BARREN EARTH

Melodic Death Metal • Finland
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Barren Earth is a Finnish progressive death metal band with a line-up consisting of former members of Amorphis as well as current members of Swallow the Sun, Moonsorrow and Kreator.

The music of Barren Earth combines elements of modern and traditional death metal with 70's prog rock and folk. Among the bands influences are artists such as Amorphis, Dan Swanö, Opeth, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull and also some pioneers of Finnish prog.

Their first release, the Our Twilight four track EP, was released on 9th November 2009 and a full length LP is currently scheduled for an early 2010 release.

Jón Aldará - Vocals Olli-Pekka Laine - Bass (Ex-Amorphis, Mannhai) Kasper Mårtenson - Keyboards (Ex-Amorphis, Ben Granfelt Band) Janne Perttilä - Guitar (Rytmihäiriö) Marko Tarvonen - Drums (Moonsorrow) Sami Ylisirniö - Guitar (Kreator, Waltari)

ex-members: Mikko Kotamäki - Vocals (Swallow The Sun)
Thanks to graphix, UMUR, Pekka, TheHeavyMetalCat for the updates

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BARREN EARTH Discography

BARREN EARTH albums / top albums

BARREN EARTH Curse of the Red River album cover 3.84 | 22 ratings
Curse of the Red River
Melodic Death Metal 2010
BARREN EARTH The Devil's Resolve album cover 3.87 | 13 ratings
The Devil's Resolve
Melodic Death Metal 2012
BARREN EARTH On Lonely Towers album cover 4.06 | 8 ratings
On Lonely Towers
Melodic Death Metal 2015
BARREN EARTH A Complex Of Cages album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
A Complex Of Cages
Melodic Death Metal 2018

BARREN EARTH EPs & splits

BARREN EARTH Our Twilight album cover 3.96 | 4 ratings
Our Twilight
Melodic Death Metal 2009

BARREN EARTH live albums

BARREN EARTH demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

BARREN EARTH Demo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo
Melodic Death Metal 2008

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BARREN EARTH Reviews

BARREN EARTH Curse of the Red River

Album · 2010 · Melodic Death Metal
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Warthur
A supergroup from the more progressive end of extreme metal, drawing deep from the Amorphis well and with Dan Swano behind the mixing desk? Well, it's an idea which looks good on paper, but the results very much depend on how keen you are on Amorphis' latter-day progressive style. Not that this is a clone band, mind - just that with two former members of Amorphis onboard, there's inevitably some crossover in aesthetic taste.

In particular, when it comes to its death metal influences this is very much on the more accessible side of the melodic death metal camp, to the point where there are segments of the album where Mikko Kotamäki's growls are more or less the only discernable death metal component of the mixture.

Where Barren Earth take things in a different direction is the vintage prog influences in their performances, especially in the keyboards, which are a bit more nostalgic and steeped in the 1970s style than Amorphis' more modern-sounding progressive moments. This may be where comparisons to Opeth hail from; either way, it makes the album an interesting listen, though I do question just how much fruit is going to grow in this Barren Earth.

BARREN EARTH Curse of the Red River

Album · 2010 · Melodic Death Metal
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Nightfly
Released in 2010, Curse Of The Red River is the debut album from Barren Earth. A band consisting of already experienced musicians from the likes of Amorphis, Kreator, Moonsorrow and Swallow The Sun.

Curse Of The Red River is a progressive melodic death metal album that seems to be influenced quite a lot by Opeth. Not only do they mix the death growls with clean vocals, they also have that light and shade and mix acoustic elements alongside heavier riffing and the music simply has a strong Opeth feel at times too. It has to be said though that while the clean vocals are adequate they aren’t in the Mikael Akerfeldt league. No problem though as Barren Earth more than make up for this with some very strong compositions, the prog elements adding plenty of twists and turns keeping things never less than interesting with many exceptionally compelling moments of musical interplay too. There’s also a heavy dose of melody. In fact even before I realised the band featured the ex-keyboard player of Amorphis – Kasper Martenson, I was thinking that those big keyboard driven melodies reminded me a lot of that band, particularly later era Amorphis. A bit strange this though as Martenson was a member in the earlier days, when they were a somewhat different beast. Perhaps his influence lives on. There’s still a healthy dose of heavy riffing though so don’t get the idea that this album doesn’t contain its share of heavy moments which is shown to best effect by a powerful production.

Barren Earth have gone on to make two more albums since this one, both good albums in their own right but I’d say Curse Of The Red River remains my favourite.

BARREN EARTH The Devil's Resolve

Album · 2012 · Melodic Death Metal
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Gallifrey
Barren Earth - “The Devil’s Resolve” 13/20

44th place album of the year 2012

Barren Earth are a ‘supergroup’ of sorts. Created out of current and former members of two of my favourite bands in the melodeath scene, Amorphis and Swallow the Sun, and a few other bands I will have to check out, Moonsorrow, Rytmihäiriö and Kreator. The band focuses on the progressive side of melodeath, as opposed to the doom and thrash of the bands it is formed from. “The Devil’s Resolve” is the band’s second full-length, continuing their style of merging melodic death metal and 70’s progressive rock, along with other genres such as folk.

