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Barren Earth - The Devil's Resolve Award winner

Barren Earth
The Devil's Resolve
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 08 March 2012, 9:28 PM

After been given so many cheering recommendations about this band, I had to find out what it was all about. Fortunately that there was a brand new album on the way that I could check out and write about. I don't know if it has been recognized under that same title but I think that the Finnish BARREN EARTH is a supergroup, a powerful unit that holds some of the greatly experienced and creative musicians in the land, the Finnish land. It consists members and ex-members of AMORPHIS, KREATOR and SWALLOW THE SUN. On its own these giant names tell the whole chronicle alone about the potential to create wonders, but it is crucial to actually listen to what level this group had reached.

Through Peaceville Records BARREN EARTH strike with "The Devil's Resolve" that is continuing their journey through the lungs of progression. The basis, as in the previous album was Death with slight extreme Doom Metal, but the other layers saluted to 70s oriented Progressive Rock and other psychedelic aspects, at least this time, were intensified further on. Generally it was like listening to mid 90s AMORPHIS, it is hard not to recognize the knacks of the veteran Finnish giant especially when three of its past members are on board, along with strong hints of PINK FLOYD and KING CRIMSON. Even without being driven by catchy and commercialized elements, BARREN EARTH shared creates a type of uniqueness that was constructed by both aggressive occurrences of hard driven guitars and growls and tender segments that gave birth to acoustics, soft vocals and astounding keyboard action. Just when I thought that I was losing the flow on most of the songs, there was always an answer waiting. That is what I call true art, creative mind and amazing musicianship.

Riding on the wings of the partial dreamy "As It Is Written", which caused me to be speechless, made me understand that there are no boarders for development. There are no binding chains to the course of imagination. Mikko Kotamaki, of SWALLOW THE SUN, may be an excellent growler with deep yet distinguishable pattern, but his clean singing is far beyond. Such elegance in a voice for this kind of music is hard to come by. BARREN EARTH also showed their angered side with "Passing Of The Crimson Shadows", but in a way calling this song aggressive might lift a few eyebrows. "The Devil's Resolve" may have its deathly moments yet the winning chip is the articulate Rock that elevated their traditional Death Metal outbursts. I say that you must experience this album and do it over and over. It is a gift for anyone who appreciates Progressive Rock and extreme Metal.

4 Star Rating

1. Passing of the Crimson Shadows
2. The Rains Begin
3. Vintage Warlords
4. As it is Written
5. The Dead Exiles
6. Oriental Pyre
7. White Fields
8. Where All Stories End 
Mikko Kotamäki - Vocals
Janne Perttilä- Guitars
Sami Yli-Sirniö- Guitars
Kasper Mårtenson- Keyboards
Oppu Laine- Bass
Marko Tarvonen- Drums
Record Label: Peaceville Records


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