One Word Review: Dawn
On their debut album, released in 2000, the Dutch band After Forever experiment with the marriage of female soprano and deathly growls to good effect. Prison of Desire shows signs of being a debut. Some tempo changes and melodies feel awkward while others work better. Leaden Legacy is an example of a song where a radical shift in tempo in the last part diminishes the impact of the slow and intensely built up atmosphere. Through the album the music moves back and forth from beautiful and atmospheric to heavy and angry and these two opposite expressions keep the album varied but some glue is missing to make the whole experience soar.
Floor Jansen has a stunning voice. I could listen to her sing all day. The growls and screams by Sander Gommans and Mark Jansen respectively, not so much. Combined, however, the different vocal deliveries does give the album a special mix of melancholy and sadness. I've had a long love/hate relationship with growling singers. Some of them I find unintentionally funny while others, those who really have the voice to pull this off, make a grand impression (Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt comes to mind). Sander Gommans resides in the better half most of the time and delivers the goods in a way that is convincing but Mark Jansens screams never feel quite right, fortunately they are few and far between.
Overall a promising debut with songs that often shine, but have failed to make a lasting impression.
Favorite Songs: Leaden Legacy, Semblance of Confusion, Follow in the Cry, Yield To Temptation
Written By Steen
Online: Wednesday, February 3, 2016