I was walking through the store shortly before the holidays, and I just somehow stumbled upon this CD, which I was attracted to, not because of it’s quasi-gothic artistic cover commonplace with the bands I’ve gotten into over the past 5-6 years or so, but a sign on the front telling me that it’s from a former composer of Within Temptation, which is easily one of my favorites of this list of bands I’ve gotten into. And so I popped it in, and I listened to it, and for the most part, my high expectations were to an extent met. All – not most, but all, of these songs have some solid rock elements, some well-composed orchestral elements, and even some slight elements of ‘good’ pop; that is, that slight bit of bubbly energy and an additional metalic sound, versus something that sounds like Brittany Spears. However, while this album has no real downers, I can’t say that any songs really blew me away. Let’s just say that on my iTunes, I’ve ranked all the songs a 4/5 rating, none a 5/5, none a 3/5 or lower.
There are a few slight highlights. The first song, the title song ‘April Rain’ keeps a nice consistent sound that’s always pleasing and fun, if a tad traditional. And towards the end of the album is ‘I’ll Reach You’, a song which sounds good for the most part, but certainly climaxes with a chorus that sounds like it’s from a truly exceptional song; the problem is that the bulk of the song isn’t as strong. The same, or opposite, could be said about the third song, ‘Invidia’ (no relation, I’m thinking, to the graphics card company NVidia), which starts off truly beautiful, almost hauntingly and mesmerizingly, but during it’s chorus, turns almost nasty. The same types of problems are throughout the album – every song, pretty much, has segments that are excellent, and segments that are just good.
There is also one other thing I should mention, which is that the mixing doesn’t seem that great. The mixing sounds a lot like ‘Enter’, the first Within Temptation CD, which was well composed as well, but certainly not as sharp-sounding as something such as their later album ‘The Silent Force’, or Nightwish’s ‘Dark Passions Play’ – if you don’t like those albums, just note that I’m merely pointing out the sound quality. This album is, by contrast, very light on both the lows and highs, mostly in the middle-frequency range. Luckily, it’s clear enough, lacking such problems of other albums like the piano being swallowed up by the guitar/bass.
Overall a good CD – I only discovered moments ago that there was another CD previously released, so I cannot state which is superior, but I can say that if you’re a fan of groups like Within Temptation, Nightwish, or particulartly Sirenia, you should get a reasonable amount of enjoyment from this.