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After Forever: Exordium

If you want self-indulgent, melodramatic, symphonic-tinged gothic metal with operatic female vocals and mean-ass male growls, listen to After Forever's first two long-winded albums, Prison of Desire and Decipher. If you want a shorter and more impactful listening experience, spend a little time (26 minutes and 41 seconds, to be exact) with Exordium, the mini CD that serves as a primer for After Forever's forthcoming third full-length CD called Invisible Circles. This is the sound of an already confident band expanding its lush, dense and demanding sound and, hopefully, its audience while continuing to make challenging and rewarding music.

Featuring six tracks, Exordium finds classically trained soprano Floor Jansen sounding more lethal and seductive than ever. And the departure of guitarist and screamer Mark Jansen (no relation to Floor) makes room for daring axeman Bas Maas and gives greater leeway to guitarist and grunter Sander Gommans. The four originals here beginning with the haunting instrumental "Line of Thoughts," building to the choir-sung bridge of "My Choice" and concluding with both brutality and beauty on "Glorifying Means" each build in intensity and muscle before the band lets loose on an exquisitely executed version of Iron Maiden's "The Evil That Men Do." After Forever then closes the album with its own surreal treatment of R&B/soul singer Randy Crawford's "One Day I'll Fly Away."

As if the six songs here aren't enough of a treat, Exordium comes with a bonus DVD that includes the strange video for "My Choice," a making-of-the-video segment, live footage and photos. It's a nice little package that should tide fans over until Invisible Circles is finally released worldwide.

Track Listing:
1) Line of Thoughts (2:15)
2) Beneath (4:52)
3) My Choice (4:53)
4) Glorifying Means (5:00)
5) The Evil That Men Do (4:50)
6) One Day I'll Fly Away (4:43)
Total Time: 26:41

Added: April 27th 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official After Forever Web Site
Hits: 2948
Language: english

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After Forever: Exordium
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-12-07 08:23:37
My Score:

Closing in on the bands that are fronted by female vocalists comes After Forever. Singer Floor Jansen is aiming to make fans of the Finnish band Nightwish and Within Temptation her own with her dynamic style and vocal prowess. On this EP you will find some solid Melodic Dark Metal for not only does it feature Floor's amazing voice but is also includes the darker vocals of Sanders Gommans. The group has grown musically from their last work with departed guitarist Mark Jansen (who is not related to Floor in case you wondered) and began the groundwork on this CD which best serves as an introduction to the coming album Invisible Circles. Of the 6 tracks four are original compositions and two are cover renditions. There is a great instrumental piece in "Line Of Thoughts" and the single for the CD "My Choice" is a wonderful number that might give Nightwish a run for its money if it gets any airplay in areas that feature this stuff. Floor is a classically trained Soprano and she belts out the notes on the CD with apparent ease. The included covers were interesting as a great version of Iron Maiden's "The Evil That Men Do" is delivered with finesse. It was also nice to see a non-expected Maiden tune be used rather than the standards that everyone does. "One Day I'll Fly Away" which is an R&B track get the Symphonic Metal treatment and sounds pretty good considering. In addition to Floor and Sanders, the members of After Forever are Lando Van Gils, Andre Borgman, Bas Maas, & Luk Van Gerven. I think we are going to see some great things from this band.

This EP length CD comes with a bonus DVD and it offers you a little more insight into the group along with a video and a making of. There is a good clip that shows various stages of the band and a lot of artwork to enjoy. I would have liked to see some live footage since the CD itself was so short, but the chance to observe a little more was nice.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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