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Barren Earth - On Lonely Towers

Barren Earth
On Lonely Towers
by Jacob Dawson at 16 April 2015, 11:57 AM

The good thing about a six-piece band is that there are six minds contributing to one creative process. The old saying of “too many cooks spoil the broth” doesn’t always apply, and when a balance is struck and enough creativity is present without each mind stepping on the toes of another, the results can be pleasing. Finnish band BARREN EARTH have come together nicely, producing a well-balanced body of work that is a pleasure to hear.

The first noticeable experiment that works nicely is the weaving of the occasional classical element into the music. The first track, “From the Depths of Spring”, is entirely instrumental, using strings and the piano to provide a pleasant calm before the storm.

Howl” transitions beautifully from the opening track, quickly exploding into a maelstrom of upbeat Metal. “A Shapeless Derelict” incorporates both elements into one song, beginning with a peaceful bit of classical music before becoming heavy and electric. The vocals on this track are also interesting, with Jón Aldárá showing his ability to use clean and melodic vocals, as well as deep growls. A very catchy, low tempo beat eventually settles in with a brilliant riff, making it one of the highlight tracks.

It’s unfortunate that the bass is cast to the back of the stage, being barely audible throughout a number of songs. This may be the result of the production in general, which isn’t quite top-notch. The slower, classical elements are crystal clear and sound great, but during the faster sections the instruments struggle to separate themselves from each other slightly.

At times, the songs sounds more like musical poetry than anything else, “Set Alight” being a good example with its spoken lyrics and slower sections. Of course, this is blown away about four minutes in, when the guitars take over and show off their own version of poetry.

This is a record that will appeal to many with its ability to shake things up during its introductory classical sections and melodic solos, but there are times when the songs start to drag on and it feels like you’ve heard that section before. Cut some of the songs a bit shorter, and this would be ace.

3 Star Rating

1. From the Depths of Spring
2 Howl
3. Frozen Processions
4. A Shapeless Derelict
5. Set Alight
6. On Lonely Towers
7. Chaos the Songs Within
8. The Vault
Jón Aldárá - Vocals
Janne Perttilä - Guitars
Sami Yli-Sirniö - Guitars
Kasper Mårtenson - Keyboards
Oppu Laine - Bass
Marko Tarvonen - Drums
Record Label: Century Media


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