Reviews Barren Earth The Curse Of The Red River

Barren Earth

The Curse Of The Red River

Barren Earth is like an ex-members of who's who. Sporting members from Swallow The Sun, Amorphis, and Moonsorrow among others. The band is veritable Swedish metal powerhouse. The band makes the most of the sum of their parts. Cultivating parts of melancholic metal of Swallow The Sun and the metal with Swedish folk touches of Amorphis. They songs have a folky feel while still being metal first and foremost. That is not to say they're making metal for the Korpiklaani crowd. This is most certainly a melodic metal album with strong ties to their Swedish heritage.
The vocals are what really feel special in this. Being that Swallow The Sun may be one of the best depressive metal bands of the last decade it is of little surprise that Mikko Kotamäki shines. The vocals alternate from demonic grunts to calm yet soaring melodic vocal turns. This is all done with a strong sense for what will make the song flow. The melodic parts add a strong sense of drama to each song floating above the mix enough to create a spotlight rather than just be a part of the song. The guitar part are very well written as they make the most of working with the vocals and the other instruments throughout. While the guitars generally act as the main instrument the share the space creating room for the piano or flute or any other instrument that may stray into the song. That is where Barren Earth really seem to stray off is the additional instruments within the mix. Each song contains an additional instrument into the song writing and structure. While these instruments an interesting contrast to the original song and flesh out the ideas that the band is playing with, they also seem to act as a downer at times. In some parts the piano takes center stage prolonging the song and seemingly stretching the song out by a good minute or so. When coupled with the other instruments in the heart of the structure the piano really adds something.
Overall Barren Earth is a band that should please any fan of the members other projects. The other note is that their strong sense of melody and obvious songwriting chops should gain them a well deserved flock of fans as well. This is not necessarily any particular type of metal as it is a well crafted blend of many types of metal to create a strong whole.

8.2 / 10Jon E.
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Peaceville

2010

8.2 / 10

8.2 / 10

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