Eden originally broke onto the hard music scene in 1991 with a scorching track on the Brave New Music compilation released on Star Song Records under the name Screamin' Eden, but they didn't get signed when heavenly metal flamed out as grunge took off. An indie release of Fan the Flame got into the hands of a few devoted collectors in the mid 90s. Since it got virtually no publicity, most heavenly metal fans had no idea what they were missing . . . until now. Released on Retroactive Records April, 2003, and made available by Brutal Planet Distribution, Whitecross fans take notice. Rex Carroll handles all guitars on this album, and the soaring melodic vocals of Joe Dokken make this a must have CD for fans of Whitecross, Guardian, Stryper, Dokken, and Warrant. Rex's guitar licks on this album harken back to the prominent and flashy pyrotechnics of his early days with Whitecross. Since the demise of King James there hasn't been any new material from Rex, so his large and loyal fan base will surely break their piggy banks if necessary to cough up the coin for this treasure! It was been digitally re-mastered, features all new artwork, and guest appearance on bass by Mark Robertson, famous in his own right for stints with Brighton, Generation, Under Midnight, This Train, etc. Songs include: 'Need Somebody,' 'Show Me,' 'Morning Star,' 'Fan the Flame,' 'Tomorrow's Yesterday,' 'Forgotten Child,' 'Give Me A Reason,' 'It's A Shame,' 'Back To the Garden' and 'Love Rolls On.' 10 songs TT: 38:00 4-page insert w/lyrics
2003 Retroactive Records) review by Ian Keith Hafner
The last five years have been more than good to the Metal scene—we’ve seen reunions by the likes of Stryper, Saint, Shout, and Whitecross. And we’ve seen “80’s Metal Retro Night” at Cornerstone Festival. Secular bands like Kiss, Poison, Warrant, and Ratt have been touring successfully. Sorry, gen-xers, but Metal is alive and kicking!
So it’s no wonder that many metal bands from 10 or more years ago are dusting off their Jacksons and joining the resurging Metal scene—and Eden is no exception. When I first heard the buzz about Fan the Flame, I had no idea who Eden was, or where this record came from.
Everyone’s heard the stories of bands who disappeared just as they were about to explode (Rage of Angels, anyone?)—this was almost the case with Eden. Actually, Eden was never given a fair chance, as this gem, recorded in 1994, never saw the light of day until its 2003 release on Retroactive Records.
Fan The Flame is pure metal start to finish, complete with the stellar vocals of singer Joe Dokken (apparently no relation to Don Dokken) and blazing guitars, compliments of Whitecross’s Rex Carroll. My first listen left me speechless, and wondering “Where have these guys been, and why was this record never released?!?”
The record kicks off with the hook-laden “Need Somebody.” In less than thirty seconds, Eden comes out with both guns blazing, flaunting one critical element that many Christian metal bands lack: a heavy dose of attitude. Dokken’s passionate vocals convey a heart wrenching emotion as he sings, “you chose to close the door/and that's what tears are for/and soon the world goes on without me.” Rex Carroll’s heavy riffing is reminiscent of Ratt, Firehouse, and Whitecross.
Track two, “Show Me,” takes the band into major key, with a Van Halen (Roth era) style hard rock platter. Again, Dokken’s vocal shine. This is pure L.A. metal through and through.
At the core of Fan The Flame is great songwriting (another element too often missing from Christian Metal). The title track is evidence—full of melody and a hook you’ll be humming for the rest of the day, plus Bon Jovi-power-ballad-styled-vocals, and topped off with a Stryper-style harmony guitar solo—one can’t help but think that this could have been a major hit if only given the chance.
Other standouts on Fan The Flame are the heavy “Morning Star,” “Forgotten Child,” “Give Me A Reason,” and “Love Rolls On.” Actually, the whole disc rips!
And one of the best things about Eden is that they don't sound like “so and so.” Sure, you can hear influences from different bands (as mentioned, Ratt, Stryper, Whitecross, Bon Jovi), but Eden are no copycat band. Joe Dokken’s vocals set this band apart from the rest of the pack, and Eden has a sound all their own.
For more info on Eden and Joe Dokken, visit www.dokkenseden.com
Kickass!!! Can this be said of a Christian band? Absolutely! Eden are a heavy metal throwback to the glory days of Ratt, Whitecross and especially Dokken. The funny thing is, the singer's name is Joe Dokken. Whether that be his real name or not, I do not know. Also, while the band's personnel is listed as: Mark Villareal Guitar, Curt Anderson Guitar, Joe Dokken Vocals, Dave Cotteleer Bass and Dave Tanis Drums, it is actually Rex Carroll (or Whitecross fame) who performs most of the guitar work here. Personalities aside, the music here is pretty solid; the music is well written, the hooks are meaty, the guitarwork is outstanding, and the production is good. Had songs like "Need Somebody" and "Show Me" been released in 1984 instead of 1994 these guys may have ruled the world. I suppose some will criticise saying that this band is playing an outdated style of music. However, any true fan of the music knows that good music is timeless and there is certainly nothing wrong with playing the music you love, rather than trying to "stay current" or trying to "be the next big thing". With that in mind, "Fan the Flame" is a solid CD. My particular copy is the 2004 Retroactive re-release.