Barren Earth
The Devil's Resolve


3.5
great

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
March 23rd, 2012 | 41 replies | 9,369 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: More a refinement of ideas than a huge leap forward.

When I reviewed Barren Earth’s debut album a few years back, I was impressed by their blend of prog and melodic death metal, but I also felt as though there was still room for improvement. The main issue that it suffered from was that it seemed to rely too heavily on tones, themes and ideas that Amorphis had already touched on sixteen years earlier. It was a forgivable offence because the album still turned out great and it wasn’t like Amorphis were pursuing that sound anymore, but that ‘crutch’ was only going to work for so long. While Barren Earth’s second album, The Devil’s Resolve, isn’t a huge leap away from Amorphis’ old-school influences, it is still enough of a refinement of those ideas that they now blend perfectly with the band’s overall formula. The result is an album that does everything the debut did, but better and in larger quantities.

Basically, anyone that has heard Curse of the Red River is going to pretty much know what to expect. The band’s foundation is still firmly built on doomy, melodic death metal with progressive influences, but they’ve finally mastered the formula. The 70s prog blends seamlessly with mid-paced doom riffs; while death growls sit comfortably next to (much improved) harmonized clean singing. In fact, in an album where every aspect of the debut has been enhanced, the vocals had the most room for improvement and they have not disappointed. Mikko Kotamaki (Swallow the Sun) has really come a long way since Barren Earth’s debut. His death growls have definitely picked up a bit more power since the last album, but his clean singing is what has really jumped in quality. His clean vocals are used much more often on this album and they’re almost always presented in a harmonized mid-range that fits the 70s progressive influences perfectly. There’s even the occasional moment where he uses a lower register that reminds a bit of Funeral’s current vocalist.

When the press releases started talking about an increased 70s prog influence, it almost seemed as though the band were set to abandon the sound of their debut, but it didn’t happen. Yes, the 70s influences have been given a more prominent presence and the role of the clean singing has definitely grown, but in the end The Devil’s Resolve is still typical Barren Earth – only there’s more of everything. The heavy parts are a little heavier, the progressive sections a bit proggier, and the melodic sections are more developed and carefully integrated. This refinement has set the stage for The Devil’s Resolve to truly showcase the band’s personal style without any blatant homage to other artists. The end result is an album full of songs that can only be considered one-hundred percent solid and well-crafted, but still just the slightest bit predictable.



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user ratings (51)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
March 23rd 2012



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So, basically, if you liked the first one you'll definitely like this one. If you were on the fence about the first one, this could still win you over.

Debut: 3.5
This one: 3.9

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

Hawks
March 23rd 2012



34221 Comments


I'll have to listen to this one.

Digging: Manners - Pale Blue Light

taylormemer
March 23rd 2012



4913 Comments


Shouldn't you have rounded it to a 4 then?

Might check it out.

ThroneOfAgony
March 23rd 2012



3485 Comments


Great review. I'll have to look into this

CaptainDooRight
March 23rd 2012



28297 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah bro this was chill, need to listen again tho

first was chill but this is slight step down tho

Digging: IQ - The Road of Bones

CaptainDooRight
March 23rd 2012



28297 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

also feature this, this will do for m/

AsoTamaki
March 23rd 2012



2525 Comments


Was not really digging that video they released a while ago at all. The folk melodies were cool, but then I lol'd when the growls came in. Just didn't work for me. I'll probably check this out anyway since I don't have any other new metal to listen to.

CaptainDooRight
March 23rd 2012



28297 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah bro it's actually a 3 but i 3.5'd this so it gets more attention

gonna jam tonight bro, stoked hard. gonna write some proggy but thrashy death metal

AsoTamaki
March 23rd 2012



2525 Comments


Haha. Yeah, man. I dug parts of it, but it didn't all come together for me. They seem like they've got good ideas though so there'll probably be a couple songs I can like on this.

Sweet. Never forget the prog. m/

CaptainDooRight
March 23rd 2012



28297 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

p/




bloc
March 23rd 2012



34663 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yay! It's nice to see you review something I have interest in ;)

Album was pretty good on first listen, haven't really heard it any more than that.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Willie
Moderator
March 23rd 2012



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Shouldn't you have rounded it to a 4 then?
Could have, but I would prefer people feel that I undersold it rather than oversold it (if it has to be one way or the other).

also feature this, this will do for m/
Eventually. I stagger featured albums -- including my own.

As for everyone else. This album is a grower and it definitely benefits from having full, uninterrupted listens. Also, each track seems to be better than the last (overall). It's definitely a back-loadded CD.



kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 23rd 2012



4938 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

solid record. this band is a bit derivative overall, but good

glezz
March 23rd 2012



235 Comments


"yeah bro it's actually a 3 but i 3.5'd this so it gets more attention

gonna jam tonight bro, stoked hard. gonna write some proggy but thrashy death metal"
_____________________
You are an idiot.
Yeah BRO, YOU!


Emim
March 24th 2012



26474 Comments


sweet

sounds good

jimmykidd
March 24th 2012



528 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

solid record. if you liked their debut then you'd like this. nothing more, nothing less. nice review!

glezz
March 24th 2012



235 Comments


The album is awesome and epic. It's better than the first one.
It one of the best releases of 2012 so far that isn't Black Metal.

BRO!

Whispered4tw
March 24th 2012



593 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

first one was heaps better

Willie
Moderator
March 24th 2012



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

What makes it better for you?

Itwasthatwas
March 24th 2012



760 Comments


Loved the first one gotta check this out



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