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Released: 2015, Frontiers Records
It’s hard to believe, but it’s been nearly 6 full years since power metal “super group” Cain’s Offering released their highly acclaimed debut album, GATHER THE FAITHFUL. The band was initially formed by ex-Sonata Arctica guitarist Jani Liimatainen when he joined forces with Stratovarius singer Timo Kotipelto, along with a few other power metal luminaries. The resulting album was an amazing power metal feast that still sounds fresh and vibrant today. With a few relationship shuffles out of the way, the band has finally returned with a follow up, STORMCROW.
Fans of the debut album will be instantly at home with the brash power metal of the album’s lead off title track which picks up exactly where the debut left off. Fans of fast Stratovarius-like power metal will be easily sated, particularly by the thunderous “Constellation of Tears”. Another highlight would be “My Heart Beats For No One”, which is a near-perfect blend of heavy and catchy. Those are just my favorites though, every single song is perfectly executed and memorable. Like the debut, the lyrics are somewhat distractingly focused on sappy relationship themes, but the music is too good to be overshadowed by them.
Another somewhat negative point is the obvious influence of Nightwish that’s suddenly entered Cain’s Offering’s music. Cain’s Offering songs have always been on the bombastic side of power metal, but you’d have to be deaf to hear “Antemortum” and “I Am Legion” and not pick up on the fact that, while they are superb songs, they are pulled directly from Tuomas Holopainen’s playbook. Fortunately those are the only two instances of this and both are great songs besides, so it really doesn’t detract from the album.
No matter what, this is a very rewarding and entertaining album to listen to. Timo Kotipelto sounds as great as he ever has, and Liimatainen’s writing and playing is at the top of his game. No matter how the rest of 2015 turns out, STORMCROW will undoubtedly sit high atop many power metal lists this year.
2. The Best of Times
3. A Night to Forget
4. I Will Build You a Rome
5. Too Tired to Run
6. Constellation of Tears
8. My Heart Beats for No One
9. I Am Legion
10. Rising Sun
11. On the Shore
Timo Kotipelto: Vocals
Jani Liimatainen: Guitar
Jens Johansson: Keyboards
Jonas Kuhlberg: Bass
Jani Hurula: Drums
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