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On disc: Barren Earth

Curse Of The Red River - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Curse Of The Red River

Curse Of The Red River
(Peaceville Records - 2010)

Barren Earth is a new band, but the band members are well known within the metal community. The idea for this side-project was born in 2006 and in fall 2007 the band was founded. The line-up was completed within no time.
With The Curse Of The Red River they kick off. Atmospheric sounds lead you into the album, heavy riffs and complex structures take you on to this journey. Towards the end there is a slow passage where the flute gives it a Tull-ish edge. Quite cool! Musically the sextet offers heavy, but melodic music with harsh vocals which can be described as melodic death metal with progressive influences and folk elements. Our Twilight is a good example, coz here you get heavy riffs, atmospheric keyboards and brutal vocals of Mikko Kotamäki. Plus a cool guitar solo by Sami Ylisirniö. But some will know this track from the same-titled EP which was released in fall 2009. They push the limits a bit more at Forlorn Waves which shows the folk influence a bit better, but is still heavy and melodic. Complex and easy to get in at a time. Heavy and more complex is Flicker - at the beginning -, then a break and a semi-acoustic melodic passage. They switch between the heavy part with growls and the melodic passage with clean vocals. Towards the end they speed up a bit. Don't expect hyperfast passages! Heavy riffs lead you into Ere All Perish, a song which was one of the first they worked on. Again they offer twists and turns, taking you on a sonic roller coaster ride. One of my favorites is Cold Earth Chamber which starts slowly and quite melodic, then the Finnish pick up speed and add some brutal vocals. Quite catchy, too. The closer is Deserted Morrows, is atmospheric and reminds me a bit of Tiamat's Wildhoney... And later in the song of Paradise Lost... Very cool atmospheric tune! Still very heavy. So the last songs are my favorites, but that doesn't mean that the earlier ones aren't any good!
The Finnish outfit is presenting an interesting mix of different styles and so can surprise the listener with twists and turns. Melodic death metal spiced up with other sounds and so they create their own sonic world. Check out Barren Earth, if you like melodic death metal enriched with different elements.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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