Edenthorn’s second album Exist is a surprising one. Forming in 2013, the four-piece from Durham label themselves as alt-rock, which seems perfectly appropriate at the start of their new release – to the point where they almost verge on generic. Opening track ‘Out of The Dark’ lacks the energy required from a song in its position and becomes dull very quickly, with an unfortunate lack of zest on the behalf of the instrumentation. Potential is clearly there though, with lead vocalist Kyle Togue’s strong, passionate voice ringing clear, but it just doesn’t hit the spot. Following track ‘Heart’s Still Beating’ also falls short with the same issues, not kicking this album off to a good start.
However, Exist’s track listing suddenly takes a twist. The album is structured like a tent, in the sense that while it features alt-rock songs at the beginning and end, it is held up by five heavy/classic rock tracks in the middle. The structure of this is arguably overly perfected though as it obviously jumps between divided genres with no flow.
The heavier songs featured on the record stand out considerably more than the alt-rock few, particularly due to their variety. A common problem with heavy rock and metal songs is repetitiveness; a downfall even the biggest bands encounter. However, Edenthorn choose not to follow the basic rock structure in their tracks, adding a mix of guitar solos, half-time sections and even a touch of gang vocals wherever they see fit. From clean, piercing guitar solos heard in ‘Power’ and ‘The Unknown’ to rough riffs in lead single ‘Mind Like A Minefield’, they keep listeners on their toes as they’re taken through an impeccably well-written album.
Unfortunately for the band, it's the alternative rock songs that ultimately let them down, with tracks such as ‘Garden of Heaven’ for example taking mellow, easy-listening rock to the extreme, relying on big instrumentation to eventually draw attention back. Edenthorn have used Exist to explore their strengths and clearly they found them here but have falling into the trap of surrounding them by filler.