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Barren Earth – Curse Of The Red River

Barren Earth
Curse Of The Red River
by Maria Voutiriadou at 30 May 2010, 11:05 AM

BARREN EARTH debut album is an amazing surprise for every metalhead who adores melodic Death Metal, especially of the golden era AMORPHIS (see “Tales From The Thousand Lakes” / “Elegy”) and it can be characterized as the missing little brother of “Tuonela”. It’s obvious that you already understand what this album is about and if you look closely BARREN EARTH’s line up, you’ll get the general idea once and for good. “Curse Of The Red River” (which reminds me a lot the similar title of AMORPHIS ‘The Thousand Lakes’) is the appropriate successor to last year’s “Our Twilight” Ep that opened our appetite for some sincere and genuine melodic Death Metal when it was born.

Featuring musicians like Kasper Mårtenson and Olli-Pekka Laine of AMORPHIS, Sami Yli-Sirniö of KREATOR, Janne Perttilä and Marko Tarvonen of MOONSORROW in combination with SWALLOW THE SUN’s clarion voice, Mikko Kotamäki, BARREN EARTH stand at the sunrise of a successful carrier. They do not need some kind of distinction, being remarkable already in what they do, but because this sextet has the right thinking about how nowadays’ music should be played. Through the 54 minutes of the album you won’t be able to find a single filler or even an indifferent moment; each of the nine tracks is balanced in this sonic blend, creating a harmonic, tuneful result. Great structured solos, catchy guitar melodies that spin in your head for days and an excellent rotation of growling and clean vocals are the main characteristics of BARREN EARTH sound.

When I was listening to “Forlorn Waves” for the first time, a familiar feeling was woke inside me once again, just like the one when I listened to AMORPHIS“Better Unborn”. Maybe the constant comparison to this Finnish band bearing the same ideology is annoying for you, but it is ineluctable due to the identical sound. Besides, which of you didn’t wish to come the day of this music rebirth? BARREN EARTH succeeded much more than a rebirth though; it’s a great achievement to become creative and original in someone else’s footsteps, especially when the most of the footprints are already yours. Listen closely to songs like “Our Twilight”, “The Ritual Of Dawn”, or “Cold Earth Chamber”; familiar elements bounce in every occasion and the composing completeness deserves more than a glaring grade. On the other hand, “Flicker” could be a diamond on its own and if you happen to notice the number of the tune changes, you’ll find out the reason why. The role exchanging between the guitar and keyboard work with Kotamäki’s vocals is simply remarkable; one moment harsh and one melodic, come to conclude the musical id of the album.

If a debut album sounds like the “Curse Of The Red River” does,I can not imagine what will follow. Nevertheless, this album is a must-have and an even better companion for autumn’s loneliness. I wish all the best for BARREN EARTH’s ‘Red River’ and may crimson be forever their path. Rightfully, some hastened to call them ‘super-group’.

4 Star Rating

  1. The Curse Of The Red River
  2. Our Twilight
  3. Forlorn Waves
  4. Flicker
  5. The Leer
  6. The Ritual Of Dawn
  7. Ere All Perish
  8. Cold Earth Chamber
  9. Deserted Morrows
Mikko Kotamäki - Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
Janne Perttilä - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Sami Yli-Sirniö - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Kasper Mårtenson - Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Olli-Pekka Laine - Bass, Backing Vocals
Marko Tarvonen - Drums, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Erno Haukkala – Flute
Record Label: Peaceville Records


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Edited 27 March 2023

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