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Articles Home » 2009 Articles » Cain's Offering - 2009 Gather The Faithful
Cain's Offering - 2009 Gather The Faithful

ARTIST: Cain's Offering
ALBUM: Gather The Faithful
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Timo Kotipelto - vocals * Jani Liimatainen - guitars * Mikko Harkin - keyboards, piano * Jukka Koskinen - bass * Jani Hurula - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 My Queen Of Winter * 02 More Than Friends * 03 Oceans Of Regret * 04 Gather The Faithful * 05 Into The Blue * 06 Dawn Of Solace * 07 Thorn In My Side * 08 Morpheus In A Masquerade * 09 Stolen Waters * 10 Elegantly Broken



Seems Frontiers is venturing out further into the world of progressive metal. Actually, when you look back over their past releases, it is surprising to see just how many prog metal oriented releases there have been. Though they have been recognised more as an AOR label, that is not strictly so. What I can say is that Finland is coming more and more into the mainstream of melodic hard rock, AOR, and has always been a strong presence in the realms of progressive metal. Cain's Offering is more proof of that, combining it all into one very nice package. The line-up here is super strong. Jani Liimatainen and Mikko Härkin are from Finnish prog metal heroes Sonata Arctica, while Timo Kotipelto we all know from Stratovarius and more recently his solo career. Their combination, along with the back-end of Jukka Koskinen and Jani Hurula makes for some totally mind-bending metal with a bit of everything thrown into the pot. I am reminded of those fantastic Swedes Dragonland mostly, with their blend of sci-fi and fantasy elements stirred up in a melting pot of metal. When the speed goes on, it takes on a Dragonforce like quality, but without the OTT guitar histrionics of Messrs Li and Totman.

The Songs
To me, the best bands in this genre know how to combine the musical components without compromising one or the other. Vocals, guitars, keys and piano, bass and drums are blended to be the sum of all parts - and Cain's Offering have got the mix just right. Of course it all helps if you have decent songs provided by good songwriters in the first place.

'My Queen Of Winter' is the first announcement of this great new band, highlighting their ability to meld melody, muscle and orchestration.

'More Than Friends' sounds as if it could be a number of different prog-metal contemporaries, the thick vocal orchestration is prominent, but still it's a very good track.

Trance like keys introduce 'Oceans Of Regret', this one is an absolute winner with it's staccato like arrangement and stunning sound. To me, the band combine Dragonland and Seventh Wonder to wondrous effect. One of the best prog metal tracks of the year for me!

The beautiful textured keys at the start of the instrumental title track 'Gather The Faithful' sweep across the sound-scape with cinematic like grace. Progressing into the song itself, it amazes me how the band combine what could be described as simpler arrangements with technical and complex precision. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but once you hear this track, you may understand where I'm coming from.

The sweeping sound-scape style continues on 'Into The Blue', a ballad structure with Timo Kotipelto singing with Thomas Vikstrom like quality. It's less on power metal electrics (though the electric guitars are still there), though there are acoustic guitars and orchestral arrangements. Very nice track nonetheless.

Aah, we are back to the mad dash tempo with 'Dawn Of Solace', complete with huge melodies and a killer chorus. Hard not to think of Dragonforce when listening to this.. lol!

Keyboardist Mikko Harkin provides some interesting effects on 'Thorn In My Side', but the song is dominated by some strident and thick guitar lines from Liimatainen, again the chorus sticks to your head like super-glue!

Though it may be a strange name for a song-title 'Morpheus In A Masquerade' settles nicely into the musical clearing that Cain's Offering have created, using Celtic elements to good effect.

'Stolen Waters' is another track at the faster end of the metronome, sounding more like a hard rock/metal tune, but still, a fantastic and compelling listen.

'Elegantly Broken' finishes the album as a piano laced ballad, the piano motif from Harkin sounds as if it is nicked from that old Taylor Dayne track 'Tell It To My Heart'.

In Summary
On occasion, I do like to dip into the prog metal world to shake the 'ol cerebellum up a bit. Cain's Offering provide just the right quantity of brain enhancement material without doing too much damage. A lovely album for those who enjoy music at the heavier end of the spectrum whilst retaining all the melody. Recommended.

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