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ALBUM REVIEW: Amain – Crimfall

After six years in the making, Finnish group CRIMFALL have returned with the release of their new album, Amain, their third studio record since forming a decade ago.

While a lot of bands tend to go for an explosive opening track to set the tempo for the rest of the record, CRIMFALL have taken a different approach, with the first track Eschaton opening with dialogue, and seems to be more of an opening for a film than an album. The dialogue doesn’t last too long though, with percussion and violins building up gradually to introduce what sounds like a war chant, as if the band are about to prepare for an epic battle. It would definitely make an excellent opening track before the start of a live performance.

The music transitions into the intro of the second track, The Last of Stands, which straight away showcases the melodic side of the band, with the inclusion of typical folk instruments. One thing that is notable about CRIMFALL from this track for those who are not familiar with the band is that there are two vocalists; Helena Haaparanta whose vocals are relatively soft and showcase her talents, and Mikko Häkkinen who provides the harsh and darker vocals to highlight the black metal element of CRIMFALL‘s sound. Individually they work very well, but combined they are even better and the sound is exquisite.

Another different element in this record compared to the conventions of most new records is that there is one track, Ten Winters Apart, which is split up into four different parts, all of them following one after the other, and each part has their own ‘subtitle’ if you like; Far from Any Fate, Song of Mourn, Sunder the Seventh Seal and Dawn Without a Sun. The sound is relatively the same throughout, with a mix between the vocals and changes in tempo throughout, but each one tells their own unique story and the whole package is excellent.

There are a lot of similarities between CRIMFALL and EQUILIBRIUM in the way that their albums are recorded and the overall sound, and there’s no doubt CRIMFALL are one of the more unique bands out there in the modern rock and metal world.

The six years CRIMFALL took though to work on this record were definitely worth it – the sound is sublime right through the album in every detail, the way it’s been written is very clever and the band have nailed the dual approach of the vocals. Amain has the potential to be in the top 10 records to come out this year, and perhaps one of the more surprising albums which could feature in that list.

Rating: 9/10

Amain - Crimfall

Amain is set for release on August 25th via Metal Blade Records.

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