Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
After Forever - After Forever CD (album) cover


After Forever

Progressive Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
4 stars Although not really proggy, After Forever do have some progressive influences, this is mainly due to the recruitment of keyboard player Joost Van Der Broek for the past 2 albums, Joost's previous band was Sun Caged (a highly skilled prog metal band but somehow a bit un-original) and his influence on the band's songwriting is pretty obvious and welcome as i think his influences really brought this band to a higher level, the style in this album and in the previous one is less classically inspired and more progressive indeed as the keyboard textures are mutch more varied and less predictable, the band still holds true to the heavy/power metal song structures with the ocasional ballad or power ballad shining through.

As an album this self titled release is indeed a very good release, most of the songs are really energetic and sprikled with good vocal hooks everywere courtesy of one of the best singers in the business (and Floor is very good live too), some of them really stand out like Dreamflight, Energize me or Transitory and there's only one track that doesnt do anything for me and that is Who I Am, this one is a song in witch metal diva Doro Pesch guests and it is painful to listen to two singers with sutch a big differential of talent, Doro isnt a good singer, period! she was one of the first female vocalists in metal (that was the sole fact that gave her sutch a huge reputation in the metal world) but not really a good one, Floor completely outshines her, and the song is very basic and repetitive.

Overall i would say its a 4.5 stars album, trimmed to 4 cause i think it doesnt really deserve 5, still a very good album and with no doubt the best in the band's career IMHO, they really seem to have found their path and drifted away from the numerous nightwish clones they once were a part of.

Report this review (#160593)
Posted Saturday, February 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I gave 5 stars to decipher, and I stand by that rating, but I rate this one higher. If decipher were 4.6 stars, this is 4.8. Quite frankly, this is my favorite symphonic metal album, edging past anything by nightwish, trumping anything by within temptation and epica by a long shot, and heck, it's even better than kamelot's albums, as hard as that is for me to say. This album absolutely dominates it's genre. Unlike the previous three albums, there is no restraint on this album. They took all of the elements that they worked on in remagine, invisible circles, and exordium, and threw them together in some great blender, and came out with what ought to be a cacaphonic mess. The riffs on this album are really bouncy, in a very organic way. I know that probably makes no sense to you, so as an analogy, take prong's thrash classic beg to differ, make the riffs faster with a bit more chugging underneath, and you get an idea of the riffwork, kind of. Make the rhythms a bit less predictable than the average metal album. Not as in meshuggah, but just a bit more of the starting on off-beats, using notes wth dots on the end, that sort of thing. Basically, this album uses dynamic rhythms. Everything about this album is dynamic. That's what makes it exciting. It doesn't repeat itself very much. It is an album of varied sounds and textures, flown fast but not obnoxiously fast, constantly grooving. The use of the orchestra is very strong on here. It is somewhat cliche just like with most metal bands who use orchestra, but the cliche's are different cliche's than you hear on most metal albums, so it is tolerable. Besides, the orchestra parts are well written. The orchestra isn't used in the same way on any two songs, and provides tone colors to the songs, thus giving each song a different feel. On discord, the orchestra is a proud trumpet lead orchestra, wheras on withering time it is a quicker violin and flute led sound, thus making discord sound loud and proud but making withering time sound darker and more urgent. My only gripe about the orchestra is that it was mixed too far back. I wish it was more present. The performances on this album are the best of any after forever album. Floor Jansen sings incredibly strongly, probably the most aggresive soprano vocals in metal. She wails like she thinks she's Rob Halford. Usually, with the beauty and beast vocal style, the growls are strong and menacing, and the singing is presented as a contrast, light and beautiful. Floor, on the other hand, overpowers the growls easily, making the grunts seem weak and pathetic (dreamflight is a great example of this) in comparison. And they are good growls. The rest of the instruments are at their best. You even get to hear some guitar solo finally (but not enough). I kind of wish the drums had more personality, like on decipher, but they are very competently performed and often very complex drumlines. The songs are really catchy, but they don't wear out like many catchy songs do. The production is very clean, but not sterile. Although technical, this album is full of soul, and never wearying like dream theater can be. The last song on this album gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. It is everything I could hope for in a symphonic metal album.
Report this review (#205863)
Posted Monday, March 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Aggressive, haunting symponic metal.

I first heard this a few days ago and have been playing it obsessively since then. A fantastic symphonic metal band headed by the awesome vocal talents of Floor Jansen. It does sound similar to Nightwish though not as operatic and the orchestration reminds me of Epica or Within Temptation. However, After Forever stand their ground as taking an original approach to their sound. Each track has a different feel and atmosphere. At times beautiful and haunting, and at other times brutally aggressive.

