by michaelk156 USER (2 Reviews)
June 22nd, 2012 | 5 replies

Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ReVamp kicks off their career with a somewhat generic yet polished album.

Formed from the aftermath of After Forever's demise, there were high hopes in 2010 for what would become Floor Jansen's new project and their debut album, each of which to be aptly titled 'ReVamp'. Personally, I like the name ReVamp, it makes sense in a subtly humourous way in combination with the band logo, which appears to be a modified version of the old After Forever omega symbol. It was as if Floor had simply hired new members and 'revamped' After Forever, and in the end, nothing of value was lost and things would continue as they were, better than ever - or so it seemed.

Unfortunately, many were disappointed with the release of 'ReVamp', labelling it generic and uninspired. Some didn't get the name either, feeling that a gothic band which calls itself 'ReVamp' was just too corny from the get go, and that the knock-off After Forever logo did anything but help. Thankfully, I am not one of those people and have quite enjoyed ReVamp's first release since I first heard it, and thus, will be reviewing it in a positive light.

Some of the major strong points of ReVamp's first release include the commendable production quality that does wonders on songs that are rather simple in songwriting, but brilliantly sung by Floor Jansen with full passion and power. 'ReVamp' is an album proving that songs don't have to be deeply complex melodic masterpieces in order to please their listeners, IF the songs are performed in a way that captures their mood and atmosphere wholeheartedly. A rather extreme example of this occurence elsewhere would be the song 'Eva' by Nightwish, where a simple melody is transformed into something epic by great production. For many songs on the album 'ReVamp', it is the same case, for they may not be the most daring and original material symphonic metal has to offer, but nonetheless provide something that is polished and well-formulated enough to enjoy from start to finish.

One of the main highlights of 'ReVamp' would surely be the opening track, entitled 'Here's My Hell'. The song's dramatic nature and catchy hooks providing instant appeal to the casual symphonic metal listener. Metallic power ballad 'Sweet Curse' follows suite at a mellowed pace, resembling an evolved version of 'Lithium' by Evanescence. The music intensifies once more and the choir hits hard with 'Million', bringing us back to the days of After Forever, particularly the track 'Withering Time', which involved similar use of choir. Closing track 'I Lost Myself' also shows resemblance to After Forever's later material, this time emulating the bonus track 'Lonely' from After Forever's self-titled album, as another sad yet beautiful piano ballad.

Good as the album may be though, 'ReVamp' falls flat at times due to questionable or poorly thought out lyrical content throughout some of the songs. Some lines fail miserably at conjuring visual imagery in the listener, of the type demonstrated very well in the opening sequence of 'Bring Me to Life' by Evanescence;

How can you see into my eyes like open doors"
Leading you down into my core where I've become so numb

With only two lines of the first verse, the listener receives an image similar to that of a spooky young girl sitting in her bedroom at night, with the reflection of a door opening in her eyes. Like the start of a haunting film, we are lead into the reflection of the door, into the girl's soul. This is an example of fantastic visual imagery in music. In ReVamp's 'Break' however, we are left with this;

It feels like a knife
It feels like bathing in ice
It feels like dying; parts of me just did

Now think about this for a moment. The only visual imagery I get from the above is of someone lying in an icy bathtub, while their limbs become frostbitten from the cold and to top it all off they are slowly dying after being stabbed with a knife which is currently jutting out of their bloody chest. Throw in some twitching from the unfortunate victim and you are left with an ugly and awkward scene that takes more away from the song than it adds to it.

I have to say though, if I were to compare ReVamp's debut album with Evanescence's material any further, I would add that ReVamp are generally stronger musically, with examples being the addition of a seemingly 'bouncing' choir during a break on 'In Sickness 'Till Death Do Us Part 3: Disgraced' and the dark humour involved with 'The Trial of Monsters'. Apart from ReVamp also being somewhat more heavy than Evanescence, these are things that one would not expect to hear when listening to an Evanescence album.

In short, although 'ReVamp' may be a tad generic for more adventurous listeners, it still serves its place for those who appreciate both gothic themed and symphonic metal music, being musically strong without straying far from known territory.

user ratings (31)
other reviews of this album
pizzamachine (2)
dumping a massive crap in the toilet, ReVamp idiotically left without flushing....

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 22nd 2012


Eww, Evanescence. Given the title and the way you've described this, I don't think I'd like this at all, despite the fact that Floor has a fantastic voice. Also, ReVamp has got to be one of the worst band names ever.

Your writing here is pretty solid, but, honestly, I'd cut out the first few paragraphs where you get a little too personal about opinions about the band's name and such. As far as a musical work goes, the band name doesn't really matter and neither does the consensus of others on its sound. If you need to make note of critical reception or a title, make it brief (maybe a sentence) and impersonal. Remember, this is your review - focus on your critical reaction to the piece, not others'. Having fewer directly personal statements (i.e. "Personally, I like the name ReVamp") generally makes things sound more professional, especially since this personal statement is highly irrelevant to the reader. They'll make up their own mind about something as trivial as that.

I might also tone down the degree to which you discuss lyrical content. This is something I did a lot of when I first started reviewing, but after a while, you kind of realize that lyrics are worth maybe a paragraph, if that. Unless there's some grand concept at play, and even then, it's easier on the reader to know only the generalities of the matter. That said, you do a pretty good job of analyzing the lyrics and their imagery, so kudos.

Just a few tips. This is pretty well-written, otherwise, so I'mma toss you a pos.

Digging: Benjamin Clementine - I Tell A Fly

June 22nd 2012


Floor's so hot and so good.

June 22nd 2012


Damn I miss AF so much.

Floor needs to get a better composer for her, this is generic as fuck.

June 22nd 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the pos AtomicWaste, I wasn't sure on how to write an opener for the review and hence I began by discussing the name 'ReVamp' but I realise I need to cut down the length of my reviews a bit so I'll try and cut to the chase a bit faster for whatever I'm reviewing in the future.

I tried to make this an honest and positive review but it seems I failed to convince anyone that this is good since the album rating has gone down two points since my review was posted, oh well. :P

As for the generic factor that everyone seems to hate, ReVamp is currently working on a new album that is supposedly going to be more innovative than this one which from what I heard, was kinda rushed out after After Forever's break up so there wouldn't be a big wait for new material. So that's something to look forward to I suppose.

June 23rd 2012


Let's hope so.

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