Rating:
9.0
After Forever - After Forever
20 April 2007


01. Discord
02. Evoke
03. Transitory
04. Energize Me
05. Equally Destructive
06. Withering Time
07. De-Energized [feat. Jeff Waters]
08. Cry With A Smile
09. Envision
10. Who I Am [feat. Doro Pesch]
11. Dreamflight
12. Empty Memories
13. Lonely [thinbox and digipack bonus]
14. Sweet Enclosure [bonus]


After Forever calls this album their "past, present, and future" and they're not kidding. You'll find classical symphonic elements like on their debut, bombastic Decipher-era rhythms, straight up metal Invisible Circles-style, and most importantly a continuation of the dominating progressive step forward they took with Remagine. As was evident on Remagine, the addition of Joost van den Broek on keyboards has been invaluable to this band. His compositions seem to take them to the breaking point of their talent and what an incredible ride it is!

This is a very cohesive collection of songs; a true album with focus and direction, yet, each song is individual and memorable. Immediately catchy hooks like in "Evoke" and "Equally Destructive" will draw you further into this very visual experience while the guitars in "De-Energized" will simply whip through your body (no doubt due to the incredible performance of Annihilator's Jeff Waters who lends his talent to the tune). Their chosen single, "Energize Me," took longer for me to appreciate, possibly due to it's placement in the track listing: compared to the bullet ride of the album so far it sticks out as a rather bland moment in it's beginning. I believe they meant it as a chance to breathe, a respite, but on the first few listens it feels more like a dead stop. Despite that, it works up to quite a powerful climax and over time you'll recognize the intended respite and look forward to the beautiful song that follows.

Vocalist Floor Jansen's immense talent and versatility has been obvious since the beginning yet she continues to surpass herself with each release; this album is no exception. If you don't already consider her one of the best voices in heavy metal then maybe this album will convince you. Speaking of vocals, we're in for a real treat with the song "Who I Am" which features the great Doro Pesch on lead vocals. Floor backs her up and the two powerhouses completely lay waste to this track, all the while showing off After Forever's "heavy" metal side of their personality.

I just can't capture with words the sheer energy and joy that this band has bottled up and recorded for us. They clearly love making music and their passion makes this incredible album that much more memorable and exhilarating than just the great compositions alone. I might say this is After Forever's finest release yet.


Band profile: After Forever
Album: After Forever


 



Written on 29.04.2007 by
Susan
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.
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Danigar - 29.04.2007 at 04:55  
Excelent review, I loved this album so so much, maybe it took time to grow on me, but after a few listens I think it became my favorite, up there with Decipher. I liked Remagine a lot too, but I think as you very well put it this one surpasess. Way to go After Forever!
Ivor - 29.04.2007 at 11:19  
Should've preordered the album a while ago. That should be corrected, I will order it soon. Seems like it should prove to be a worthy listen. Great review Susan!

I.
Passenger - 30.04.2007 at 21:29  
No way this is a 9, at least not to my eyes. It's actually a pretty enjoyable and positive album in many aspects, but ultimately without bland and true originality. In any case, a good review.
Bitch Boy - 01.05.2007 at 02:44  
Excellent review Lyrinan I was expecting this and I knew it was you who would write it down For me this album was excellent, I actually would give it more than 9. The most notable is Floor's vocals, she's perfect. I hope they continue like this: improving their sound and surpassing themselves with each release.
AnGina-- - 06.05.2007 at 11:01  
Indeed. Up till this album I loved Remagine and Decipher the best, but this new album took the 1st place immediately. Great review Lyrinan, I agree, this album has fragments of Decipher, Invisible Circles and Remagine and then again it has something new, innovative, original. AF keep getting better and better musicians and composers so all I can say is way to go AF! As I said many times, AF is actually the only band who make prog music or at least semi-prog that I love, because they're just so... so... after-foreverish
The Shape 1973 - 06.05.2007 at 16:50  
Brilliant album, maybe this is the album that Within Tempttion should have released,goth metal at its best.Made me think of early Nightwish,maybe Nightwish should be knocking on Floor's door as shes a match for Tarja.
__Az__ - 11.05.2007 at 20:01  
Definately worthy of a listen, completely typical of After Forver... Gothic metal at its best...
HELLilac - 20.07.2007 at 20:05  
Great review and I agree 100%. This album is such a great return to form of a great band.
KodrutZ - 28.07.2007 at 14:21  
I hate this album, although I like the previous ones a lot.
annodomini - 04.08.2007 at 12:58  
thank you god that show them the way... Remagine was absolute3ly peace of shit... AF is my favorite band and i am listening everything that they have created, except remagine, it is absolutely shit, so i am happy with this superb album...my respect... Very good music, i wish you was never released Remagine...
Angel-Dust - 21.09.2007 at 22:08  
Simply a wonderful album!
Land Of Doom - 23.10.2008 at 02:53  
After Forever The Best Symphonic Gothic Band And This Album Is The Best From The Best
Powerslavex - 27.11.2008 at 12:30  
Waste of my money
Daggon - 20.10.2009 at 07:19  
"They clearly love making music" That's exactly what I thought

I've been listening to this album on the past days and I think I'm getting deeper and deeper in it, It's very touching, I like almost every song in it, but the best in my opinion is "Dreamflight", holy shit! That song is surely one of the greatest they made in their entire career. It saddens me the idea that they won't keep on making this great music and the path they started with this release.
Zedd - 20.10.2009 at 10:20  
Good album. Yeah, Dreamflight is nice Interesting structure of composition. Transitory is fast and slashing
We can listen to classic vocals at the end of Empty Memories.
ErnilEnNaur - 02.03.2011 at 11:35  
Great album indeed and a very good review. I like that After Forever decided to call it a day when they were still making excellent music, I will always remember them as a band who never released a bad album, which is something I cannot say of most of my other favorite bands. Also, let's not say Floor is a match for Tarja, let's call it as it is: she wipes the floor with Tarja.
SimbelmynëAshes - 11.03.2011 at 04:24  
The first AF album I've ever listened. Immediately fell in love with them and especially with Floor's voice. Since then she's my favorite female singer of all time and no one can beat her, no one. Amazing band! Amazing voice!
mohammedMG - 28.07.2011 at 18:53  
First of all when I watched the single of the album (energize me) i was impressed because of two reasons the first one was floor's powerful voice which is very memorable to me , secondly the harmony of the playing for the song ,after that i decided to buy an album for the band ,the shop's owner gave me this one (AF) then i listened to it but i never thought that it would be so magnificent ,since that day i became a fan of AF and even if they call it a quit they'll always be my number one band though i listen to many kinds of genres and bands

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