Barren Earth is a so-called metal “supergroup”, featuring (ex) members from Amorphis, Swallow The Sun, Kreator and Moonsorrow. Their debut album, entitled “The Curse Of The Red River” was a landmark record and I still listen to it on a regular basis. Earlier this month the Finns unveiled their second full length album, called “The Devil’s Resolve”. Let’s take a closer look.
Don’t expect any major paradigm shifts on “The Devil’s Resolve”, because it’s very much a continuation of what the band has done on the previous album. Their potent mixture of melodic doom/death metal with vintage seventies progressive rock and folk influences hasn’t lost it touch for a single bit. Amorphis is still a good reference point here, but that doesn’t come as surprise with two former members of that band participating in Barren Earth.
Still, “The Devil’s Resolve” isn’t a carbon copy of either Amorphis or its illustrious predecessor. The proverbial devil is in the details here, such as a better flow in the song material, more nifty progressive twists and turns and a greater emphasis on clean vocals. One can argue that Barren Earth has come of age on this album. This results into some intensely enjoyable and memorable songs, most notably ‘The Passing Of The Crimson Shadows’, ‘As It Was Written’ and ‘Where All Stories End’. These longer compositions work in perfect tandem with more pointy tracks, like ‘Vintage Warlords’ and ‘White Fields’. The synergy this creates brings ‘The Devil’s Resolve’ to a higher level.
“The Devil’s Resolve” is blessed with a great production. It’s contains enough punch to enhance the metal component, but it’s also fuzzy enough to give this album a familiar vintage feel.
“The Devil’s Resolve” by Barren Earth is like fine Scottish whisky. It tastes familiar, but no matter how many times you drink it, there are always new elements to discover. All in all, a very fine release indeed!