Barren Earth - On Lonely Towers
Century Media
Atmospheric Progressive Death/Doom Metal
9 songs (65:00)
Release year: 2015
Barren Earth, Century Media
Reviewed by Joel
Album of the month
From the northern land of Finland comes the latest release from Barren Earth. Their 3rd release and the first with Jon Aldara on vocals. For those who may not have read their previous reviews here on MetalReviews, he replaced Mikko Kotamäki(Swallow The Sun. While like I usually do, I could talk about the highlights of every song. Though with On Lonely Towers, I would be taking away from you the listeners ability to discover the unexpected. Aldara is every bit melodic and passionate with his clean vocals while his growls, are unearthly and downright guttural when used. Much like the days of Elegy for Amorphis, or Blackwater Park for Opeth, to name a few, On Lonely Towers is a mix progressive metal, death and doom. The disc strikes a delicate balance, sharing every high and low, every bit melancholy, powerful, and damn heavy.

The first two songs(after a short instrumental opener) Howl and Frozen Processions shows the varied styles I mentioned earlier, and the comparison mentioned to those previous bands. A minute into the latter, and Aldara's clean vocals will strike as powerful and incredibly clear. While the second's clean vocals remind me of latter day Dan Swano in his band, Nightingale. A Shapeless Derelict and Set Alight are both a perfect example of the bands ability to cover all three genres while keeping each song coherent,original, and definitely not boring. The latters opening clean vocals, left me pleasantly surprised and impressed by their clarity. A good American comparison to this style would be latter day Novembers Doom

The title track and the closer, The Vault are epic eleven minute plus pieces of music. I would need an entire review just to cover every part of each song. While acoustic guitars and clean vocals open the latter it closes with a huge progressive decrescendo. The guitar solo at the end of On Lonely Towers definitely helps the song reach its near climatic end. Wedged comfortably between both of these tracks, are two seven minute plus pieces, Chaos The Songs Within and Sirens Of Oblivion. Chaos has one of my favorite instrumental openings, it definitely has that feel of the previous mention to their countrymen. The song is one of my favorites on the entire disc. Sirens has a very progressive middle section which I enjoyed.

I said I was not going to go into a note by note review of the disc, and I hope I stayed close to my promise. Some discs need to just be listened too, instead of dictated. With On Lonely Towers, Barren Earth has reached for the stars, and has produced one of my favorite discs of the year so far.

Killing Songs :
Joel quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Barren Earth that we have reviewed:
Barren Earth - The Devil's Resolve reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 90 / 100
Barren Earth - Curse of the Red River reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 85 / 100
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