Like any band who uses both clean and growled vocals, many will make comparisons to Swedish cousins Opeth, and there are plenty to be found on this album. Barren Earth utilize the same acoustic sections Opeth have become known for, specifically in opener “Passing of the Crimson Shadows” and “Vintage Warlords”. There are also hints of the heavily slide-based riffage of Opeth, specifically during “Oriental Pyre”, where we hear the dual acoustic and distorted guitars of early Opeth works.

“Oriental Pyre” also draws elements from Mikko Kotamäki’s other band Swallow the Sun, with the spoken-word vocals STS use to create their doomy atmosphere. “The Dead Exiles” also contains a very doom laden first few minutes, which could have fit perfectly on any Swallow the Sun album.

Despite being a death metal band, Barren Earth utilize clean vocal melodies excellently, in a similar manner to Amorphis. “Passing of the Crimson Shadows”, “The Rains Begin” and “Where All Stories End” all have very strong chorus hooks.

The folk and progressive elements are alive in “The Rains Begin” and “As It Is Written”, my two favourite songs on the album. “As It Is Written” begins with a hint of bagpipes, but unfortunately they do not play a huge role in the rest of the song, as I have not heard many good uses of bagpipes in metal outside of laughable folk metal bands. The growled vocals over a Hammond organ in “The Rains Begin” is quite surreal, but is actually one of the highlights of the album, merging a very retro and 70’s sounding instrument with a modern style of music. Both of these songs have folk-influenced riffs, which carry on to very good choruses, and “As It Is Written” has my personal favourite part of the album, the extended piano bridge.

The only real downfall of this album is the growling. I have never been a fan of growling, but over the years I have come to tolerate and even enjoy it, but Mikko Kotamäki’s throaty rumble hear renders lyrics indistinguishable, and often overpowers the very well written guitar parts. Of course, there are always exceptions, and I think that the chorus of “The Rains Begin” contains the best use of the death growls, but again they would be better if the lyrics were more distinguished and he didn’t sound like he had a cold during recording.

Overall a solid effort, although the quality does begin to wane in the second half. If the band can continue to come up with great riffs as the ones in “The Rains Begin” and “As It Is Written” and great choruses as in “Passing of the Crimson Shadows” and “Where All Stories End”, and clean up the growled vocals, then we have a very unique band with a hopeful future.

Originally posted at my facebook page/blog http://www.facebook.com/neoprogisbestprog

BARREN EARTH The Devil's Resolve

Album · 2012 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"The Devil's Resolve" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Finnish death/doom metal act Barren Earth. The album was released through Peaceville Records in March 2012. Barren Earth features quite a few prolific Finnish musicians like former Amorphis bassist Olli-Pekka Laine, guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö (Kreator, Waltari) and drummer Marko Tarvonen (Moonsorrow) and I guess that qualifies to be called a Finnish metal supergroup.

The fact that the band are made up of very seasoned musicians is audible, as everything is delivered with conviction and a rare profesionalism. In addition to the "core" death/doom metal sound on the album, there are also a couple of semi-progressive tendencies featured in the music. It´s especially audible in the longer tracks like album opener "Passing of the Crimson Shadows" and "As it is Written". The addition of ethnic folk elements makes me think of Amorphis more than one time during the playing time. A reference which is further enhanced by the clean/growling vocal delivery and the use of organs/keyboards. I guess you can add a slight Opeth influence to the equation, but that´s only when Barren Earth are most progressive. The tracks are made up of epic heavy riffing and more atmospheric sections. There is good variation on the album and that provides "The Devil's Resolve" with a longivity factor that not all releases possess.

"The Devil's Resolve" is a heavy and quite intriguing album and the fact that it´s well produced (in the more polished end of the style) and very well played, are not exactly negatives either. To fans of the style this should be a real treat. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

BARREN EARTH The Devil's Resolve

Album · 2012 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Time Signature
As it is written...

Genre: progressive death-doom

Who says death-doom can't be progressive? Well, My Dying Bride has always been progressive and avant-garde in their approach to the genre, and the same applies to Barren Earth's "The Devil's Resolve" which combines a lot of different elements from a wide range of musical genres within and beyond metal.

The tracks are kept at mid and heavy paces, and even the slightly faster passages in 'The Dead Exiles', for instance, and more groovy passages that you hear in 'Oriental Pyre', for example, appear quite heavy and doom-laden. Barren Earth is a band that is full of contradictions - at least on this release. Their music is heavy and dark, but rich in melody and has plenty of broad appeal. Contrary to the band's name, their music is in no way barren rich in layers, arrangements, impression and expression - and "lush" is much more fitting than "barren" (then again "Lush Earth" does not sound very metal, does it?).

A large portion of this lushness derives from the progressive approach of the band. Not only are they very eclectic, they also make use of the occasional odd time signature and their use of synths and synth effect is not unlike the spacey keys and organs featured on many progressive rock releases from the 70s.

My only beef with this album is the vocals. They are mostly growled, although clean singing does occur frequently. The growls sound very Åkerfeldt-esque (so those who are disgruntled with the latest Opeth album could turn to Barrent Earth instead), and I wonder if a more melodic singing style wouldn't suit the lush metal music better.

In any case, "The Devil's Resolve" is an impressive progressive doom-death album that has the potential for broad appeal to fans of as diverse bands as Solitude Aeturnus, Paradise Lost, Opeth, Amorphis, and Sorrows Path.

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