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After Forever

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Originating in Holland, After Forever represent a distinctly new-millennium breed of heavy metal band -- one rooted in familiar styles such as doom, Gothic and power metal, but utilizing the seemingly contradictory element of a sweet, female voice to offset the music's reigning aggression. In their case, this vocalist is operatically trained soprano Floor Jansen, whose contributions bring bands like the Gathering, Tristania, and Nightwish to mind. Alongside guitarists Sander Gommans and Mark Jansen, bassist Luuk van Gerven, keyboardist Jack Driessen, and drummer Joep Beckers, she helped transform mid-'90s metal band Apocalyps into After Forever while most members were still in their teens. Signing with Transmission Records, the band issued their debut album, Prison of Desire to great acclaim in the year 2000, then quickly followed it with 2001's more refined Decipher (featuring new keyboard player Lando van Gils, and drummer Andre Borgman). With their profile now rising fast (at least domestically), two singles, "Emphasis" and "Monolith of Doubt," were extracted from the latter album to title E.P. releases, and Floor also found time to lend her talents to space-metal composer Arjen Anthony Lucassen's vaunted Star One project. 2003 saw the release of an EP/DVD named Exordium & Insights, and after replacing original guitarist Mark Jansen with Bas Maas, After Forever released their third full-length album in 2004's Invisible Circles. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia

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