My favourite track is 'Equally Destructive' that has one of the best chunky metal riffs on the CD. It begins with the mesmirizing riff and the chorus builds to a grand operatic scale. The epic is the 11 minute Dreamflight with many time changes and very good guitar from Bas Maas throughout. At times there are soundscapes that seem to flow like a stream and they are broken by grand blasts of metal guitars.

I recommend this for those who like their prog heavy, laced with strings and quiet moments. The vocals from Jansen are floorless (no pun intended) and there are some trademark growelling vocals from other members to balance the tones of light and shade.

4 stars without hesitation.

Report this review (#226766)
Posted Tuesday, July 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, this is my first review so ill make it simple, i love this band, so very much.. bt before i get all fanboy..ish ill do a review

After Forever was a Dutch Symphonic metal band that featured metal godess Floor Jansen (not really to sure if she's anything to Mark Jansen from Epica, he once was in After Forever..but thats not the point) they released five albums before breaking up in 2009 after guitarist/ growler Sander Gommans developed health problems this album is there fifth and final, and i gotta say what a way to go,released 23 April 2007, the album features 12 songs and clocks in at around 57-58 minutes (unless you have the bonus edition with the extra track, i have :) )

Well from the moment the song DISCORD kicks off with its VERY epic intro like all great symphonic metal albums should it just plain kicks ass, i cant really pick out any stand alone tracks there that good, well ok maybe one the very epic DREAMFLIGHT is just fantastic and the most progressive ive ever seen this band get, although i cant help but compare a lot of these tracks to either early Nightwish or Epica (who both are just as good), each chorus as catchy as the last which really proves the song writining ability of the band, there are a few special guests on this album including Doro who does a duet with Floor on the track WHO I AM, also After Forever's special orchestra The City Of Praque Philharmonic Orchestra appears on several songs.

overall here are the scores;

Discord - 9/10 Evoke - 8/10 Transitory - 9/10 Energize Me - 9/10 Equally Destructive - 9/10 Withering Time - 10/10 De - Energized - 9/10 Cry With A Smile - 8/10 Envision - 8/10 Who I Am - 8/10 Dreamflight - 10/10 Empty Memories - 9/10 Lonely (Bonus Track) - 8/10

To be honest in my reviews im not gonna single out each track but review the album in general in hope to be of some help when it comes to you picking weather or not to buy the album, and i gotta say with this one, if you see it, buy it its a worthy edition to any progressive metal fan's collection.

Report this review (#281807)
Posted Thursday, May 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Right under my review is my brother's review, so read his as well (on the page of this album obviosuly)

Well basically, I love this album, it's just one of the most perfect symphonic metal albums (well orchestral metal, although this band does have it's moments). This is one of the best albums of this fantastic and quite popular genre.

To be honest, when I first got this album, I thought it was going to sound like a lot of faux paux symphonic metal bands trying to get big in the music industry (unaware that they have been going since the late 90's). Boy, was I wrong.

It's a shame this band have broken up and this was their last album, because this really is a genre defying moment,

The prouduction and authenticity of the album is amazing, but the real attraction is the powerful voice of Floor Jansen. Extremely powerfull and amazing. Sometimes I have a hard time picking a favourite female vocaist out of her and other contending Dutch, Epica's Simone Simmones. I do prefer Floor slightly, but Simone does have a better operatic voice than her, and Floor has alot more power. Simone is the better looking one, so their evenly matched.

1. Discord - What an epic song. From the moment the orchestra hits hit you in the face, and Floor's voice gains your attention, it just makes every hair stand up. The most epic bit is the middle 8, her voice just excels so much power. 10/10

2. Evoke -Great mixture of epic symphonic stabs and synths. Great chorus. 10/10

3. Tranistory - Probabbly the weakest song on the album, but still a great song, nontheless. 8/10

4. Energize Me - The perfect song for a single. Infectious catchy. The song that got me into them. 10/10

5. Equally Destructive - Great chorus, and a very rocking song. 9/10

6. Withering Time - Great lyrics and some amazing use of a choir. 10/10

7. De-Energized - This song has the most growling in it. Sanders really is one of the most underlooked growlers, because he really knows how to produce and create certain pitches (being a well known grunter and screamer myself). Just very heavy, and some amazing instrumental work. 10/10

8. Cry With A Smile - Great arrangement. Almost ballad like. 9/10

9. Envision - Another slightly weaker song. Again, better than most symphonic metal bands top songs. 8/10

10. Who I Am - I have never really been interested in Doro that much, but she is actuallyagreat singer (although Floor does put her to shame). Great song, with an odd but amazing chorus. 10/10

11. Dreamflight - The 11 minute epic. Wow, very dramatic, with some amazing twists and turns. The arrangment is amazing, focusing on orchrestras, solo ambient keyboards, Floors many advanced vocal ranges, and some amazing growling. Epic as hell. Best song on the album. 10/10

12. Empty Memories - A nice slow based ballad. 9/10

13. Lonely - This is a bonus track, but I'm wondering why they didn't put it on the album, it is so beautiful. With just a piano accompaniment, and the power of Floors voice, it's a shame it's only on the special edition (Nuclear Blast albums at times but some of the best artists material as bonus tracks.)

