Artist:  Cain's Offering
   Title: Gather The Faithful
   Label: Frontiers Records

Each month of this year there has been some tremendous albums, as each month album after album surpasses the last, in amongst August releases comes one of the best Power Metal albums I’ve heard in years, and the band responsible for that album are Cain’s Offering.  Who? I hear you ask, who exactly, well the band are the brainchild of former Sonata Arctica guitarist Jani Liimatainen.

Joining Liimatainen in this venture are keyboardist Mikko Harkin (Solution.45, Mehida, ex-Sonata Arctica, ex-Wingdom, ex-Kenziner), bassist Jukka Koskinen (Norther, Wintersun) and drummer Jani "Hurtsi" Hurula (Paul Di'Anno), and with a line-up like this featuring some of the finest Finnish musical talent you’d need a vocalist equal if not more up for the task and Liimantainen has enlisted the rich vocal talent of the one and only Timo Kotipelto (Stratovarius, Kotipelto).

So is the sum of the artist’s equal to the sum of the album? OH YES! This is one hell of a good album!

It opens up with ‘My Queen Of Winter’, a massive blood pumping Metal surge with Kotipelto’s vocals delivering the majestic force we are used to with Stratovarius, but this combined with the driven riffs of Liimatainen, well the result is quite outstanding.

This magnificent quality is continued throughout the album as the album continues its thunderous metal path with ‘More Than Friends’ and the Titanic pummeling of ‘Oceans Of Regret’.  The only difference being that if this track hit an iceberg it would simply be blown away into a pile of ice only suitable for cocktail hour, such is the power behind this track.

After such a thunderous slice of Metal you need to cool off a bit and the superb Symphonic tones of the title track ‘Gathering The Faithful’ will do just that for you.  A great mix of orchestral keys and looming bass lines of the opening few moments, leads the way to a majestic mix of gentle strings and string keyboards make this a great instrumental.

We keep with the more gentle refrains with ‘Into The Blue’ before unleashing the might of ‘Dawn Of Solace’, a pacey double kick backbeat from Hurula which dominates this one along with Kotipelto’s outstanding vocals.

The pace is brought back down just a touch with one of my favourite tracks off the album ‘Thorn In My Side’.  A great pounding track that is true Power Metal and showcases perfectly all the genre stands for.  Big riffs, huge keyboards and a bolstering rhythm section, all capped off with a great vocalist.

One track where Kotipelto comes into his own is the epic ‘Morpheus In Masquerade’, another of my favourite tracks off this superb album.  Then it’s back to the all out metal with ‘Stolen Waters’, again with the drums of Hurula dominating this one.  ‘Elegantly Broken’ is a track that when I first listened to it, it really got thinking, where have I heard this before?  And it took a while but then it finally came to me, Taylor Danes ‘Tell It To My Heart’.  Yes the first few chords definitely remind me of this 80’s pop song, but only the first few chords then its just Kotipelto and the piano all the way on this gentle ballad, which ends one of the finest Power Metal albums you’ll hear this year and that's why this album is down as my album of the month for August.


Tracklisting:

1. My Queen Of Winter
2. More Than Friends
3. Oceans Of Regret
4. Gather The Faithful
5. Into the Blue
6. Dawn Of Solace
7. Thorn In My Side
8. Morpheus In A Masquerade
9. Stolen Waters
10. Elegantly Broken
 


                  

 

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