Friday, August 6, 2010

After Forever-After Forever

The self-titled album by metal superstars, After Forever, is their absolute best album by far. The sad thing is, is that it turned out to be their last, as well as their best. In January 2008, After Forever announced on their website that the band would be taking a break of at least a year, mainly to assess the health problems of vocalist and guitarist Sander Gommans, who had been absent during most of the tour supporting their self-titled album. In an interview with Ragnarök radio, Floor Jansen said the band would get together early 2009 to discuss After Forever's future. On February 5th 2009, After Forever announced that they decided to call it quits. The long break, during 2008 and 2009, had made them realize that they did not feel the passion towards the band any longer.

This album has already been prophesized to be remembered always and to be a landmark in metal history. Floor’s voice is definitely one of the most beautiful and powerful voices I have ever heard. No, this band is not “just another symphonic metal band that sounds like every other one”. After Forever are true masters of metal and will always be remembered. They are extremely tight, creative, and beautiful. This seems to be the first album where their male vocalist doesn’t sing at all, just growling. On top of that, the band’s overall sound has a lot less of a gothic sound than in all of their other albums. When I first got this album over a year ago, I remember listening to it over and over again endless times. The distortion of the guitar is very powerful, but a very clean distortion. I think it’s a coincidence that this album turned out to be their last because the album cover has the omega symbol, which is the last letter in the Greek alphabet. But the music is the best part.

Discord is my absolute favorite song off this masterpiece of an album. The song starts with orchestral instruments, but it sounds like an old 30’s or 40’s recording. Then, the guitars come on with a very powerful sound. It’s amazing. There is a lot of emotion in the music, especially in the singing at the chorus. Evoke starts with Floor singing with an opera voice. The song has quite a bit of a darker sound at parts. The keyboard really stands out in Transistory. There’s great growling, an awesome chorus, and really cool, unusual harmonies. Energize Me is the hit single off the album, as well as having a music video. There is plenty of emotion and creativity in that song. Equally Destructive is one of the heavier songs, having crunchy guitar sounds at parts. Withering Time has a lot of choir vocals with some amazing music that matches it perfectly. De-Energized has a very heavy and angry sound with some astonishing guitar riffs and lots of growling. Cry with a Smile is a softer song, with very pretty vocals and overall sound. Envision is very unique, especially with its creative drumming. Who I Am is another heavy song, with great keyboard parts that really stand out. Dreamflight is the only song that has male singing in it. It is also the longest song, being over 11 minutes long, as well as that, the keyboardist really has one of the main parts in this song. Empty Memories is mostly made up of orchestral and symphonic music, having very few guitars. The last track, Lonely, is just beautiful piano and astonishingly pretty singing from Floor.

Overall, I can’t really see how this album could get better in any area, it’s perfection. Every song I just talked about on this review is purely amazing and should be heard by everyone. I still can’t believe that after this masterpiece, they lost interest, it’s disappointing. If you have never heard of this band, and find this review and album appealing, don’t hesitate to buy it, I promise you, you won’t regret it. This album is outstanding and deserves a 100% on any scale.