CONCLUSION: Not many people like this genre, but if you want to get into it, I strongly advise you to get this album, it will change your perspective completely.

Report this review (#295797)
Posted Sunday, August 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars After Forever are a Dutch metal band currently signed with Nuclear Blast records. After Forever is their fifth album and anyone who hasn't heard this album should pick it up. Departing from the more operatic approach that most female fronted bands use, Floor Jansen sings with a melodic but strong voice that you can't help but love. She just sounds so ass-kicking, like Amy Lee of Evanescence on steroids. This album features 12 tracks, with a heavier flavor than on previous albums. After Forever is embarking on their premier North American tour this fall, and will be making 14 stops across the U.S. and Canada. They are also headlining what is in my opinion the premier metal festival in the country, ProgPower USA, on October 7th in Atlanta, Georgia.

The opening track, 'Discord,' is outstanding, and really pulls you into the music. Big and symphonic, it cracks into a beauty and the beast vocal style that's very powerful. That's the best word for Floor's voice I think, powerful. It's full of emotion and is such a great change from the really high Nightwish-y vocals that dominate female fronted bands. 'Transitory' is probably my favorite track. It's got some growl vocals mixed in, and the guitars are really amped up. 'Energize Me' features more overdriven guitars and some superior vocals from Floor, who now handles all the lyrics in the band. Joost van de Broek does a great job on the keyboards, and Sander Gommans and Bas Maas have moved to the forefront on this album in the crunch department. Gomman also shines as the growler.

Fans of more melodic metal do not need to worry. There is plenty here, but the band has moved into heavier territory than we've seen on past releases, like the more progressive Invisible Circles. Floor still treats us with some melodic vocal passages. 'De-Energized' has a wonderfully composed orchestral opening which then drops into a sweet guitar solo. But then we get a beautiful piano driven song with 'Cry with a Smile,' and what I'll describe as a Nightwish-style song with 'Dreamflight.' Also 'Envision' is a superb song, that could easily be a radio hit.

It's best to say that long-time fans will enjoy this album. Fans of a powerful female voice will love it, and I don't think there is anyone else who can match Floor right now. If you like the beauty and the beast style of metal, check this out. I really like this album more than their previous 2 releases because I find it heavier, and think Floor is really coming to her peak as far as her vocal performance. I know one thing; I cannot wait to check them out on tour!

Report this review (#376072)
Posted Friday, January 7, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Last official record of the Dutch "After Forever" that began in the "Gothic Metal", flirted with the "Prog Metal" and followed a variation between the "Heavy" and "Prog." With an omega on its cover may already be the sign of the inevitable demise of the band. An unprecedented event for the band was able to keep the original formation of the previous album ("Remagine"), formerly a member always went out and got another with each new release. This feature added to time the band itself suggests that this record is the most mature of these though not necessarily the best. The vocals of "Floor Jansen" lavish technique as for her singing was as natural as breathing. If "Andre Borgman" did not show much of its qualities to the album "Remagine," here he decided to venture further and point to it. In the track "Transitory" firmness in the markup, is definitely shown his ability. It is important when a musician is beyond their "obligation". One of the highlights of this album is the track "Energize Me" by all that it represents in addition to the performance of "Floor Jansen." "Equally Destructive" reminds us that the band liked the electronic moments from the previous album and decided in a more pleasant place them again. "Whithering Time" rescues the band's two albums with the difference that much more heavy. "Dreamflight" is the time "prog" this album. Their way the fifth and latest album honors itself with even distant memories of every moment of the band throughout their career. Hard to know if it was premeditated the end, but in any case, for those who like the band somehow remains ...

Report this review (#759184)
Posted Saturday, May 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars The final release by After Forever is perhaps the least distinctive in their catalogue. Almost gone are brutal death and blac metal vocals and composition parts that balanced female clean vocals. The songs are also most accessible. What is also true is that the group had simplified the songwriting on the last two albums. There are still enough progressive influences to be found and the music craftmanship is indisputable. Melodies are well thought out and vocals delicious. The longest track is epic and consists of several parts - it belongs to the highlights of the album and showcases mellow but also fast playing as well as even subtle electronica influence in one part. What I miss on this album is the dynamism of their earlier releases and unique brutal music takes. Recommended to fans of symphonic metal with female vocals. Although the album has the highest rating for After Forever, I doubt that this is their best album.
Report this review (#2055108)
Posted Monday, November 12, 2018 | Review Permalink

AFTER FOREVER After Forever ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of AFTER FOREVER After Forever

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.