Barren Earth - _Curse of the Red River_
(Peaceville, 2010)
by: Pedro Azevedo (9 out of 10)
_Curse of the Red River_ is the first full-length from Finnish collective Barren Earth, which includes current members of Swallow the Sun, Moonsorrow and Kreator, as well as former members of Amorphis. After a promising debut EP in the shape of _Our Twilight_ (whose title track also makes an appearance here), Barren Earth managed to generate a considerable level of expectation for _Curse of the Red River_.

Imagine a mix of Amorphis and some Opeth, plus an extra helping of death metal and folk touches, and you would be on the right path here -- crude and incomplete as that comparison may be. Barren Earth use a multitude of melodic, progressive and folk elements layered upon a solid mid-paced death metal foundation, all working towards a powerful sonic blend. The song structures do have their choruses, but for the most part they are neither too linear nor prone to wandering aimlessly around. _Curse of the Red River_ achieves a remarkably fine balance between all of its elements, which is also helped by Barren Earth confidently pulling them all off in style. They can go all out death metal, really melodic and atmospheric, or very progressive at different stages without making it seem like a bag of jumbled ideas.

_Curse of the Red River_ is neither a genre-confined exercise, nor a wild exploration of musical boundaries: Barren Earth seem content, and justifiably so, to simply produce some of the most enjoyable metal you are likely to hear all year.


(article published 10/10/2010)

11/4/2009 M Dolson 9 Barren Earth - Our Twilight
3/6/2011 J Carbon Finntroll / Ensiferum / Barren Earth / Rotten Sound Finnish Pride Parade
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