Frontiers Records [Release date 15.05.15]
Cain’s Offering are a Finnish power metal super-group of sorts and “Stormcrow” is actually their second studio album following on from “Gather The Faithful” that was released back in 2009.
The brains behind the band is Sonata Arctica’s guitarist Jani Liimatainen who is again joined by Stratovarius’ vocalist Timo Kotipelto and original drummer Jani Hurula. Then there is Timo’s Stratovarius bandmate Jens Johansson on keyboards plus bassist Jonas Kuhlberg completing the line-up.
“Stormcrow” sounds as you would expect it to sound based upon the band members involved…neo-classical metal but with a few curve balls thrown into the mix. It is still all very predictable.
Opener and title track Stormcrow gallops at a fair old pace but is ultimately a typical power metal tune. The Best Of Times surprisingly has a keyboard intro that brings Amaranthe to mind whilst I Will Build You A Rome (not home…) is back with the incessant drumming, Dragonforce-like keyboards at times and an atmospheric outro of piano and violins.
Too Tired To Run starts slowly with vocals back with piano and orchestra only before building into what can only be called a power ballad. Constellation Of Tears features a Ten-like Celtic influenced chorus. Antemortem and instrumental Legion could both find their way onto any of the most recent Nightwish albums.
Final track On The Shore initially sounds like another band has taken over before turning into another power ballad…and Timo sounds like he is singing about a sheep at times rather than a ship – “if your sheep is too small…”!
“Stormcrow” is ultimately well produced and well played but struggles to break away from the expected sound.
Nevertheless it is a solid release…just lacking that little bit of magic here and there to take it to the next level… ***½
Review by Phil Berisford
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