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Wednesday, March 31 2010 00:00

BARREN EARTH - CURSE OF THE RED RIVER (Review)

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41kHHx6jbEL. SL100 The debut full-length from Finland's BARREN EARTH could easily be described in only one word: Epic.

Due out April 6th via Peaceville Records, CURSE OF THE RED RIVER captures the momentum of last year's ep OUR TWILIGHT, delivering on the promise of multi-layered death and doom with elements of melodic harmony.

The almost 8-minute title track sets the stage for the album, it's slow-burn intro building into a demonic groove broken by the vocal harmonies on the choruses and finishing with acoustic guitars and a flute solo a la JETHRO TULL. The pedigree established by past and current members of AMORPHIS, KREATOR, and SWALLOW THE SUN (among others) is evident throughout.

Moving forward, tracks like FLICKER and THE LEER maintain the balance of styles, while ERE ALL PERISH shines with it's chugga-chugga riffage seamlessly flowing into floating melodies and back into chaos without a hint of pause.

Ending with DESERTED MORROWS, another brooding track with acoustic-backed choruses that wouldn't feel out of place in a Tim Burton film, the band ends much on the same note they began with - mixing death metal and melody into a sonic cocktail.

Like a modern rock opera, Barren Earth has crafted a symphony built on movements rather than standard verse-chorus-verse structure. Fans of straight-up metal or those who like their music in 3-minute nuggets (the average length here is 6 minutes) may shy away from this one, but fans of symphonic and progressive metal will be pleasantly surprised and delighted.

Standout Tracks: CURSE OF THE RED RIVER, ERE ALL PERISH, FORELORN WAVES

Rating: 4/5 Stars

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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