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After Forever – After Forever

Label: Nuclear Blast USA
Format: CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: Rich Catino


At first listen (their sixth studio release) to the opening track 'Discord' one will draw a direct parallel to another female fronted goth band from the Netherlands, Epica, as both utilize the male/female vocal trade off. It’s one of the most obvious characteristics that many will hear instantly. It’s a siren like soprano female vocal ('Evoke') and death metal male growls a very common characteristic for many band of this type. I don’t want to make this a compare and contrast review but the way its looking I guess it may just come to that to get my point across.

 

After Forever I find more appealing than an Epica for a couple reasons.

#1, I notice Floor Jansen balances her voice better between the operatic and straight ahead rock letting the rock roll more than the theater (you can hear the two in 'Equally Destructive'). And while we are on the topic of the voices, After Forever bring in the low end death metal snarls (which are better than most and have personality, kinda remind of Peter from Hypocrisy) at excellent times without it being overpowering, adding depth and attention to the words and music nicely on a track like 'Withering Time' and the scorcher 'De – Energized' where I am really digging the execution and level of aggression.

#2, After Forever’s arrangements using the male/female tones within a song evoke more excitement than the at times overly progressive and more layered Opeth-ish compositions that Epica create (which get boring to me).

Like here, 'Transitory' gives the male voice the floor and it carries the aggressive track well with plenty of power and punch. Also, there is more Nightwish in After Forever (an excellent quality I might add) on a song like 'Energize Me' where the chorus and melody are obviously the focus. I like the song along with 'Transitory”.

After Forever appear to base each song in riffs and a melody line while allowing the progressive tendencies to come more natural and intermittently. I like this record. It rocks from beginning to end with fist in the air metal songs and as a bonus there is a duet between Floor and Doro Pesch on the song 'Who I Am'.

 
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