Cain's Offering - Stormcrow review


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Band: Cain's Offering
Album: Stormcrow
Release date: April 2015

01. Stormcrow
02. The Best Of Times
03. A Night To Forget
04. I Will Build You A Rome
05. Too Tired To Run
06. Constellation Of Tears
07. Antemortem
08. My Heart Beats For No One
09. I Am Legion
10. Rising Sun
11. On The Shore
12. Child Of The Wild [Japanese bonus]

This one falls a bit out of my purview. I've never had the heart to tell Sonata Arctica that I just don't get it, and only recently have I finally been able to stand Stratovarius; I knew almost nothing about this project when I volunteered to review it, and upon investigating the line-up of this apparent super-type-group, I dreaded the flouncy, sing-song tedium I expected to find. As it happens, Cain's Offering have really hit something worth paying attention to.

Now sporting the legendary Jens Johansson on keyboards and Jonas Kuhlberg of the late MyGrain on bass, Cain's Offering open their sophomore effort very strongly with the mellifluous title track, "Stormcrow." Over the successive series of tracks, they parade their talents for making music that is endearingly snappy without being sickly sweet or losing dramatic impact. If the past/concurrent credits of these collaborators have not tipped you off, Cain's Offering play exceedingly melodic power metal governed by highly-prominent keyboards and tinged by a slight hard-rockiness (as we have learned to expect from such Finnish power metal bands).

Timo Kotipelto's pleasant, soothing voice creates an almost hypnotic effect; even if I wanted to hate this, I'd have to first break the spell of his milky-white voice and force myself back into reality. But even the brilliantly dramatic "I Am Legion," an instrumental, holds my attention; the musicianship here is top-notch, as one might expect with such well-traveled players. The title track probably remains my favorite song on this album, but the powerful and driving "A Night To Forget" provides stiff competition, and "The Best Of Times" also throws its hat into the ring. It can at least be said that there are no obvious fillers or throwaway tracks; they all have something positive and tasteful to offer.

To reiterate the disclaimers, this recommendation comes from someone whose power metal tastes tend to fall on the heavier side of things; I don't typically go in for this kind of frivolously poncey stuff, but there's something strangely transfixing about Cain's Offering. Not only am I sufficiently impressed by them to give my whole-hearted recommendation for Stormcrow, but perhaps I will have to have another crack at the members' main projects.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 8


Written on 11.06.2015 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments: 13   Visited by: 288 users
11.06.2015 - 02:41
SoUnDs LiKe PoP
I think an 8 is fair. It's a "very good" album, nothing more, nothing less.

At this point, the only way to have a 9-10 caliber power metal album, IMO, is to either bring something new to the genre, or have literally every song on the album be insanely memorable. For example, if every song on this album were as good as "I Will Build You a Rome" or "The Best of Times," it'd be a 10.

But as there are a few great songs and then mostly "pretty catchy" songs, I think an 8/10 is fitting.

PS - I'm surprised to see that you don't enjoy Sonata Arctica. I find them so different from other power metal bands... more progressiveness and variety in their songs, deeper lyrics, etc. Hands down my favorite band of all time. Tony Kakko is a songwriting genius. If you ever give them another chance, shoot me a PM or something and I'll guide you along the epic path
I lift weights and listen to metal
11.06.2015 - 04:23
The Evergreen
Written by SoUnDs LiKe PoP on 11.06.2015 at 02:41

PS - I'm surprised to see that you don't enjoy Sonata Arctica. I find them so different from other power metal bands...

Yes, and yes! They really are something special, even when they do stuff that annoys me. Looking through their discography, you find a WIDE variation in style, but at the same time, it's all unmistakeably Sonata Arctica. That said, I'm really glad to hear Stormcrow (haven't bought it yet, but I will. The YouTubes tell me it's great!) because I love Jani's guitar work. While I understand Sonata Arctica's decision to let him go and think Elias is more interesting, Jani is the better player IMO, plays very technically, and is still just awesome to listen to.

Not to mention Timo and Jens...
11.06.2015 - 16:05
Ag Fox
Angel No More
Can't agree more with the review. I share your feelings about Sonata Arctica and Strato, so I was caught off guard by this album, in a good way!
loves 小巫
11.06.2015 - 16:35
Love the review, and I cannot agree more.
11.06.2015 - 17:13
Nice isn't too different to the last one from Stratovarious, maybe a tad more symphonic.

BTW: the main riff in Antemorten sounds just like Shudder Before The Beautiful from Nightwish -there's definitely plagiarism, it can't be just coincidence.
11.06.2015 - 18:29
Written by mariano on 11.06.2015 at 17:13
BTW: the main riff in Antemorten sounds just like Shudder Before The Beautiful from Nightwish -there's definitely plagiarism, it can't be just coincidence.
This. When I first heard the opening, I thought... "what is this... Nightwish?" Lol... Kinda surprised they copied their symphonic harmony here, but overall great album. I really like the heavy breakdown bridge part on "Best of Times" about 3:00 in. Good stuff.
11.06.2015 - 19:05
Wandering Midget
Written by mariano on 11.06.2015 at 17:13

BTW: the main riff in Antemorten sounds just like Shudder Before The Beautiful from Nightwish -there's definitely plagiarism, it can't be just coincidence.

These two songs were written virtually at the same time, so Shudder is definitely not to blame. However, Nightwish have a song called Storytime, but I bet Holopainen is more flattered than annoyed
12.06.2015 - 00:39
Bad English
Well only problem to this band is vocalist , he is know whit lame original bands and his image what is overrated follows
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
13.06.2015 - 18:39
Seems like the Power metal genre is going strong here in 2015. Angra, Blind Guardian, Ensiferum all released nice albums, but this one is just the icing on the cake. Just an incredible album that beats everything that SA has released since Jani left.

Also, always a pleasure to read your reviews man, keep 'em coming
Metalhead, reviewer, long haired bastard, Swede, dingus
15.06.2015 - 14:31
Other than the possible Nightwish plagiarism/coincidence, there's also a lot of suspiciously similar riffs to older Sonata Arctica songs. Child of the Wild is almost note-for-note in some places a slower version of The Cage.
01.07.2015 - 00:02
Account deleted
I really like this album. I'm going to compare it to a few of the other albums that I have recently purchased. (My opinion!)

1. It's not as "technically overwhelmingly instrumentally awesomely over the top" as Prometheus: Symphonia Ignis Divinus but the songwriting is better and you don't need a degree in orchestration/composition to appreciate the songs.

2. It's better than either "My God Given Right", " Endless Forms Most Beautiful" or "Beyond The Red Mirror". And I've spent my whole life listening to those bands!

3. Guardians Of Time's "Rage And Fire" is just awesome! Best of 2015!

Cain's Offering is off to a great start, both "Gather The Faithful" and this album are top notch!

Disclaimer: I love Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius and all of the rest of this "frivolously poncey stuff"!
07.07.2015 - 19:47
Just recently I got to listen to this group through Youtube suggestions and I liked it. Very good powermetal! Maybe not awesome or grandiose, but still a very good one.
09.09.2015 - 05:15
Arise In Might!
I like this. It's a nice mix of Reckoning Night era Sonata Arctica with new Stratovarius. First album was decent, but I keep playing this one. Lyrics aren't the best and are a bit blunt, but it's ridiculously catchy and is what Sonata should be doing now.

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