I am a After Forever first timer, I bought this CD to check them out before going to their show in Bedford, NH. Yeah, I was one of the 40 showing up, what a shame . Anyway…
This is a pretty much perfect symphonic metal CD.
After Forever’s music is a thick but not muddy background of two guitars and keyboard. Somebody did a good job to keep these these apart and away from the voice, you have a medium-high speed background that drives the music forward.
Not that Floor’s voice needs protection, it is extremely powerful. More of a direct, no-nonsense voice, always keeping in the “singing range”, never shouting or screaming. There are some growly male vocals in here, but much less than other bands with growls.
There is a number of ballads on there and again, After Forever just know how to do it. No bombastic landslide style instruments. Show off the voice, support it properly. Many songs show good variety, including “Dreamflight” which is an 11 minute true symphonic piece.
This is not death or trash or speed metal, I would describe it as a mix of symphonic and power metal. I hesitate to mention power metal at all, because After Forever have “true” power from Floor’s voice and they are not at all like some European power metal acts that spend their time posing and fiddling with guitar effects. Speaking of guitar work, there are nice pieces of that in here (although somebody needs his wah-wah time limited).
I haven’t checked out the extra DVD yet but since this CD is a clear 5 out of 5 anyway I can as well write a review now.
Overall After Forever are the rising Star in my favorite band list, so please excuse me now while I order their other CDs.