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After Forever | Exordium | review | metal | Lollipop
Exordium (The End)
Imagine the progressive arrangements of Dream Theater, accompanied by a siren whose voice is flavored by a Gothic and metal undercarriage. This is the breadth of the symphonic metal exhibited on After Forever's new release Exordium.
Exordium is the sixth in a successful discography of this Dutchband who just recently began gathering attention by some of America's more sophisticated metal and progressive rock afficionados.
Exordium is, according to the dictionary, "the beginning or introductory part, especially of a discourse or treatise." The album title's significance is made clear by the first instrumental track "Line of Thoughts," which is an overture that artfully compiles the melodic and rhythmic cues that are further explored in each of the subsequent songs on the album.
"Beneath" shares the experiences and response to the street rage lavished upon a young man in Venlo, Holland who was killed for seemingly no reason. But the centerpiece of the album, the first released single, "My Choice," is lifted by an incredible live choir, a poignant synth string section, and thought-provoking lyrics. It's the quintessential prog power ballad, exploring the dichotomy in the power of choice and the consequences that follow in a world where so many choices abound. The video of "My Choice" is included on the second disc, entitled Insights.
Their covers of Iron Maiden's "The Evil that Men Do" and R&B maven Randy Crawford's "One Day I'll Fly Away" are not to be missed!
Undeniably what makes this band work is the extremely tight rhythm section. Tight is not even the right word for this kind of unity. It provides the perfect red carpet for classically-trained vocalist Floor Jansen to lay out all of her hopes and fears.