If you like gothic metal and are not “repulsed” by some death voices,then you’ll love this CD!The female voice is just divine and the music will put you in a trance!
2003 reissue of the goth-metal act’s 2000 album, packaged in a deluxe digipak limited to 3,000 copies. Transmission.
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If you are at all a fan of Nightwish, Theater of Tragedy, Dreams of Sanity or Within Temptation, you must get this CD.Floor Jansen has a powerful voice that flucates between glass shattering and operatic, coupled with some male grunting here and there. Personally, I feel they could have gotten away with less of the deathy vocals, but overall it fits. I like the use of keyboards here; they are fast, yet excellently fit into the melodies and often follow the vocals to strengthen the choruses.Most of the tracks are pretty heavy, with on occasional ballad-like tune that you don’t mind, just because you’ll love to hear Floor sing to you some more! I would compare them most closely to Nightwish, although only with the heavier tunes, and NW doesn’t contain death vocals. This is power/gothic metal with some excellent melodies thrown in.This is currently my favorite branch of metal and I am glad there are so many excellent female singers out there. Grab this disc, it won’t disappoint you.
“Prison of Desire” is a terrific debut CD. Probably the best debut in the genre in years! With the astounding vocals of Floor Janssen, the bonecrushing grunts of Sander Gommans and the terrifying screams form Mark Janssen, After Forever have been able to create a great CD. The music can be compared to bands like the Gathering, Within Temptation and Nightwish (one of my personal favorites). A lot of bands sound like this, but only a few bands are able to create a sound like After Forever has done. With magnificent songs like “Beyond me”, “Yield to temptation” and “Ephemeral” they should be able to compete with the best in their genre. Especially “Yield to temptation” has got some parts that would make Cradle of Filth proud. Everybody who likes gothic, power and even black metal MUST buy this CD. I can practically garantuee you that it’s worth the bucks…
Much ado has been made about After Forever’s potent combination of symphonic black metal, gorgeous soprano vocals, and throaty growling. Guess what? The music IS wonderfully intense, Floor Jansen could sing her grocery list and we’d still be enthralled, and the growling and screaming male vocals… well, more on them later.In the same sort of vein as Nightwish, Tristania, Sins of Thy Beloved, Within Temptation, and others, After Forever brings us dark, progressive metal complete with symphonic and choral touches. The lead vocalist is arguably one of the best in the business. She’s not as operatic as Nightwish’s Tarja; rather, she commands a strong, clear, vibrant voice that gives After Forever a beautiful trademark.I really don’t feel like breaking down the relative ratings of each song, so how about a general “feel” from the album? Musically creative, technically advanced, quite beautiful – ’nuff said. Of special interest to Within Temptation fans (like myself) is the track “Beyond Me”, where Sharon den Adel adds guest vocals. It’s quite a treat to hear these two talented ladies trading lines in this song.A few words about the so-called “death” or “belly” growling (and here’s the part where everyone starts scrambling to press the “This review is NOT helpful” button):It is terrible. Say all you want about it “adding drama” or “adding to the darkness” or “providing a counterpoint to the ethereal female vocals.” Frankly, it’s ridiculous and annoying, and it detracts from the beautifully gifted female lead singer.It’s not singing. It’s the sound of the Cookie Monster in an extraordinarily bad mood. It’s the sound of the world’s longest belch, like the type you get after chugging an overly-carbonated beer. It’s the sound of gargling, chundering throat juice. It causes me to be mildly concerned that the “singer” is doing himself permanent damage.Now, I’m not saying that it’s easy to do, oh no. I tried to sing along with the opening lines of “Leaden Legacy” and only got through “We cannot beeee… what yooouuu…. expeeeecccct…” before I fell into a fit of violent coughing.You know what would be great if these types of bands wanted to present a “dark” counterpart to the soprano? If they got someone like Peter Steele of Type O Negative, someone who is capable of singing with a genuine baritone. If someone like that is not available, then I wish they’d take a cue from Within Temptation and lose the male vocals entirely.It is therefore a strong testament to the pure talent of After Forever that I really like their music. I listen to “Prison of Desire” much the same way someone would eat a tasty-but-outrageously-spicy burrito: you’re enjoying every minute of it, even though tears of pain are running down your face.In conclusion, I strongly urge you to purchase this CD, if you can find it for the right price. It is a rich, symphonic black metal excursion fronted by one of the most talented vocalists in the business today. And it has some grunts and shrieks, but you can tune them out if you try hard enough.
Dutch band After Forever hit the ground running with Prison of Desire, the goth/symph/opera/classical/metal CD that shows more promise than a catwalk full of Miss America contestants.Sure there are a host of bands (mostly in Europe) that adhere to this genre’s formula of sporting a gorgeous female lead singer with a voice straight out of heaven…sharply counterpointed by a growling male voice from the pit of hell. Sins of Thy Beloved, Nightwish, Tristania, Lacuna Coil, Edenbridge, Theater of Tragedy, The Gathering and Within Temptation (among others) all feature stunning female vocals laid against a heavy metal backdrop that make them stand out like diamonds on black velvet.But, for some reason, no one does it as well as After Forever.And, in large measure, the reason is because of Floor Jansen, the 20-year-old soprano with a flawless operatic voice that amazes everyone who hears her. There simply isn’t another voice out there as clear, pure and compelling. Floor is amazing.But the rest of the musicians in After Forever are no slouches, either. The guitar playing is first-rate, with solid riffs, hooks and actual creative songwriting talent. The keyboard work is outstanding. And the drumming features everything you’d want to hear in a band of this sort: power and technical mastery.Although Decipher (the band’s second CD) wins first prize in my record collection, Prison of Desire features outstanding tracks as well.By the way, a friend of mine described After Forever’s music this way: “passionate and beautiful and at the same time angry.” She also told me her younger sister made this remark after hearing After Forever: “the music sounds like ‘two worlds fighting’” because the music is so pretty and would sometimes seem sad and then it would get angry.”I agree with their assessments. This is very passionate, beautiful music — but with a heaviness (both sonically and lyrically) that keeps it from ever becoming mere fluff.The only problem I foresee with music this creative and hard to define is finding a market for it. Especially in America. Any country that helps Britney Spears sell a gazillion copies of her latest CD will have a very hard time appreciating Prison of Desire — even though Floor’s vocals totally blow away anything Britney could ever record.It’s too bad, too. After Forever deserves as wide an audience as possible.Why don’t you buy this CD and help give them one?