revamp

After Forever

379 posts in this topic

I love all AF records, but Decipher would have to be my favorite.

 

 

At the suggestion of most of you here, I got my first After Forever record Decipher yesterday. Listened to it all day today. Floor Jansen truly is more powerful than Simone Simons. Decipher is as good as Epica's DYU or DC. Still love Epica though.

 Since I know you like the "firsts" of bands, I recommend you 'Prison of Desire.' It's not as polished as the later records, but it has that 'raw' feeling to it. I believe Floor was 16 or 17 on it, it's amazing to think that these are teenagers writing the music on that album.

 

You can also hear Sharon den Adel from Within Temptation sing with Floor on the last track. It is really cool to hear these musicians before they got hugely popular.

 

 

'After Forever' self-titled is different from their early material, but still awesome in it's own way. It's a very heavy album. You can also hear Doro Pesch on one of the songs, as well as Amanda Somerville as Alto in the choirs.

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I just got real copy of Decipher myself. You know, it's really interesting to see who wrote what on Prison of Desire and Decipher. I was shocked that Floor wrote such dark and scary lyrics in Desire, Mark's musical direction made those songs even more foreboding.

I mean, look at Inimical Chimera:

In the imperium with emerald valleys
There where endlessness encircles you

A goddess lost her aureole
Created her own domain

This valley of doom where I'm the token
She'll be throwing the dice this time

A goddess lost her aureole
Evil took over her godless soul
Swallowing you in the rivers of blood
Morbid games played with you, you token

Clouds are roaming around the pale moon
An inimical gloom covers the valleys
I'm the cephalic empress of this doomed celestial empire
Hear the orchestra of death

I wade in blood in search for my inevitable death
The dice are rolling now

---

She Wrote In Prison of Desire:

Semblance of Confusion
Black Tomb
Inimical Chimera
Tortuous Threnody

---

She Wrote In Decipher:
Monolith Of Doubt
Emphasis
Intrinsic
Zenith
Imperfect Tenses
The Key

---

I strongly suggest getting the Sessions Edition of Decipher, Damian Wilson from Ayreon/Star One/Threshold sings on Imperfect Tenses like he did on Who Wants To Live Forever (on the same album, Arjen Luccansen plays guitar on that track as well). I like his vocals more than the more operatic guy because I remember him for being so awesome in Star One: Live On Earth.

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I don't really like Floor's lyrics on the first two albums, since she tended to use some really old-fashioned and pretentious words (I mean, Tortuous THrenody, I'm not a native English speaker, but for the last 5 years I probably read more in English than in my native language, and I've never ever encountered either of those two words). But her later lyrics, with more socially engaged topics are simply superb! Invisible Circles is to me the best albums concept I've ever heard. 

Mark's lyrics are even worse for that matter. 

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Everyone. Thanks for your advise. I again listened to Decipher most of the day. It's a great record. I will be getting more After Forever in the future, but I can't wait to see what she can do with Nightwish.

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No wonder you liked it - after all this was the last album with Mark Jansen. After that he formed Epica and recorded more polished and less atmospheric version of it. :P

 

 

But my advice is to listen the records from Exordium to After Forever - they are way more complex and experimental.

 

 

I agree with this! Exordium has 4 songs and 2 cover songs, but all songs worked very well!

 

Invisible Circles is a concept album, but sometimes I find it a 'hit-and-miss' at often times.

 

Remagine & After Forever would be my favorite so far! All songs are killer songs!!!

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Interesting 2003 After Forever interview:

 

Sam: Classical instrumentation and vocal styles are heavily integrated into AF’s sound. How deep is your knowledge of classical music? Do you have any favorite composers?
 
Floor: Personally I am not very integrated in classical music. Our keyboard player Lando is a great fan of Chopin and I heard a lot of classical music even since I was a kid but I don’t have any favorite plays or composers. The real classical way of singing opera is not my personal favorite either. The male vocals are ok but the female ones can sound very unnatural to me. It’s more a personal thing. I like the classical sound if it’s a bit lighter like Tarja’s voice from Nightwish.
 
Sam: There have been many comparisons made between AF and Nightwish. Is this a fair comparison? Would you compare AF’s sound to any other band?
 
Floor: I think Nightwish and After Forever has got a lot in common. They also use keyboards and female vocals and they have classical parts too. Though, every band has got it’s own sound and ways to compose the songs. Tarja is very classical and she barely uses her ‘pop voice’. I combine these two more, a big difference too. 
 

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After reading the whole inteview, this was during the transition between the 'big hump of sound' of the constant symphony/guitar to the clear seperation of instruments Exodium/Invisible Circles forward.

 

What is interesting is that Lando Van Gils is the most mysterious former member of the band! His presence is virtually forgotten to me, even though he did great work on 4 out of 6 albums. Interesting to hear about him in an old interview.

