Every once in a while, an artist comes up or gets inspired with a new idea for a new sound in their music. Regardless whether the idea is good or bad, if that new sound was admired by the public opinion and that artist released a hit or a successful album, a whole lot of bands and artists start imitating them. I’m not talking here about a band being influenced by a sound of another band. I’m talking about a sound that is similar in production and structure to another, to an extent that people would not differentiate between the identities of the two artists. Now if you’re newcomer and you do that, it’s alright; some of the greatest bands started as cover bands before discovering their own sound. But if you’re a band with an established sound and fan-base and you shift to a more successful sound than yours, in the eyes of the media of course, that’s a really shameful tragedy.
You might be wondering about the reason why I’m bemoaning these cases in an introduction of an article about Edge of Paradise. It’s actually because while many bands through the years broke my heart by abandoning their sound to become copycats of others’ critically acclaimed work, even when it’s rubbish, Edge of Paradise have mended my wounds. The five-piece Industrial Hard Rock band have been always unique and creative in their music. Their earlier releases built a foundation for the band’s sound instead of building over someone else’s foundation. And their latest release, ‘Universe‘ is another structure in the castle Edge of Paradise have built.
We had the pleasure to listen to Edge of Paradise‘s 2019 album and write a review about it. We also had the privilege of interviewing Margarita Monet to ask her about their new album, their plans for the future and other things.
Click here to jump right into the interview with Margarita Monet. Or continue reading to find out what we thought of Universe.
Pop quiz: How long does it take to listen to a 36 minutes long album? It’s obvious, right? 36 minutes.
WRONG! The answer is not 36 minutes! Especially if the album is ‘Universe’ and you keep repeating each song twice and thrice. The 10-track release is Edge of Paradise’s best album so far. Here are four things we loved about ‘Universe’.
Variety and highly-distinctive songs
The way the songs were made and produced makes each and every one of them stand out and have their remarkable spot on the album. Tracks were introduced in variety of ways; either by a beats followed by a hot riff as in the case of Electrify and Perfect Disaster, or by a cinematic tune as in Universe and World, or by a catchy riff as in Alone, or with vocals such as in Fire and Hollow. This variety, in addition to the songs being all internally unique in terms of topics, music, and production, makes ‘Universe’ an album that easily grasps the attention and grants satisfaction to music lovers.
There is also a variety in the sound of each song. We hear soft and slow songs and also heavy, fast, and harsh ones. We can also hear a lot of different additional musical instruments playing a role in the developed sound of the album. All that made ‘Universe’ a wealthy album in terms of quality and variety.
The Margarita Monet Effect
The thing I love about Margarita’s voice is that it’s not harsh or even close to being harsh. The Industrial/Hard Rock genre she performs in however is one of the harshest in Rock. One might think that is a problem for Edge of Paradise. But no, not at all! Margarita’s ‘soft’ but wide-ranged vocals give Edge of Paradise a great deal of beauty and electronic feeling in their general sound.
Margarita’s voice is also very unique. There is not a single voice that is even close to her tone and sound. Her wonder-voice can be appreciated on songs like Fire, Electrify, Hollow, and Stars.
The brilliant music
‘Universe’ is an album rich with very attractive melodies. We have the brilliant heavy riffs such as the one in the intro of Alone, and the gorgeous tunes such as the one on Stars. Some of the beats were made in a way that makes us stop and just repeat the song to hear it again. The instrumental final track is a great touch and like a signature from a band that worked hard on making an album rich in terms of music.
This song has been agreed on by the three FemMetal team members to be our favourite in the album. Although Fire and Universe are heavy hitters with a quality and beauty that can’t be denied, Stars is the song that grabbed our hearts. The lyrics and melody in it are brilliant, in addition to a great solo. It’s a song that leaves a mark after being heard.
These were the four things we loved about Edge of Paradise’s new record. One thing that we felt would have made the album even more interesting is some backing vocals that can add some contrast with Margarita’s voice, especially on heavy tracks. Otherwise, we felt the album is complete and perfect.
We recommend ‘Universe’ to all Alternative Rock/Metal lovers. It’s an album that should not be missed.
Here are the average of the ratings that were placed by the FemMetal Team.
|Cover Art (10%)||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||7/10|
Mirk: Hello Margarita. It’s really a pleasure to talk with you. How are you and the other members of Edge of Paradise doing?
