Artist: Barren Earth
Title: “Our Twilight”
Label: Peaceville Records
Genre: Doom Metal
Fans of the bands Swallow The Sun, Moonsorrow, Amorphis and Kreator have something new to be excited about and that is the collaboration of six musicians who’ve all honed their skills in those bands for years and now let those influences take new life in a crushing new band called Barren Earth. Before I get deeper into this infectious EP they call “Our Twilight” let me tell you who is in the group. It begins with vocalist Mikko Kotamaki (Swallow The Sun) who is joined by two former members of Amophis in Olli-Pekka Laine (bass) and Kasper Martenson (keyboards). Guitars are adeptly handled by Janne Perttila (Rytmihaino) and Sami Ylisimio (Kreator) with Marko Tarvonen on the drums. It’s quite a lineup but one that you fear might will sound “too much like” their previous or existing bands but this is not the case at all. There are some similarities which we find as the opening tune “Our Twilight” begins, but it’s a similarity of how one might see the band Amorphis and Swallow The Sun coming off if the two had merged into one unit. Crushing groove at the onset which leads into warm and almost ghostly clean vocals. This adventures even further by bringing an Opethian level of Prog-Death Metal to the mix and in the end tie all of these feels together. The second tune is “Jewel” and it begins with warm piano and crushing riff working together as if they were always meant to do so. Mikko wins me over with the deep resonance of his clean vocal in this one more than the growls and what was incredibly impressive was how the turn takes a very Tull meets Renaissance Progressive Rock turn with its middle section. You might be surprised at the reference of the Classical Art Rock band, but listen to a couple of their extended jams and tell me you disagree with me. Whew was all I could muster as this interlude blasted through my speakers. Needless to say I was hooked from the beginning with this one.
I’ll leave a little mystery to your own discovery about the EP and only touch lightly upon the finale which comes via “Floodred”. The tune wanders a number of musical avenues likes its predecessor tracks and yet the whole thing manages to remain as intoxicating as the rest. The song itself is very deep but really throttles the listener as it draws to a close. It’s here that we get an incredible lead guitar run and groove from the guys that makes for the perfect concert finale if this was being done at a show. As it drew to its end I envisioned lighters galore or cell phone screens if that is what the audience chooses to hold high in the air as a dramatic concert completes. I had to admit that it has been a long time since I found a mere EP of four tunes this good. Usually you get one or two tracks at best that impress you and the rest is filler but this is not the case with “Our Twilight” by Barren Earth. The bands full length CD is set to reach the masses in early 2010 and I am hopeful that this enterprise tours internationally based on its having a lot of good stuff to deliver to the fans. The EP comes with somber artwork and a two page foldout that features the lyrics to the four presented tunes. I cannot wait to hear the full-length album from these guys based on the great first impression that this EP left me with. This is a high recommendation for any of the member’s current and former bands along with the likes of Opeth, Anathema and other Progressive Death Metal artisans that are currently holding the banner high for the genre. Nice work.
1. Our Twilight
3. The Flame Of Serenity
Official Website: http://www.barrenearth.com