 

More interesting is her disinterest in tr00 Classical vocals, yet she sounds amazing when doing them in the way that she does. Her mentioning Tarja as one of her favorite vocalists was cute, even going on to say that she would have loved to perform with her one day. It's funny now because she finally did perform with Tarja last fall and is now the lead singer of Nightwish. Talk about having your cake and eating it too. :P

 

By far, Exordium/Remagine are my favorite albums. I stick Exordium in the same pot because it's so small yet incredible. My fave After Forever songs are on both those albums nearly exclusively. Line Of Thoughts/Beneath is my all time favorite song (and was barely played live :( ) and Remagine start to finish makes up most of my top ten. That album also had elusive live gig results on Youtube.

 

@Baki: On the stuffy words in the early lyric by Floor: It almost seems like she was showing off her impressive vocabulary with little regard for the listeners at the time. All those incredibly old, yet interesting words I have not heard of either, quite the transition to her lyrics now days.

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I found some goodies for all you fellow AF fans on the board:

 

First is this remastering of Pinkpop 2004 (Invisible Circles Tour). It is cleaned up, now in stereo without the blips from the television feed. This, my friends is the absolute closest we can get to an AF live concert DVD.

 

*link removed*
 

Next is a youtube channel by someone named WithoutBoundaries. This channel is full of rarities and goodies, my personal fave gem out of this is live verison of Line Of Thoughts/Beneath. It's my favorite song.

 

Link to the channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/AFwithoutboundaries

 

Line Of Thoughts/Beneatjh:

 



Link to full concert removed as we do not allow links to full concerts on the forum - WhiteRaven

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I was listening to "Lonely" again. Gosh... I love that song. It makes me cry sometimes. People say Floor can't be emotional in her songs, but I really feel it with "Lonely." I would love to hear that song live.

 

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^ Agree, I think it is silly for people to make such comments. Usually blanket statements come from those who do not do their homework on the subject matter.

 

There are lots of emotional songs:

 

Strong

Cry With A Smile

Imperfect Tenses

Forever

My Choice

 

And of course, i'm sure those naysayers have never heard Invisible Circles at all.

 

I feel a bit choked up about Lonely at times, because it is the way Floor usually intends her songs, it can be related to anyone with an open meaning.

 

---

 

Also, I just got Remagine (Special Editon) from Amazon the other day, it was the last copy and sealed! That is my favorite album and I loved watching the documentary. I will try to have it signed at the ReVamp gig at Atlanta.

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So I finally ordered and received After Forever (the album) the other day from Amazon, and when playing it on my iPod I noticed something - not sure whether it's down to some dust on the CD or something or just a problem during the import, but there was one part in the album where I could hear a kind of... jumpiness? Or like there was a tapping over the music or something, just for this one part of the album. The part? Only the really quiet part in the middle of Dreamflight which is one of my favourite parts of the album. :P

So I hope it isn't a problem with the CD, but it's ok as since it was ordered from Amazon I also got the album in MP3 form so I just downloaded that version of the track. Thank goodness it didn't happen on Lonely though, as I didn't get an MP3 version of that due to it being a bonus track.

Speaking of Lonely, I love that song so much, and it's the only song I think that has pretty much made me cry (on first listen as well). Though I guess I was feeling pretty lonely at the time so it kind of struck a chord. And people say Floor can't sing with emotion, are they serious? Cry With a Smile and Lonely are two of the most beautiful and emotion-filled songs I think I've heard, and her live version of Ever Dream also made me tear up it was so beautifully sung and emotionally charged.

 

EDIT: So, I've been delving a bit more into the rest of AF's discography, and I must say, I'm really liking Remagine. Decipher is sort of growing on me - it's different to their later albums and stuff I usually listen to so I think I still need time to get to know it. And I also just gave Invisible Circles a listen for the first time. That was... interesting. Haha, it's also the first concept album I think I've listened to. It wasn't bad, just a lot to take in... I did like Digital Deceit and Through Square Eyes though. I think another listen is in order at some point.

 

About Remagine, all the videos of the songs I've found on YouTube sound sort of... tinny, I suppose? Or not as full in terms of audio quality as videos of the other albums, if that makes sense. Is this a thing on the album itself or just bad quality uploads? Not that I mind too much, it's still a really good album.

 

Also, I just found out Sweet Enclosure is on the Energize Me single which just so happens to be one of the three AF albums on iTunes, so that made me very happy as I was a bit bummed to be missing out on that song when I bought the self-titled album a few weeks ago. Will definitely be downloading that. :)

Edited by Yoshee

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^ I really like that you are collecting After Forever the same time I am. Yeah, It's tough to get some of their finer collectors items, like the singles with prized bonus tracks like Taste The Day/Live & Learn or Lonely/Sweet Enclosure.

 

I was thinking, with Nightwish leading up to an anniversary, After Forever is not terribly far off either. I can see Mark Jansen, Bas Mass, Joost, and Floor banding together for a special concert. It would really make my day to see the final hurrah of After Forever as a proper burial of the band. Even better if they can get Luuk (the only member seemingly not active) and Andre to come along, if not i'd be happy to see Henk and Matthias from ReVamp filling in the spots. Even if Joost is busy (he does a lot of stuff), Jack Driessen is a part of MaYan with Mark.

