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After Forever - Decipher

After Forever - CD Review

CD Info

Transmission Records
11 Tracks
English & Latin Lyrics

It's a shame that one of the best albums to come out of Gothic Metal rarely seems to be mentioned [or available] over here in the UK. Surprising too, since I cannot say enough good things about this album, and though I think constructive criticism pays off, it's a real effort to fault Decipher. What we have here is eleven tracks laden with heavy pounding guitars and basses as only AF can do them, elevating choirs and some of the most astounding technical brilliance of any band I have heard. The beats are complex, the production extravagant [that goes for the artwork too] and the overall effect mesmerizing. Meld this together with Floor Jansen's incredible vocals and you have something pretty special.

If, after this, you really want guidelines, the standout tracks are Intrinsic - quiet and acoustic [with added oboes] then full-on vocal and instrumental intensity - My Pledge Of Allegiance #1, Emphasis, Monolith Of Doubt....it's hard to single them out, really. Not every song appeals on first hearing because it's necessary to get used to After Forever's slightly unconventional style of song writing, but persistence certainly pays off.

I remember reading somewhere that 'Gothic Metal is not the most innovative of genres', but I disagree, and I would cite this album as my main reason why - it is so different to some of the predictable stuff that floats out of the world of Metal and I really think AF have raised the stakes with this record. Decipher is one of those albums which will give back to you as much as you give to it. It is a rare trove of musical excellence - and there is no track on this album which falls below superb. If you really appreciate the Gothic Metal genre, this can do nothing but enrich your life.