata“. The essence of this song lies in the change of rough and clean vocals. Like a discussion between good and evil. Remembers a little to Nevermore. High, angel like vocals put the finger in the air and say „no“. A piano part stops it after 4 minutes to tell us to view our wounds. Tragic, but wonderful part. So, the last 3 minutes become hymn character. One of the best songs of this album, for sure.
„Native to his land“ starts in an oriental way. Symphonic light, washing the emptiness away. The arrangements are easier with rhythm guitars and vocals. It spreads more positive vibes. In the guitar work we are back in the seventies, when Rush didn’t use the synthies overflow. More easy listening than progressive attention needed. Good song to breathe some air again.
We are heading to autumn now…..elegian piano/vocals supported by violins lead us to the „Children of autumn“. When the guitars appear the song is getting faster with real high vocals. Frickling guitar solo provides that happiness is near, short synthies underline that. Some breaks mean progressive input in this song that ends in typical old-school Queensryche way.
„On elevated ground“ appears in taking volume and slow guitars and vocals make it doom style.
Geoff Tate is in the mind again. Slowest song so far, epic and dreamful. But suddenly with the last 2 minuts the song moves to a real smasher. Hard guitar riffs and solo with pumping drums appear and
is breaking the elegy. A wake up call for the end?
And the end comes with „Sunlight in the Spirit Part IV – Images of Eden“. Hope you can excuse that, but I don’t know the first three parts that are on Images of Eden’s second release. Never listened to that album, so….ok…here is the fourth part. And this is the longtrack of the album with its 12 minutes. Piano, silent played, first. A song that I will be remembered first if I listen to this song is Cliffhanger from Shadow Gallery. Lots of break parts that are typical for progressive metal longtracks. And longtracks are normally a showdown for the know how and quality of the musicians. So we can say it is the same here. But good arrangements are the essence to let a longtrack not become boring. And Images of Eden prove their quality in music and arrangements here. This song is a summary of all elements we heard on this album before. From slow to fast parts. Guitar riffs, solos, the well known vocals. All included here. Even a spoken word part in the middle by a lady (who is that?) appears that forwards the song to an amazing guitar solo. The track is creating excitement and you always want to know what is coming next. Finally, this is the bands masterpiece of this album. No wonder, cause of its length. Well done.
„Rebuiding the Ruins“ is definetely a must have for fans of old Queensryche (Rage for Order, The Warning times) or Fates Warning at the time where Ray Alder started.
I can say that I would give the band 8 points for their musical know how and talent for arrangements, but only 6 points for their musical origins. The bands above shine through the whole album too much and this is a point where Images of Eden have to find more their own style in the future. So in summary stands 7 points for a real good album, that every fan of similar bands has to give it a listen. There is air for more….
Review by Kerbinator