Barren Earth - Our Twilight EP (Peaceville, 2009)

Barren Earth are a crew that look quite impressive on paper. Active members of Swallow the Sun, Kreator and Moonsorrow join a couple of Amorphis alumni to cook up some fine Finnish cuisine. Melodic death metal is the foundation, but the product is a savory blend of progressive and doomy elements. Our Twilight serves as an introduction to the Barren Earth sound, as well as a teaser for their full-length debut next year.

People on this side of the pond seem to have a low gag threshold for cheese in their metal. I, in particular, can't seem to keep down overly potent prog or raw folksiness. Fortunately, Barren Earth infuses these elements into its music in modest measure. Their formula is roasted to perfection and doesn't offend my delicate American palate. The result is just exotic enough to send me looking for more.

The guitar work on Our Twilight is memorable and fairly dynamic. There are chugging chunks of rhythm guitar accompanied by melodic leads. Some passages evoke latter day Opethian stylings, with a bit of My Dying Bride thrown in for fun. For the most part, this is melodic death metal meat and potatoes, which suits me fine. There are some absolutely insane solos in the mix. It's serious shreddage with a satisfying arc of movement.

The guitars are accompanied by Kasper Mårtenson's stellar keys. The sound shifts between guttural organ and straight piano. Some subtle symphonics can also be heard, although they are generally downplayed. Mr. Mårtenson seems to intuitively know the Limburger limits of keyboards. He flashes impressive skills and augments the music without overpowering or overstepping.

I was already a fan of Mikko Kotamäki's vocal work in Swallow the Sun. His death rasps are excellent here and ground the music in a kind of blue collar workmanship. Mikko's clean vocals are fairly subdued - he doesn't push too far out of his comfort range. At the very least, the clean singing gives the proceedings a melancholic feel.

All told, there is a fairly ridiculous amount of entertainment to be found in these 4 songs. Our Twilight doesn't meander - I get a sense of immediacy throughout. This is definitely worth checking out, and I'm quite looking forward to the full album.

Oh, and don't think I didn't notice that the first 4 notes of the title track sound exactly like the intro to the Death song "Bite the Pain." Alas, it is a passing guitar phrase, and a completely inoffensive coincidence.

82/100

Our Twilight is out on November 17th in the U.S.

You can check out samples of the songs here.
Barren Earth Myspace

Full disclosure: Peaceville provided me with a promo copy.

0 comments:

