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Review: After Forever - Decipher
After Forever

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2001
Duration: 54:41
Tracks: 11
Genre: Symphonic Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: September 29, 2008
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers Rating

Rated 3/5 (60%) (8 Votes)

This is the After Forever album that everyone praises, and I guess I can see why, as it's a very complex, driving and masterfully written album, but it just leaves me cold. This was only the band's second effort, and I think that's the main reason why it's so impressive - this is like the complexity of a Dream Theater or Pain of Salvation fit into a typical Nightwish mold, for crying out loud!

However, as I mentioned before, I just can't really get into this. It isn't like other complex albums that require multiple listens to understand. I understand this album perfectly, and it just doesn't excite me or make me feel anything more than mild shock at how complex it is. There are a lot of different things crammed into Decipher's deep, watery palette, from beautiful symphonic keys to roaring harsh vocals, and everything else in between - the seeds are sown here for the band's later transformation into a more straightforward, ass-kicking beast. I think the thing I dislike about this is just how cold and turgid it all is. There is a lot of musical finesse here, and it's definitely impressive, but if it doesn't evoke any sort of emotion out of the listener, what's the point? There are some fine songs here like "My Pledge of Allegiance I" and the colorful "Zenith," but I don't think I'll be hauling this album out very often. Get it if you like this sort of symphonic coldness.

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