Barren Earth – On Lonely Towers Review

barren earth on lonely towersOn Lonely Towers is the latest album from Barren Earth and their first with their new singer Jón Aldará, and it’s one of those albums that you’re not quite sure what to make of.

There’s some really powerful elements to be found within the eight tracks, but on the flip-side there’s also moments that leave a lot to be desired and it’s a shame because it’s fairly obvious that Barren Earth is capable of really great things.

A particularly great point of the album is the key, which sound atmospheric and perfectly delivered in any scenario. The keys on the introductory stripped-back track, From The Depths Of Spring add a lot of atmosphere and a touch of class to the album, setting the scene well, and then in later tracks that have chunkier and heavier instrumentation, they add just the right amount of melody without overpowering you.

The vocals, however, are a bit like marmite. When performed in a harsh style, there’s a lot of depth, power and meat to them, which gives the music a lot more body and substance, but the clean vocals aren’t quite as powerful. They sound quite weak and unsupported, and after a while they end up grating on you a little, which is a shame because it lessens the music’s impact on you as a result.

However, it is a little ridiculous to judge an album solely based on one aspect of it and for what it’s worth, On Lonely Towers is a pretty good release. It doesn’t seem to pack quite the same sort of punch as their last two full-lengths, but then again if a band continued putting out exactly the same albums every time, it would make for a very boring music industry.

7/10

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About Natalie Humphries 1780 Articles
Soundscape's editor, who is particularly fond of doom, black metal and folk (but will give anything a chance). Likes to travel to see bands abroad when she can. Contact: nathumphries@soundscapemagazine.com or @acidnat on twitter.

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