Wild Card

Label: Nuclear Blast/Warner
Three similar bands: After Forever/Nightwish/Epica
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
01. The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: On The Sideline
02. The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: The Limbic System
03. Wild Card
04. Precibus
05. Nothing
06. The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: Neurasthenia
07. Distorted Lullabies
08. Amendatory
09. I Can Become
10. Misery’s No Crime
11. Wolf And Dog

Floor Jansen - vocals
Ruben Wijga - keyboards
Arjan Rijnen - guitars
Jord Otto - guitars
Henk Vonk - bass
Mattias Landes - drums

ReVamp (2010)

Mark Jansen - grunts on track 10
Devin Townsend - vocals on track 6
Marcela Bovio - choir vocals
Johan van Stratum - bass guitar
Daniël de Jongh - choir vocals

Artwork by Richard Stark, NI Concept and Design

Released 2013-08-23
Reviewed 2013-08-22

nuclear blast

There are things that is a success beforehand, like ReVamp. I mean, take one of the best ever female rock/metal singers at the top of her ability, take a great looking cover artwork, take a trilogy explaining the anatomy of a nervous breakdown, these are all elements bound to make for something successful. Then considering works of brilliance from the past like the early After Forever stuff, that just has to work. It seems as though a unified group of critics think the same about Floors project. So what about this critic, will he join the choir of praises or think something different?

Well, musically it is not really a surprise in any regard. Other than perhaps the brilliant vocal performance by Floor Jansen and how great she interacts with Devin Townsend who guests on a track on this album. The sound is good, it is heavy, it is changing, it is progressive, it has depth, it has variation, it has some classical undertones even though most of that has gone from the music Floor does these days, especially if you compare with early After Forever. If you compare with the last two albums by After Forever or the first of ReVamp then you’ll have a pretty good idea of what to expect. I think that the performances are top notch all the way through and so is the production. Great sound. Eleven tracks and just short of fifty minutes is not too long a playing time either.

It is all laid out to be one hell of a kick ass album, but for some reason it isn’t. Floor is brilliant and she thoroughly deserves all high praise one can give for her vocal performance but the album does not shine for me. Why? Well, I think that it is because the songs are not good enough, they are good no doubt about that and the album is entertaining as long as you listen to it. However, there is nothing memorable coming from this album, I have played it fifteen times and now four in a row while writing the Swedish review and later this one and I still remember the works from Decipher, Prison of Desire and Invisible Circles by After Forever much better and those were released ten years ago and I haven’t listened to any of them since we presented the website in 2007. I don’t think we can give a more than average rating to an album you remember less good the day you played it than one you haven’t heard for more than five years. I think of tracks from Invisible Circles, while listening to this album and it sort of just falls into a dark void of my memory as soon as I don’t listen to it.

Usually I review albums from memory without listening to them as I have them in my head after having heard them the dozen or so times but this was not possible with this album as I forget it as soon as I stop playing it and I do not think playing it more will remedy that. And I know I am not turning senile because I can recite at least two of the tracks on the album by Siamese Fighting Fish that I will review sometime later this week word by word. And I also know the Robin Beck album I reviewed a day or so ago, I remember them all, but not this one. It is just not memorable and that is a big letdown.

I think this is a good album that does most of what it does right but it just is not memorable enough to warrant a higher rating. Maybe it is just me, maybe the songs aren’t that special or maybe I am just comparing it too much to what Floor did in the past with After Forever. Whatever the reason, this album is despite it’s obvious qualities not an album that I will consider amongst the better I have heard this year. Lets hope Nightwish selects Floor as their permanent singer because that is a band who last time out did their best album ever and combine that with such a brilliant singer and they might make one of those timeless classics I know they can do. Until then I suggest you look up the early works of After Forever, or maybe give this one a chance as it is a well produced album even though I have heard Floor sing on better albums.



läs på svenska