After Forever - Remagine

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Transmission Records
Catalog Number: TMSP-055
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:37:00

After Forever has been through some moving times. A change in the line up: Lando van Gils left the band and Joost van den Broek (ex-Sun Caged, Ayreon) took his place. Also the band has dealt with sickness, like appendicitis from Sander Gommans and the cancer of André Borgmans, of which he fortunately recovered. But also two members of the fan club had to deal with this disease, and unfortunately one of them passed away. But despite these troubles, the band persisted and delivered their best album ever: Remagine, the fourth studio album, not counting Exordium.

When you listen to Remagine, you hear the label "Gothic Metal" has a kind of dropped off. Striking is the fact since Joost van den Broek is on board, the keyboards got a more prominent place in the music. In addition van den Broek has played his part also in the writing process. The tight, heavy riffs and ditto drums are still there, but on Remagine there is more "playing" with melodies and orchestrations. Also the vocals by Floor Jansen on the album are simply sublime. OK, every reviewer is shouting [that] Floor is using her voice differently and in more ways, since the release of Exordium, and the easiest thing for me to do, is join that. But listen to her vocals yourself on the album and you?ll see what I mean.

Getting back to that gothic label: the majority will always call After Forever a gothic metal band, but I find them absolutely more a progressive metal band. Listen to "Boundaries Are Open" or "Being Everyone," which are both very accessible songs, with a catchy groove and great potential for radio airplay. With all good will of the world. you can?t call those songs gothic. Still, the gothic elements, like the soprano vocals mixed with grunts, are not gone. Better yet, in "Living Shield" Sander Gommans goes loose with his grunts and we are treated to some delicious heavy riffs and a tasty guitar solo. My favourite, though, is "Attendance," which has this nice, heavy beat, and some great grunts (that I ever would write that even surprised me!).

It takes a lot of effort, but I am not going to describe each song of the album, you will have to listen to them yourself. I purposely say it takes me effort, as I think each songs stands like a house. Remagine is a milestone in the history of After Forever and if this does not lead to a wider audience, I don?t know it anymore.

One song needs to be mentioned, though: "Strong." With regards to all the events that have passed in the past year, this song has a deep emotional load for the band. The song was written because of the illness of Floor?s mother, but [also] because of the afore mentioned illnesses, the depth of the song increased. Despite that, it turned out to be a magnificent ballad. Besides the beautiful vocals, it has one of the best guitar solos I have heard in ages!

OK, I can?t help myself, one more then. But only because I think this song really rocks live: "Only Everything." This song creates a tension and you wait for the outburst, but that doesn?t come?until Andr? Borgman chops in with his drums and presents you with a catchy and heavy sound. This must be amazing to play live.

By no means did I mention everything off the album, but I hope by this time you are already under way to the nearest CD store to buy this album. Because you just have to do that. And you can choose: either the version with a bonus DVD, containing a making of the album, or the SACD, with a 5.1 mix and three bonus tracks. This is by far one of the best albums of 2005 and despite the fact we have received a load of great albums in the past year, I am certain many reviewers will have Remagine in their top 10 over 2005. It will be in mine!

Enter / Come / Boundaries Are Open / Living Shields / Being Everyone / Attendance / Free Of Doubt / Only Everything / Strong / Face Your Demons / No Control / Forever

Floor Jansen - vocals
Sander Gommans - guitars, grunts, solo, acoustic guitar
Bas Maas - guitars, vocals
Joost van den Broek - synths
Luuk van Gerven - bass
Andre Borgman - drums

Ephemeral (demo) (1999)
Wings Of Illusion (demo) (1999)
Prison Of Desire (2000)
'Follow In The Cry' (CD Single) (2000)
Decipher (2001)
'Emphasis' (CD Single) (2001)
'Monolith Of Doubt' (CD Single) (2002)
Exordium (ep) (2003) 'My Choice' (CD Single) (2003)
Invisible Circles (2004)
Remagine (2005)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin NL

Added: September 14th 2005
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 1354
Language: english


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