Labels

2013 (1) 2014 (1) 2015 (5) 2016 (11) 2017 (5) 3 Inches of Blood (1) 7 Degrees Records (1) A Storm of Light (1) Abbath (2) Absu (1) Acephalix (1) Agalloch (1) Agrath (1) Altar of Plagues (4) ambient (1) Amon Amarth (4) Amorphis (1) Ancient Wound (1) Anhedonist (1) Animals as Leaders (1) Aosoth (1) Apostasy Records (1) Arsis (1) Assück (2) astrogrind (1) At The Gates (1) Atakke (2) Augury (1) Aural Music (1) Australia (1) Autopsy (1) Avantgarde Music (1) Backslider (1) Bandcamp (4) Baroness (5) Barren Earth (1) Batillus (2) Be'lakor (2) Beansidhe (2) Beaten To Death (3) Bindrune Recordings (3) Black Anvil (10) Black Cobra (1) Black Metal (62) Blender Theater (3) Blood Harvest (2) Blood Incantation (1) Blood Music (1) Bloody Panda (1) Blue Record (1) Blut aus Nord (2) Bolt Thrower (2) Bosse-de-Nage (1) Botanist (1) Bowery Ballroom (1) Buckshot Facelift (1) Burning World (1) Burst (4) Cake Shop (2) Candlelight (1) Cannibal Corpse (2) Captain Cleanoff (1) Carcariass (1) Carcass (3) Castevet (8) cats (1) Century Media (1) Chepang (1) Chronicles of Chaos (1) Chuck Schuldiner (1) Cloud Rat (2) Cobalt (2) Code666 (1) Coffinworm (1) Concussion (1) Coney Island High (2) Converge (1) Convulse (1) Convulsing (1) Creator-Destructor Records (1) Crom Dubh (1) Crucifist (1) crust (2) Curandera (2) Cynd (1) Cynic (1) Dååth (1) Dark Descent Records (6) Dark Tranquillity (1) Darkane (1) Darkthrone (2) Deafest (5) Death (2) Death Angel (1) death metal (61) Deathspell Omega (1) Debemur Morti (2) Decibel (2) Decrepit Birth (2) Defeatist (8) Demilich (1) Dephosphorus (1) Disappearer (1) Discordance Axis (1) diSEMBOWELMENT (1) Disma (3) Disrotted (1) Dissection (2) Don't Give a Fuck (1) doom (24) Down (2) Dream Theater (2) Drugs of Faith (1) Dunkelheit Produktionen (1) Duplicate Records (1) Dying Fetus (1) Dystrophy (1) Earache (4) Eight Bells (1) Eluveitie (1) Emperor (1) Enslaved (3) Entombed (2) Epoch (1) Europa (3) Explosions In The Sky (1) Falls of Rauros (1) Fen (3) FLAC (1) Flaming Tusk (4) Flourishing (6) folk (1) folk metal (2) From Exile (1) Fuck the Facts (5) funeral doom (5) Funeral Moth (2) Fuoco Fatuo (1) Gattaca (1) Gaza (1) GetOverHere (1) Gigan (1) Gilead Media (3) God Dethroned (2) Gojira (5) Google Music (1) Google music beta (1) Gorguts (3) Gorod (2) Gramercy Theater (2) Grand Ballroom (1) Grave Miasma (1) Graveyard Hill Records (1) Grind and Punishment (1) grindcore (28) Grindcore Karaoke (1) Guns N' Roses (1) Gustavo Santaolalla (1) Gwynbleidd (1) Gygax (1) Handshake Inc. (1) hardcore (7) Heaving Earth (2) heavy metal (2) Hells Headbangers (1) Hellthrasher Productions (2) High Water Media (1) Highline Ballroom (1) Hivelords (1) Holy Grail (1) Hooded Menace (2) Horrendous (3) Horror Pain Gore Death Productions (2) Howls of Ebb (1) Humanity Falls (2) I (1) I Abhor (1) Ill Omen (1) Imbroglio (2) Immolation (6) Immortal (4) Impiety (1) In Flames (2) Incantation (3) industrial (2) Infernal Stronghold (1) Infestus (1) Ingrowing (1) Inquisition (2) Interviews (1) Intronaut (2) Inverloch (1) Invertia (1) Invictus Productions (2) Ipsissimus (2) Irkallian Oracle (1) Iron Bonehead (1) Iron Bonehead Productions (1) Iron Maiden (4) Irving Plaza (4) Isis (1) Katatonia (3) Khthoniik Cerviiks (2) King Giant (1) Krallice (10) Kreator (4) Krypts (3) Kylesa (4) Lamb of God (2) Landmine Marathon (3) Last Rites (1) Laster (1) Latitudes (1) Lavadome