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Barren Earth is a Finnish metal outfit featuring members from such revered acts as Moonsorrow, Amorphis, Kreator, and Swallow the Sun. Easily qualifying as a supergroup, this crew’s nine-track affair CURSE OF THE RED RIVER demonstrates a cohesive amalgamation of progressive, Gothic, and death metal, earning the aforementioned description beyond a shadow of a doubt. While this act’s impressive pedigree alone should make upper crust metal fans salivate in anticipation, this unit’s output thankfully completely exceeds expectations, seamlessly blending vicious and aggressive vocal and guitar tendencies with lush atmospheric keyboard passages, bearing a resemblance to the works of Opeth and Paradise Lost yet exhibiting enough of a unique identity to stand on the merit of their grandiose presentation alone. Dynamically fusing seething hostility with mountains of melody and a dash of Jethro Tull-esque instrumentation with underpinnings of folk and psychedelic rock accompanying the melee, Barren Earth’s debut full length offering is a triumphant collection of top shelf metal bursting with both elegance and intensity.
- Mike SOS