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domingo, 11 de junho de 2017

AFTER FOREVER Progressive Metal • Netherlands

AFTER FOREVER is a progressive-metal band from The Netherlands, born in Reuver in 1995. 

Sander Gommans founded the band in 1995 The band played first under the name APOCALYPSE, which eventually changed to AFTER FOREVER. Gommans, a former music teacher, started the group as a side project for his actual job. With time, the band has grown so big that its axe-master (and growler) has been able to dedicate himself 100% to its development, and to create and perform its music. 

AFTER FOREVER's style, in the beginning, was much closer to death metal than to the type of music they play today. The first major change in the band's line-up (and vital for the change in style) was the arrival of vocalist Floor Jansen in 1997. Being 16 years old at that time, Jansen provided the band with the opportunity to reach wider audiences and expand their musical boundaries. A trained musician (she begun studying in 1999 in the Dutch RockAcademy), her voice and her charisma has become a staple of AFTER FOREVER's sound and the best example of what many call a "beauty and the beast" band, as the music still combines both female operatic vocals with male death-metal growls. 

In 1999 they released their first demo, "Ephemeral", now in a much more gothic-rock oriented style. "Wings of Illusion" followed soon thereafter, in the same vein. 

2000 saw the release of the band's first full-length, "Prison of Desire", under Transmission Records. The album was received with enthusiasm from the press and the metal community. The very energetic album was one of the first to feature the now-common but then-rare "beauty and the beast" approach to heavy metal. The album, full of power-metal elements, further distanced the band from their original death-metal style, though the growling vocals remained. Later on that year, original members Joep Beckers and Jack Driessen left the band, being replaced by drummer André Borgman and keyboardist Lando van Gils. 

The band's fans, now growing in numbers, had to wait only a year for a new album by the Dutch masters to arrive: 2001's "Decipher". The record, much more melancholic than its predecessor, was even more acclaimed around the metal world, specially in Europe. During the same year, Floor Jansen was invited to participate in AYREON's "The Dream Sequencer". 

But everything was not perfect for AFTER FOREVER and 2002 saw the departure of original member Mark Jansen, who shared lyric-writing duties with Floor. While he went on to found his own band (EPICA), Floor Jansen assumed the role of being the sole lyrics writer for the band. 2003 was a year of much activity for AFTER FOREVER, as the band released their EP "Exordium". 

In 2004 AFTER FOREVER released their third full-length, "Invisible Circles". The album managed to grab a spot in the Dutch Top 100 musical chart, at number 26, an amazing feat for a much more progressive, concept album as this one was. The album received great reviews. Later on that year, keyboardist Lando van Gils left the band and was replaced by Joost van den Broek. 

The following year, the Dutch rockers gave the world their fourth album, "Remagine". Incorporating catchier elements than previous releases, the opus was well received in the metal community and further established the band as one of the leaders in the genre. 

2006 was the year when the relationship Transmission-AFTER FOREVER ended when the band left the label due to scarce promotion and lack of support. The group signed up with Nuclear Blast afterwards. In the meantime, their former label released a compilation of their works, "Mea Culpa". 

The most recent chapter in AFTER Forever's history was the release, in 2007, of their self-titled fifth album, which has been the object of great reviews and acclaim in the metal and prog community, thanks to a combination of elements of all their past albums and to a further development of their progressive sound. 

AFTER FOREVER's current line-up is: 

Floor Jansen - Vocals 
Sander Gommans - Guitar, growling vocals 
Bas Maas - Guitar 
Luuk van Gerven - Bass 
André Borgman - Drums 
Joost van den Broek - Keyboards 

Thanks Magal

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