Vera : It rarely happens that I use the word super band, but when I read about the birth of Barren Earth a few months ago, I took paper and pen and wrote down the name. In Finland, six musicians with a renowned name had united their forces and musical visions to create music they describe as progressive death metal with folk and doom influences. Inspiration comes from Opeth to Pink Floyd, from Paradise Lost to Jethro Tull. Right here the new heaviness shall be combined with the mind-blowing beauty of the seventies!
Who are these persons behind Barren Earth? Beware! Vocalist Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow The Sun) joined the club as last one, the quintet already put down an instrumental foundation before. We are regaled with ferocious grunts and refined clean vocals. Two quondam members of Amorphis: Olli-Pekka Laine on bass and Kasper Martenson on keyboards (moog, synths, piano, mellotron). Second guitarist Sami Ylisirniö is also active in Kreator and Waltari. The beast behind the drums hails from Moonsorrow and then we are talking about Marko Tarvonen. Isn't it a nice blueprint of the Finnish scene?
But of course it is the music - engendered from this conglomerate - that matters. That music is dark and melancholic, raucous and intense, yet also very melodious with amazing guitar solos. The myth to avoid long guitar solos in modern music is blown up by this and I am glad for it. This collective has the talent of Opeth and they are not ashamed to show this influence, but they add the blackened doom atmosphere of a band like Swallow The Sun to it. And this is only an EP! Early 2010 it is followed by a proper full-length debut album. One will find, for example, a longer version of the title track 'Our Twilight' on that debut, now it is also the first encounter on this EP. The polyphonic clean vocals give an own identity to the band, even if they hold on to the contrast between savage grunts and clean vocals. Keyboarder Kasper is featured a little bit more in 'Jewel'. This lyric is written by Jussi K. Niemelä. Without notice it passes into 'The Flame Of Serenity' in which soaring keyboards and melodic leads remind me a bit of early Amorphis. It is followed by a nearly black metallic part with wild scream, but a soothing guitar solo as well. The real stand out track is the last one. In 'Floodred' they make music on such a high level that words cannot describe it. I can only conclude that a new super band has been born. Check the introduction video and enjoy this new Finnish revelation!