Released: 2009, Peaceville Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Whenever known musicians gather together for a project/or band, it´s very easy to start talking about some sort of a ´super group´. That is also the case with this relatively new Finnish progressive and folky doom/death metal outfit named Barren Earth that consists of no less than two ex-members of Amorphis, the vocalist of Swallow the Sun, the drummer for Moonsorrow and Sami Yli-Sirniö of Kreator, so talk about some pretty strong line-up in here.
Of course it´s a true advantage for any project (or band) to have this many experienced musicians in the same band, who have all earned their own spurs, and built up their own success stories in their previous/current bands (Amorphis, Waltari, Swallow the Sun, Moonsorrow, Kreator, etc.) – and brought all their musical experience and focus into one musical formation. This is what has also happened with Barren Earth who have just got their first fruit out; a 4-song EP titled OUR TWILIGHT, on Peaceville Records.
OUR TWILIGHT introduces us the kind of band that basically reflects some of these guys´ both past and current bands musically. It´s all about the past heaviness, brutality and melancholy of old Amorphis stuff, oppressive and prog-ish atmospheres of Swallow the Sun, some epic and folkish moments of Moonsorrow – and host of other similarities to some Opeth, some Paradise Lost, some Katatonia and some other psychedelic-spiced and progressive doom/death stuff, too. It´s a mish-mash of many musical resemblances really – and what´s the most important thing, you can hear from everything the Barren Earth camp hasn´t rushed things for this 4-track effort. All the 4 songs on this EP have been well crafted, building strong bridges between heavier, crushingly atmospheres and beautiful and ethereal parts that just melt to each other sufficiently and yet so effortlessly even. It´s kinda hard to pinpoint the exact style of Barren Earth´s stuff, but actually one can call it whatever he/she wants to call it. Undoubtedly words like ´folk-ish´, or ´progressive´, or ´rock-ish´ doom/death is what people get associated with when giving a listen to Barren Earth – and whatnot because they really are all of these things together, supporting the band´s vision perfectly how they want Barren Earth´s music to be created from all of their collective minds.
Barren Earth should have their debut album out in early 2010 (recorded at the legendary Seawolf Studios in Helsinki, Finland – and mixed by Dan Swanö at Unisound), basing my opinion solely on the 4 darn impressive tracks on their OUR TWILIGHT EP, I have to say I am already eager to hear the album.