Cain’s Offering Stormcrow is the 2nd release from the band which features Finnish guitarist/songwriter Jani Liimatainen (founding member of Sonata Arctica) with influences from classic rock, European Power Metal, Symphonic Metal and Modern Metal. Joining Jani are Stratovarius members Timo Kotipelto (vocals) and Jens Johansson on Keyboards., with Jonas Kuhlberg on bass and Jani “Hurtsi” Hurula on drums. Jani Liimatainen is on guitars.
I wasn’t sure what to expect but right from the first song and title track – “Stormcrow” – this caught my attention. With the influence of Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius, this went beyond all expectations. Next up is “The Best Of Times” lending a classic rock mixed with a European Power Metal feel to the track. “A Night to Forget” starts off as I would expect from classic Liimatainen song-writing. With less of the power metal, this is a highlight song on the CD for me.
Then they slow the pace down with “Too Tired To Run”, powerful rock ballad with that famous European Symphonic sound.
“Constellation Of Tears” brings back the Speed Metal. If you are a fan of European Power Metal then this song is for you. Likely a least favourite for me with the speed of the guitars and solo but really brings this band together in all aspects, showcasing the talent of each member.
“Antemortem” brings in many styles of music utilizing tempo changes and giving this song a musical range from Classic Rock to the power of Finnish legends Nightwish and everything in between. One of my favourite tracks.
“My Heart Beats For No One” is a Symphonic Power Metal song to the fullness. Not as fast-paced as some of the other material on the CD. It slows down when Kotipelto is singing. A great mix of styles and one to remember when playing this CD.
“I am Legion” is a powerful six-minute instrumental bringing the taste of Symphonic Metal to the maximum. As a fan of bands like Epica, Sirenia, and Nightwish, this song highlights what these bands are all about and likely my favourite track on this CD.
“Rising Sun” is another Power Metal, fast tempo track with a Symphonic Metal feel that makes this an overall success in Liimatainen‘s style of songwriting.
To close off the CD, “On The Shore” brings a style that is a modern sound like no other on this album. A song I can see as a radio hit but not a song that shows what this CD is all about. I personally really like it, and if it was a single this would get a lot of radio requests.
Overall, truly an appreciation of different styles collaborated onto one CD. This is a CD to add to your collection for any fan of European Speed Metal, Symphonic Metal, with a twist of classic and modern rock.
Shawn “Animalize” Irwin