After Forever
After Forever
Style: Symphonic Metal
Release date: April 23rd 2007

With their fifth, self-titled album After Forever takes the best from the past - the aggressiveness from the old days, the melancholy from 'Decipher', the energy from 'Prison of Desire', the progressive approach from 'Invisible Circles', the melody and catchiness from 'Remagine' and incorporates it all into their fullest and most mature album for some time.

On one hand this is the most symphonic album to date, but the 'cookie-monster' vocals gives a very nice and aggressive contrast to the big and catchy soundscapes. Floor Jansen is the centre of attention and she delivers a brilliant performance on the album, but what really impresses me on this album is the partnership of guitarists Sander Gommans and Bas Mass, who have written the entire lot and throughout the album deliver one great riff and lead after another. Joest van den Broek's playing on the album is also very good; he has some nice duels with the guitars.

The sound is good and powerful and fits the music very well. There are a couple of guests appearing on the album: Doro Pesch and Jeff Waters - most notable is the performance from Doro - she shares the vocals with Floor on one the best songs on the album "Who I Am", Jeff contributes with some leads.

This is the best After Forever album since their debut album, which still stands as the pinnacle of their career in my book. Compared to genre titans like Within Temptation and Nightwish, they aren't quite there yet, but that doesn't make this a bad album. And if you are into symphonic metal with some more aggressive parts then I suggest you'd give this one a try...

Label: Nuclear Blast
Distribution: VME (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Kenn Jensen
Date: April 4th 2007