Since the break-up of symphonic metal band After Forever, fans have been eagerly awaiting the new Floor Jansen project, ReVamp. Possessing one of the strongest voices in the genre, Floor’s classical training allows her vocals to soar from low growls to operatic heavenly heights. But in order to take full advantage of this voice, you need a band that can back it up. So the question begs, does the self-titled debut release from ReVamp measure up? Check after the jump to find out!
The album starts off with one of the heavier tracks, ‘Here’s My Hell’. Featuring George Oosthoek (Orphanage, Within Temptation, Ayreon) as a guest vocalist, the track opens up fast, pounding drums and epic strings mixed with heavy rhythm guitars. When Floor begins to sing, the song pulls back a bit, allowing for the beauty of her voice to take center stage. Come the 1:30 mark, we hear the operatic influences of the song when a chorus emits some gorgeous, goosebump-raising harmonies. It’s an invigorating track but never really reaches it’s full potential.
The production of the album is solid but a bit generic. Each aspect is mixed well enough but does not have a sense of ‘polish’ that symphonic metal needs. The bass drum is a bit too loud as it cuts through the mix more effectively than the snare. The bass guitar has a very nice rolling presence in the low end that certainly does not muddy anything up. The guitar tones are nothing to write home about: They do their job of giving crunch and thickness, but it’s a tone that you’ve probably heard hundreds of times before. The keys jump from painfully overused patches to some intriguing choices. Floor’s vocals are, as stated above, powerful and grabbing. However, they sometimes feel a bit dry.
The addition of two more guest vocalists, apart from George, make for a fun listening experience. Hearing Russell Allen (Symphony X) join Floor on ‘Sweet Curse’ makes for a duet that easily sent shivers up and down my spine. Also, Bjorn Strid (Soilwork) joins in on ‘In Sickness ‘Till Death Do Us Part: Disdain’, which is easily one of the heaviest and most aggressive tracks on the album. The last track, ‘I Lost Myself’, is a beautiful piano and vocals only piece that mixes styles of Broadway with haunting, ethereal passages.
ReVamp is a solid, if somewhat generic album. If symphonic metal is your cup o’ tea, you’ll enjoy every moment of this album.
3.5 out of 5 skulls