BARREN EARTH — Curse of the Red River (review)

BARREN EARTH — Curse of the Red River album cover Album · 2010 · Melodic Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
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.
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