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After Forever - After Forever CD (album) cover


After Forever


Progressive Metal

3.89 | 86 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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.
Nuke | 5/5 |


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