All-female symphonic metal supergroup Exit Eden put a metallic spin on pop hits by the likes of Rihanna, Madonna, Adele, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and the Backstreet Boys, cranking up the bombast with pounding riffs, operatic vocals, screeching guitar solos, and orchestral arrangements.
The group was the brainchild of three German producers: Hardy Krech, Mark Nissen, and Hannes Braun were the in-house team at Elephant Studios, a small but well-respected outfit in the northern town of Flensburg, near the Danish border, whose work for the varied likes of Oonagh, Santiano, DJ Ötzi, Faun, Heino, and Beyond the Black had achieved chart success. Their latest goal was to prove that pop hits from other genres could be successfully transposed to metal. Deciding to experimentally record a few demos, they called in power metal veteran Sascha Paeth, himself an experienced producer, to provide guitars. Enthused by the notion, Paeth contacted American singer Amanda Somerville -- his former bandmate in Avantasia and Trillium -- who expressed an immediate interest. She in turn recruited her friends and fellow vocalists, Brazilian Marina La Torraca (Phantom Elite) and Frenchwoman Clémentine Delauney (Visions of Atlantis), and they got together in the studio at Elephant. The wild card in the pack was German-American Anna Brunner; with no other prior recording experience than providing guide vocals for some of the studio's demos, she was working as Elephant's secretary when Somerville heard her voice on the demos and was so impressed that she insisted Brunner be made part of the group. The project was greenlit and a full album, Rhapsodies in Black, was recorded and released in August 2017 by Napalm Records, consisting entirely of cover versions. (The band lineup was completed with session musicians; Epica singer Simone Simons guested on two tracks.) The songs, it transpired, worked well as metal anthems; the end results were not dissimilar to acts from the more pop end of the symphonic metal spectrum, such as Within Temptation, and the combined voices of the four singers brought a unique twist. The album was heavily promoted with a series of lush music videos featuring the singers clad in ornate gothic costumes, and sold well, going in at number 15 on the German chart. ~ John D. Buchanan, Rovi