September 14th, 2010
Release length: 42:49
Much of After the Storm winds up being a very impressive romp through Folk roots, and there are many songs on here that are simply fun and can become quite addicting, like “Call of Yesteryear”, which is clearly set up to be reminiscent of the kind of fun song one would expect to hear at a festival, both in today’s time at fairs that celebrate the yesteryears (pun not intended), as well as during a similar festival in the past or even in a fantasty film. This song is nicely complimented by “A New Arrival”, which is an atmospheric track that works well to set up the album and prepare the listener for this new change of direction, and for being an instrumental track with vocals that are simply there to push the atmosphere of the song and don’t utter any actual words but meerly match the tone of the music to set up a barren, dry, desert-like atmosphere. But, sadly, this is about where the fun stops with this album, as there are plenty of tracks that wind up rich with wordly Folk atmosphere, but really aren’t anything too special, and even become boring after a while, such as the title track. Sadly, these slower tracks kind of dominate the release, but there are other more energetic tracks on here, such as “Black Mountain”, which really showcases the band’s recent Gothic/Industrial sound nicely, while incorporating some folk inspirations, mostly in the drumming, that adds a nice hint of atmosphere to this much heavier song.
While the title track “After the Storm” isn’t necessarily a bad track, it’s just the start of many slower paced songs on here, the kind one would expect to hear in the years gone by with just a few minstrels, or musicians along those lines, perhaps at a campfire while telling and/or singing tales. Sadly, this song and “Silvan Spirit” aren’t really all that different from each other musically, and really don’t offer much musically outside of some rich atmosphere. After the first one or two times with these tracks, as well as the other slower paced songs on this release, they will quickly become the first ones to be skipped over in repeat spins. Another downer to these tracks comes from the vocals. While Yasmin does a nice job at matching the atmosphere of the songs vocally, the male vocals from Alexander Krull simply sound out of place, as well as rather bland through most of the song, though some times there is clearly a little more effort put into them at times.”Transilvania” is the perfect example of this. The male vocals here are actually layered, with a harder sounding song, but it’s still the same slower pace. Unfortunately with this song, the female vocals during bridges and even behind the layered male vocals sound like overkill in the end, and the male vocals in the front often sound horrible outside the chorus with the layered vocals in the background having more effort behind them. Another incident to point out is that, musically, “The Otherworld” winds up sharing some similarities throughout with “Call of Yesteryear”, especially during the bridges and certain parts of the chorus that include female vocals. However, with the similarities there, this song is still one of the more enjoyable tracks, though nowhere near as fun as “Call of Yesteryear” in the long run.
After the Storm makes for a good release that is rich in Folk and Worldly music, with only one song really poised at the Atrocity sound that has come to exist at this point in time. While this change in musical approach isn’t a bad thing, it just needs a little more refining. The music here is actually not bad and sets off the perfect ambience plenty of times, and Yasmin’s vocal approach often helps the album along. The problem here is that, after a few spins, there’s nothing much else to really offer the listener, and things start to become repetitive, even vocally on both the male and female contributions. If the band were to cut back on the slower tracks, or at least bring more into them to have them stand apart from each other a little more, as well as include more fun tracks like “Call of Yesteryear”, then another Folk album by Atrocity would be a wonderful addition and this one could simply be written off as a blueprint. But, sadly, until then, this will be an album composed of unrecognized promise.
01. A New Arrival – 3:42
02. Call of Yesteryear – 3:27
03. After the Storm – 2:47
04. Silvan Spirit – 3:33
05. Black Mountain – 5:32
06. As the Sun Kissed the Sky – 3:15
07. Transilvania – 3:27
08. The Flight of Abbas Ibn Firnas – 1:59
09. Goddess of Fortune and Sorrow – 4:42
10. The Otherworld – 5:27
11. Eternal Nightside – 4:38
|Overall Score: 4.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Napalm Records.