Aggression and Introspection: ‘Illumine’ EP by Ever Eden

Ever Eden burst onto the scene as an independent group looking to make a dent in a market that Silent Planet seems to have a solid grip on. With their debut EP Illumine, Ever Eden has produced a solid set of tracks to sink your philosophical teeth into. While it’s a small sample, its impact is nevertheless astounding.

Ranging in tonality from My Epic’s clean vocals, Silent Planet’s song structure and lyrics, Oh, Sleeper’s aggression, and The Devil Wears Prada’s screamed vocals, Ever Eden has a broad range of influence. There’s plenty of driven drumming, frenetic and intricate guitar skill, and some impressive clean vocals.

Of course, no metalcore act is complete without a front man who sounds like he is trying to shred his vocal chords to pieces, and Ever Eden delivers that in spades. As a couple examples of their mastery of this sound, look no further than “Senescence” and “Sancrosanctuary.” The former opens with an impressive display of dexterity from their drummer, and the latter delivers a technical blend of palm-muted, stutter-stop picking with resonating, held out chords that all fall into an interesting time signature. This sets the back drop for the heaviest song on the EP with an excellent, if not understated, feature from Oh, Sleeper.

While the music in itself is enough to engage the listener, where Ever Eden really shines is in their lyrical representation of challenging and introspective topics. With themes ranging from mortality (”Senescence”), personal identity (“Delirium”), loss of mind due to tragedy or illness (“Illumine”), and the desire to see beyond the immediate (“Latent World”), there’s plenty of deep thought to chew on.

Perhaps the most challenging theme they delve into is that of churches turning their focus inward in “Sancrosanctuary.” This may be off-putting to some, but their point is well made: when a church turns its focus to itself and the comforts of those within its walls, as opposed to reaching those outside of its walls, it has missed the mark of what it really means to be a church. It’s a challenging song to be sure, but it achieves its goal of pushing one to think deeper and consider solutions to the challenge they present.

The two themes that will likely connect with people the most are the themes explored in “Delirium” and “Illumine.” The former, and stand-out track, explores the chaos that can be caused by a life devoid of identity: “There’s an opaque haze amassing in your head… Wake up! It’s in your lungs; apathetic to the poison you’ve ingested.” The song does a phenomenal job of painting the desperation and sense of lostness that is caused by the lack of an identity. Expertly, Ever Eden points to Christ and the peace He provides when one places identity in Him: “Breath deep; the air so sweet. It’s rushing beneath his feet. He’s reaching out to take your hand.

“Illumine” presents an interesting conundrum: “I just remembered who you are – my Father, my Father. But will you be there when my memory is the author?” With an effectiveness akin to Wolves at the Gate, Ever Eden uses this question to put on display God’s faithfulness. “Ever present – simply eclipsed, there is no shadow that I haven’t lit. And though you’re fading, my glow is infinite.

As a debut, Illumine is impressive. Ever Eden fit right in the metalcore mix. Fortunately, they don’t wander into generic territory and do enough to stand out on their own. With five songs to make their mark, the impact Illumine leaves behind will certainly push Ever Eden to greater heights.

Related Artists: Silent Planet, Oh, Sleeper, The Devil Wears Prada, My Epic

Get the album on Apple Music and Spotify.

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