After Forever called this album their "past, present, and future" and they weren't kidding. You'll find classical symphonic elements like on their debut, bombastic Decipher-era rhythms, straight up metal Invisible Circles-style, and most importantly a continuation of the dominating progressive step forward they took with Remagine. As was evident on Remagine, the addition of Joost van den Broek on keyboards has been invaluable to this band. His compositions seem to take them to the breaking point of their talent and what an incredible ride it is!
This is a very cohesive collection of songs; a true album with focus and direction, yet, each song is individual and memorable. Immediately catchy hooks like in "Evoke" and "Equally Destructive" will draw you further into this very visual experience while the guitars in "De-Energized" will simply whip through your body. Their chosen single, "Energize Me," is a stunning song with a catchy and instrumentally impressive intro followed by a powerful song with strong evidence of keyboards throughout and a great solo, both of which couple to make this a phenomenal song.
Vocalist Floor Jansen's immense talent and versatility has been obvious since the beginning yet she continues to surpass herself with each release; this album is no exception. If you don't already consider her one of the best voices in heavy metal then maybe this album will convince you.
Sadly, however, this was to be After Forever's last album as they disbanded in 2009. But this was their best album so... what a way to go out, on the back of an amazing album. Having helped define The Gothic Metal genre After Forever's legacy remains still and can be seen in bands such as Sirenia, Delain and Epica.
Overall: 4.9/5 - I just can't capture with words the sheer energy and joy that this band bottled up and recorded for us. They clearly love making music and their passion made this incredible album that much more memorable and exhilarating than others of the genre. this has to be After Forever's finest release ever!
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