After Forever, even though I have only been familiar with them for a little over a year, grew very quickly on me. As soon as "Exordium" was released, I knew I had to get it (from samples of other songs I heard online). The only problem that I think "Exordium" has is that it was too short. This is good, because it made me want more. The reviews that I read that I feel are most effective take each song and break them down by ratings, so I will use that method.
1. Line of Thoughts [Instrumental] - 4/5 - My favorite part of After Forever, of course, is Floor Jansen, the female vocalist. This is a very good energetic instrumental, but it lacks her voice. A good transition into "Beneath".
2. Beneath - 7/5 - Yes, 7 out of 5. This is my favorite track on the CD. It starts out kind of slow and mellow, and of course, her voice is amazing. It picks up in the chorus with the heavy guitar riffs and her voice rising above. After the chorus, she goes into a sort of fast-paced rap-singing or something... It's not rap, but it kind of sounds a little hip-hoppish. Then there are some newscasts from different countries (in different languages) reflecting violence, with heavy riffs still present in the background. Then it goes back into the song.
3. My Choice - 4/5 - This is a pretty good song, but it lacks something, not sure what... I think it's just the chorus I don't like that much. It just feels like something is missing. However, the only reason this song got 4 out of 5 instead of 3 out of 5, is because of one line in the song, which I feel is the best part of the entire CD. When she sings, "A choice without the illusion... That luck is for sale, `cause I have all that money can buy!!" Not much more to say about it.
4. Glorifying Means - 5/5 - This is a very good song... But the one thing I don't like about After Forever, as a whole, is the screaming male vocals. Grunting, grinding... Whatever you want to call it. I really don't like that. But even though there are some grinding parts in this song, the music, and Floor's voice does more than make up for it.
5. Evil That Men Do - 5/5 - This may sound bad of me being a metal fan and all, but I never heard the original version of this song by Iron Maiden. But, I can say, whatever it sounded like, this song probably did it justice. The only thing I don't like, is when she keeps saying, "Leaning on a razor's edge... Yeah..." Maybe I'm just picky about the music. But this is a very, very good song, I especially like the ending. Then again, for me, it's all about the voice.
6. One Day I'll Fly Away - 6/5 - I know this is also another cover, but I'm not going to even try to guess, because I would probably be completely wrong. I had heard it several times before After Forever, I think it was even in the movie "Moulin Rouge". Anyway, this is a great song, and it's the perfect way to end the CD.
The CD, although short, is worth having, especially for metal, goth/opera fans. This CD was very low on the growling male vocals, so I liked it a lot. I hope this review helps you.