Margarita: Hello, thank you so much for having me! We are really good, writing some new music and gearing up for the next tour with Hammerfall and Beast In Black!
Mirk: You released your new album ‘Universe’ recently. Before even hearing it I heard a lot of good things about it from your fans. How are you feeling about this new album?
Margarita: Yes, thank you! This is our best album to date, and our debut release on Frontiers Records. We are so proud of this album, I think we created something special and we are very excited and inspired by the response and support!
Mirk: The first time I heard about your band was a bit more than a year ago. And what I love about your music is that you’re very progressive, always developing your music to the better. What would you is different about ‘Universe’ then your older releases?
Margarita: Thank you so much, that’s a great compliment! Dave (the guitarist) and I are always striving to evolve our sound and create something we are very proud of. I think we figured out a way how to write together and bring out the best in each other. We also focused on the songs, everything was about how to make the best song that reflects the feel, message and the essence of the album. Universe is different in many ways. The songs possess different elements, some are more industrial, electro rock, some are more symphonic, we have a very cinematic ballad on there, some have even a bit of punk rock groove to it, but all are powerful, edgy, melodic and exciting. Also, on production end, working with producer Mike Plotnikoff and Jacob Hansen who mixed the album, it was the perfect team for us to create the highest quality sound that captured the essence and soul of the band!
Mirk: I won’t ask you what song you like most on the album. Some artists find it hard to choose one. But what song do you enjoy the reaction of the fans most to when you perform live on stage?
Margarita: It’s definitely hard to choose haha! I put my heart and soul into each song, and they area all my favorite in different ways. But from fans, I think the songs Fire and Electrify really get the crowd going, it’s an explosion of energy!
Mirk: The late Professor Stephen Hawking believed that infinite parallel universes exist. And since your new album is called Universe I will ask you some quick nerdy questions 😉
Margarita: Awesome, I totally believe in all that stuff! 🙂
Mirk: In a UNIVERSE where you’re the vocalist of a Jazz band, what would the band’s name be?
Margarita: Haha, Maggie and the boys lol
Mirk: In a UNIVERSE where time travel exists, what decade would you love to visit most?
Margarita: That’s a hard one, maybe 2590 BC, when the pyramids were built, maybe I’d meet some aliens 😉
Mirk: In a UNIVERSE where you have the power to simply erase a problem the world is facing, what would that problem be?
Margarita: Greed for money and power
Mirk: You deliver your music with great theatrics, whether it’s in the music videos or the outfits you wear that are related to the album’s mood or the album art. How important are visuals to give listeners a better taste of the music they are hearing?
Margarita: Thank you very much! I come from a theater background, I’ve always loved the visual aspect of any artform, that’s why I always put a big emphasis on the band’s image from the online presence, to stage, to artwork of the albums, it’s so important to me to express our music visually to create an experience for the audience! It’s like building a multi dimensional world!
Mirk: You were born in Armenia, a country with a very rich culture that left its mark whether in music, arts or literature, and that was able to spread it to the whole world through Armenians diaspora. How close are you to your Armenian roots in language, music and other things?
Margarita: Yes, there is lots of history there! I was very lucky as a child, I was born in Armenia, but when I was 3, my family moved to Moscow, Russia. So I was surrounded by lots of culture, art, music, theater and historic architecture. So growing up, I had Armenian, Russian and European influences, I think that really inspired creativity within me and my parents were great in nurturing that. I went back to Armenia when I was 7, and I remember the trip really well. We went to lots of historic churches, ancient ruins, history is very well preserved there, I think it’s so important to a culture that we respect and learn about our history. I understand the language, but I grew up speaking Russian and English. I know Armenian music and art very well. One of my favorite Armenian instruments is called Duduk, it’s an ancient woodwind instrument, reminiscent of a flute. It’s made out of apricot wood. It has the most unique haunting sound, that pierces your soul, I’d love to include that in one of our songs one day!
Mirk: Finally, besides singing and playing the piano you also paint. Do you have any other hobbies?
Margarita: I love science, I always read about new discoveries, it’s fascinating and can inspire new song ideas for me. I also love to dance, but I don’t get to do that very much, there is never enough time, right now all the time and focus goes to the band!
Mirk: Thank you for the interview Margarita! Good luck for you and your band in your tour and upcoming projects!
Margarita: Thank you so much for having me, it was such a pleasure!