 

It would be very incredible to see Floor performing the short growling parts with Mark performing the more drawn out ones. It would be pure magic.

 

Though, it really depends if Floor really wants to revisit After Forever after the pain of it's dissolve.

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I don't think Sander would be too cool with such a reunion. I still think he was a wussy for not wanting at least to have a one-off DVD shooting concert before disbanding AF. 

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I think an anniversary DVD would be great, but what seems more realistic to me is a ReVamp/After Forever live show. If somehow Floor can combine the two into a massive concert, that would be awesome.

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I would love to see a full After Forever reunion.  I’d even travel to Europe to catch a show.  I think it’s pretty unlikely though.  Floor and Sander were engaged for a number of years so there are probably some personal issues that are best left in the past.   The closest thing we’ve gotten is Floor with Epica and MaYaN.  I caught MaYaN at ProgPower in the US in 2012.  Amazing set and one of my top 5 of all time.

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Guess what just arrived? My CD+DVD edition of Remagine! :D

 

Managed to get it for around £19 on Amazon a little over a week ago, some guy from the US is selling it. Estimated delivery date was any time from today to 4th June, so I was going slightly mad waiting for it. :P Safe to say I was very happy when it arrived today.

 

Had to input the info for the songs into iTunes myself once they'd imported, obviously, but now it's all ready to go on to my iPod. It's interesting that they never re-released some of AF's old albums, as it makes some of them (Exordium, Invisible Circles, Remagine, even Mea Culpa) pretty hard to get. Remagine I was especially surprised about, not just because it was released under Transmission so is in the same boat as Invisible Circles and the others, but also as is seems it was only ever released as either the CD+DVD "special edition" or the SACD version, which I'd think hardly anybody actually has a player for. Still, I'm very happy to own this album now, as it's my favourite alongside After Forever (the album).

 

I'd also love it if they got together for a reunion concert. Being in the position of being a new fan and getting into all of their music when they're broken up and no more music from them will come in future kind of sucks, so a reunion concert, one last chance to see them, would be awesome (reunion tour rather than just one concert would be good though, if they could make it to London. :P)

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^ I'm glad you got it, at the time the copy I got was the only one in stock.  :unsure:

 

As for a special concert, it was just a thought, I truly believe it would be impossible. For the simple fact that whatever happened at the end is still a mystery and given the possible descriptions from the first ReVamp album, it is all best left to be never revisited.

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^ Wow, really? I know that the price went up to around £30 after I bought mine, so seems I got it just in time. :S

 

Hmm, that's a good point. Ah well, ReVamp still perform After Forever songs sometimes, don't they? Maybe I can catch one of their shows someday. I'm kinda fantasising about a three-way concert between Nightwish, After Forever, and ReVamp now. Poor Floor would be exhausted. :P

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I would love to see a full After Forever reunion.  I’d even travel to Europe to catch a show.  I think it’s pretty unlikely though.  Floor and Sander were engaged for a number of years so there are probably some personal issues that are best left in the past.  

Brant, I'd love to see that reunion too... but the probability of personal issues might indeed form a big obstacle... perhaps too big to level.

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There won't be ever a reunion, not that matters to me and I don't like to talk about personal lives, but there was definitely something big happened between Sander and Floor... which now makes me think have something to do with Amanda Sommerville which been Sander's girlfriend for a long time (and future wife as they are engaged).... like Floor and Amanda were friends when she had a relationship with Sander and now Sander is with Amanda... :o

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^ I have thought similar, but then again, I decided that even thinking about what may have happened is highly disrespectful and simply feels awful. It was well that nothing about that got into the media.

 

I can agree with Century Child, though. It would be nice for ReVamp to have their own DVD first, then to do one special one afterward much like Epica's Retrospect with guests. Maybe start off with After Forever songs and progress into ReVamp and finish with two cross overs from both bands?  I still think Mark Jansen (again for growling) and Joost should be auto-includes since they both work with Floor a lot nowdays. A lot of cool things could happen, just imagine the potential duets!

 

Beyond Me with Sharon Den Adel

Who I Am with Irene

Imperfect Tenses with Damian Wilson

Sweet Curse with Russell Allen (or maybe switch Damian and Russell and have some dialogue between them like in Star One!)

Energize Me (he does the guitar solo) into Live And Learn with Bas Mass (maybe? I really do miss his voice next to Floor's, plus he helped write Live & Learn)

Face Your Demons with Marco as a true duet?!

 

~ A duel between Joost and Ruben on keyboards!

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^ Fixed. And yes a die hard like me can still mess up a song title, I didn't read back on my post when I typed it out. Please don't tell me you do not have an opinion on a more Retrospect oreinted release, Neura.  :P

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~ A duel between Joost and Ruben on keyboards!

Hahaha! That's something that NEEDS to be recorded. Both are insane keyboard players and both seem to be a little crazy :D

 

As for "Beyond Me" - it will sound very interesting performed by Floor and Anneke

Edited by Nienor

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