productions (2) Lay Down Rotten (2) Legion (1) Listenable Records (1) Lit Lounge (1) Ludicra (4) Lychgate (1) Madison Square Garden (1) Magrudergrind (2) Man's Gin (1) Manipulator (1) Marduk (1) Marty Friedman (1) Martyrdöd (1) Maruta (1) Maryland Deathfest (2) Mas-Kina Recordings (2) Masonic Temple (1) Mastodon (6) Megadeth (1) melodic death metal (4) Melvins (2) Metal Bandcamp (6) Metallica (1) Mikael Åkerfeldt (1) Milwaukee Metalfest (1) Mirovia (1) Misery's Omen (1) Mithras (2) Mitochondrion (1) Moksha (1) Mollusk (1) Mono (2) Moonsorrow (1) Morbus Chron (1) Mortician (1) Motörhead (1) Mournful Congregation (1) Music Hall of Williamsburgh (1) Mutant Supremacy (5) Mutiny Within (1) My Dying Bride (4) Nachtreich (2) Naisian (1) Napalm Death (5) Nasum (1) Necrophobic (1) Necrosemen (1) Necrowretch (1) neo-classical (1) Nephelium (1) Nerve Altar (2) Neuraxis (3) Neurisis (1) New Zealand (1) Nile (2) Nirvana (1) No Fashion Records (1) noise (3) Nokia Theater (1) Nordvis (2) Nuclear Blast (3) Nuclear War Now! (1) Nucleus (2) NWOBHM (2) Obscura (4) Obsequiae (2) Ogg Vorbis (1) Opeth (5) Order of Orias (1) Osmose Productions (1) Owen Hart (1) P.L.F. (1) Pact Ink Records (2) Pagan Records (1) Pallbearer (1) Pantera (1) Paroxsihzem (2) Peaceville (4) Pelican (6) Phantom Glue (1) Phil Anselmo (1) Pinnacle of Bedlam (1) pirate metal (1) Plebeian Grandstand (2) Poland (1) Polluted Inheritance (1) Portal (1) post-metal (2) post-rock (2) Priapus (1) Prisoner of War (1) Profound Lore (9) prog (11) Prosthetic (2) Psychic Limb (3) Pulverised Records (1) Qrixkuor (2) Quorthon (1) Radiation Blackbody (1) random playlist (3) Red Album (1) reissue (1) Relapse (8) Revocation (5) Ritual Chamber (1) Robert Johnson (1) Sabre (1) Saint Vitus Bar (1) Sarcasm (1) Sarpanitum (1) Satan (1) Scion (1) Scrotum Jus Records (1) Selfmadegod Records (1) Setentia (2) Seventh Rule (1) Severnaya (1) Shea Stadium (1) Siberian Hell Sounds (1) Skeletonwitch (6) Slough Feg (1) Sludge (16) Slugdge (1) Social Distortion (1) Soilwork (3) Soulseller Records (1) Southern Lord (3) Spectral Lore (2) speed metal (1) StarGazer (1) Streetwalker (1) Suffocation (5) Sulaco (1) Summer Slaughter (1) surf (1) Swallow the Sun (2) Swashbuckle (3) Swedish Death Metal (1) Swimming (1) Swords of Chaos (1) Sydney (1) Symphony X (1) Taake (1) technical death metal (7) Temple of Abandonment (1) Thantifaxath (1) The Absence (1) The Acheron (3) The Ajna Offensive (1) The Binary Code (1) The Bowery Electric (2) The Chance (4) The Charleston (2) The Communion (1) The Faceless (4) The Fucking Champs (2) The Knitting Factory (3) The Path Less Traveled Records (7) The Rolling Stones (1) The Secret (2) The Studio at Webster Hall (5) Thou (1) thrash (10) Thrawsunblat (1) Throatruiner Records (1) Throne Records (1) Tiger Flowers (3) Toad's Place (1) Tombs (6) Triptykon (1) Union Pool (2) Unmen (1) Unspeakable Axe Records (1) Urfaust (1) Vancouver (1) Velnias (1) Vendetta Records (1) Vex (1) Via Nocturna (1) Vic records (1) viking (2) Vit (1) Vitriol Records (1) Vore (1) W.T.C Productions (1) Wadge (1) Wake (1) Warbringer (2) Weakling (3) Weapon (1) Weedeater (1) What We All Come To Need (1) Willowtip (4) Withered (5) WITTR (1) Woe (3) Wolves In The Throne Room (5) Woods of Ypres (4) Wormrot (9) Writhing Mass (1) Xaddax (1) Xantam (1) year-end list (2) Yellow Eyes (1) Yith (1) Zhrine (1) Zosimus (1)