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Album Reviews : Barren Earth – Our Twilight

By on December 13, 2009

barren_earth_our_twilightFor those not in the know, Barren Earth is a new band formed by ex-Amorphis members Olli-Pekka Laine (bass) and Kasper Martensen (keyboards) together with Swallow The Sun vocalist Mikko Kotamaki, guitarists Janne Perttila (Rytmihairio) and Sami Ylisirnio (Kreator, Waltari) as well as drummer Marko Tarvonen (Moonsorrow).

Their pedigree established beyond reproach, Peaceville describe the band as “prog death metallers” and it should therefore come as no surprise when I say that the first band that comes to mind is Amorphis, circa ‘Tales From The Thousand Lakes‘ or ‘Elegy‘, but there is much more to Barren Earth once you scratch the surface.

The swirling guitar melodies and 70’s prog keyboards that started making appearances on the above albums are prevalent here though these are enhanced by a number of other styles which add different shades to each song. For every uplifting melody there is a contrasting motif, such as the crushing doom section in the middle of ‘The Flame Of Serenity‘, to remind you that Barren Earth are still a death metal band albeit one with a broader palette than most.

The major strength here is how each of the songs retain their individual flavours and fluctuate between death metal and tasteful lighter moments, the piano and acoustic guitar section on ‘Floodred‘ comes to mind, yet display a consistent thread running throughout. The production, courtesy of Dan Swano, plays a big part in this as every instrument is given ample room to breathe and neither clarity nor aggression are sacrificed in favour of the other.

If there’s a fault to be found with Our Twilight it’s simply that, at four songs and twenty minutes, it’s way too short for my liking but this will thankfully be rectified when Barren Earth release their first full length early in 2010. In the interim, Our Twilight is quintessentially Finnish and a great manner in which to get acquainted with the band.

9/10

Band: Barren Earth
Album: Our Twilight
Year: 2009
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Peaceville Records
Origin: Helsinki, Finland
www.myspace.com/officialbarrenearth

Track Listing:
1. Our Twilight
2. Jewel
3. Flame Of Serenity (Reviewers Choice)
4. Floodred

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.