Label: Metal Blade Records - 3984-15520-0 • Format: CD Album Digipak • Country: USA & Europe • Genre: Rock • Style: Power Metal, Folk Metal
Best viewed without Internet Explorer, in x resolution or higher. As one might expect, Amain—the Spring album in the cycle—steps away from this black metal edge, and introduces a sound that is both gentler and more taciturn, with strains of the bombast the band lost during the winter. However, if this is spring, it Tomorrow - Teddy Bass - Blade Runner a Scandinavian spring: cold and dour, with winter still licking at your heels, until the world explodes with colors and scents.
First, Crimfall has two fantastic singers: Mikko and Helena. Helena is one of the most talented vocalists in metal. Her voice The Last Of Stands - Crimfall - Amain full and throaty and her approach to the music is powerful and dynamic. Her range is large—hitting some pretty high notes along the way, like on the opening track—and her voice peppers musical arrangements in a way that never detracts from them. Mikko is a dynamic screamer, with great feeling and presence. And Amain outdoes itself in terms of its orchestrations.
The orchestrations, in the whole tapestry are detailed, cinematic, and engrossing. Combined, the musical and vocal talent contained on Amain are impressive. The extraordinary efforts exhibited here pay off in a sound that is unique and accessible, detailed and anthemic. Amain is a towering accomplishment.
While Amain towers, however, minor cracks in its base are just visible er, audible? Such fumbles seem bizarrely out of place in an otherwise so diligently crafted and perfected work of art like Amain, and are fortunately few and far-between. The bigger problem is that like most everything coming out of Fascination Street these days, Amain is brickwalled.
The fact that Crimfall never backed down speaks to the vision—and bullheadedness—of its members. Fortunately, Amain demonstrates that belief in their vision was well-founded. Aside from minor quibbles and longstanding The Last Of Stands - Crimfall - Amain of the music industryI think Amain is a great addition to the Crimfall catalog.
Listening to the three albums in a row makes The Last Of Stands - Crimfall - Amain appreciate every compositional choice even more, and the subtle differences between the albums emphasize the under-appreciated vision of Crimfall. They released two incredible albums in as many years. The first album was quite bouncy and unique with tons of fun to be had the whole The Last Of Stands - Crimfall - Amain through. The follow-up was a little heavier and darker but still just as good.
Then they went into the shadows for a while until news of a new album broke this year. Given that Amain comes six years after the last album, how will their sound hold up on the long-awaited third album? The answer is pretty damn well considering the six year gap between albums.
Musically, this album sounds like a combination of their two Running For The Anger - Various - Survivors Of Hardcore 2008 albums, which makes sense. The fun, bouncy songwriting is still there, albeit slightly subdued, but so is the darker, heavier atmosphere from the second album.
The album is not quite as riff-oriented as the first two, which is disappointing, but there are still a few good riffs on here. Many of the bass lines are audible and actually add to the melody, which is refreshing.
They definitely saved the best for last and long-time fans will be very pleased with this song as it sounds the most like their debut. The female vocals are dialed back compared to their previous output but Helena is still an above average vocalist. While they are quality harsh vocals, their overuse slightly detracts from the enjoyment of the album as a whole. True to form, Crimfall have produced an epic album with Amain.
It is very well produced with plenty of grand orchestration worthy of a battle scene in a movie. The choirs on this record are also quite good and not overused. There is some nice folk instrumentation scattered throughout this album but it definitely could have used more. The album contains some truly excellent tracks, most of which are at the back, and none that are inherently bad.
Some albums are front-loaded but this one is back-loaded. The front and middle are solid but the quality is You Are A Light - Pavement - Terror Twilight quite up to that of the back end. Hopefully they take the positives of this album and build on them for the next one.
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