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On disc: After Forever



- Decipher - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars
- After Forever - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars


www.afterforever.com









After Forever


After Forever

(Nuclear Blast - 2007)



With the self-titled album the Dutch band is presenting their 5th CD. As so many other Dutch bands they play symphonic metal with bombastic keyboards, heavy guitar riffs, female vocals and some male growls. Musically they can be compared to bands like Within Temptation and Epica, even if Epica are less bombastic...
After the conceptual album Invisible Circles they wanted to deliver something special. On the opener Discord they have worked with an orchestra - the Prague Symphonic Orchestra added some parts on this album. And again Floor Jansen and Sander Gommans play again a musical version of the beauty and the beast. On Evoke they kinda present the whole sound range with bombastic parts, heavy guitars, opera-like vocal parts and in the middle part reduce all to keyboard and Floor's vocals. Actually at that part I would like to hear more emotions... Only the growls you'll miss here, but therefor they add some choir. Energize Me is a catchy mid-tempo tune which present their heavy side, but has also a pop appeal and so it's a good choice for a single release. On De-Energize the Dutch start very symphonic, but soon get very heavy and offer some growls - and a guitar solo by Jeff Waters! A balladesque song they present with Cry With A Smile here Floor is sounding fragile and this is what I want to hear more often from her! Towards the middle part of the song they get a bit more powerful, but keep the atmosphere with some string arrangements. Later on the album they have another balladesque tune, but this time very powerful rocker and Floor is joined by German metal queen Doro Pesch on Who I Am. An interesting song, coz the contrast of the voices gives it a special dynamic. But the backing vocals / choir is a bit too much up front partly. As Within Temptation do on their current release After Forever present a mixture of heavy, fast tunes and more symphonic ones. Some have are dark, others spread a little hope...
Well, in my opinion After Forever did a good job with this album, but it can't keep up with Within Temptation's The Heart Of Everything... And Epica will present a new album later this year... If they will do better? I don't know, but at least Epica have created their own sound - something I miss here.


7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 







Decipher

Decipher
(Transmission - 2001)


In 2000 they released their debut Prison Of Desire which showed their way and was a decent al;bum, but they couldn't keep their level. Now Decipher shows the band on a more homogeneous level and this time they could enchant their fans with beautiful, but rocking gothic metal. The track My Pledge Of Alliance is outstanding!
Parts of the song leave the gothic rock / metal genre behind and touch the ethic and world music genre. All tunes gets their beauty from singer Floor Jansen, she sings with an angle-like voice, but not at all this opera type we all know from Nightwish's Tarja. To compare them with Therion wouldn't explain their sound at all, but there are parallels to the more orchestral releases of Therion.
On Emphasis Floor’s voice as well as the melody line remind me a little bit of Anneke van Giersbergen. A very ambitious album which has to categorize as gothic metal, but which has different elements.
I can recommend this album to all gothic fans as well as to open-minded fans of The Gathering, Nightwish, Therion and Theatre Of Tragedy.
Listen to: Emphasis and/or My Pledge Of Allegiance Pt 1 & Pt 2!


7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt

 

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