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Cain's Offering: Stormcrow

Cain's Offering had me hooked with their first album Gather the Faithful and I sure was thrilled to read that finally the band was returning with a follow up. Finnish guitarist/songwriter Jani Liimatainen (ex. Sonata Arctica, Altaria) founded the group that also featured lead vocalist Timo Kotipelto (Stratovarius) who returns for this new album as does drummer Jani "Hurtsi" Hurula. There have been some changes, as now playing the keyboards is the master Jens Johansson (Stratovarius) and on bass is Jonas Kuhlberg. I do have a preference for the Jani era of Sonata Arctica so when I first found out about Cain's Offering in 2009 I had high hopes. Plus with the inclusion of Timo Kotipelto and keyboardist Mikko Harkin another former Sonata Arctica member this new group had the makings of something special and that's what we got.

Stormcrow doesn't represent a major musical deviation from Cain's Offering debut, so if you are fond of Gather the Faithful then I have no doubt that you'll also enjoy Stormcrow as it's that and more. European melodic power metal is still a sizeable ingredient in their sound, take title track "Stormcrow" for example which would sound right at home on a Stratovarius release with its sprightly feel good melodic metal. It makes you wonder as to what would have eventuated if Jani had of joined Stratovarius when Timo Tolkki departed. "The Best Of Times" offers uplifting melodic metal and more of that can be found with songs like "Rising Sun" as Jani's guitar work reels you in. There's a Sonata Arctica vibe to the compelling track "A Night To Forget" as Cain's Offering drop the speed and double kicks, swift power metal awaits on "I Will Build You A Rome" and "Constellation Of Tears" as Jani and Jens get their shred on, and the dynamic duos input elsewhere is also riveting like the solos on "My Heart Beats For No One". "Too Tired To Run" starts out soft and slow then builds in power while maintaining that tempo and presents a nice change in proceedings.

Cain's Offering goes symphonic metal with a Nightwish like component for the stellar "Antemortem" that sounds fantastic as does the chorus which give me goose bumps every time I hear it. Songs like this are the reason why I adore this kind of metal so much, and I can honestly say that not one track off Endless Form Most Beautiful moves me in the way that "Antemortem" does. What can I say about "I am Legion" to do it justice? Well it's an instrumental with great performances all round and a fine mixture of power and tempo, and you just have to hear it to appreciate their efforts as Cain's Offering sweep you away with this memorable number. While the pleasing closer "On The Shore" has more to do with rock than metal as Timo Kotipelto delivers another fine performance.

The last Stratovarius album Nemesis was my favourite power metal album of 2013, and with another out later this year Stratovarius will surely have top pull something exceptional out of the bag to top Strormcrow.

Track Listing
1. Stormcrow
2. The Best Of Times
3. A Night To Forget
4. I Will Build You A Rome
5. Too Tired To Run
6. Constellation Of Tears
7. Antemortem
8. My Heart Beats For No One
9. I Am Legion
10. Rising Sun
11. On The Shore

Added: April 25th 2015
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
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Language: english

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