Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Review: Cain's Offering - Gather The Faithful

PERKELE! What the hell just happen? What is this album? New band of Ex-Sonata Arctica Jani Liimatainen? Wasn't he "kindly" asked to leave SA 2007 and the reasons were...and I quote... "his messing around with his compulsory military/civil/prison duty, or rather, complete failure to take care of it". Well Sonata Arctica had a new guitar player Elias Viljanen and they continued their path. Sonata Arctica are about to release their "Days Of Grays" album but in all honesty they really need to deliver a killer album to even remotely overtake Jani's "Gather The Faithful"-album. Who knows...maybe they will. I do have my confidence on Sonata Arctica cause they have always been a good band. Enough about SA though...I will review their new album at some point anyway.

With Cain's Offering Jani Liimatainen has hooked on with very talented musicians. Vocalist Timo Kotipelto (Stratovarius, Kotipelto), keyboardist Mikko Harkin (Solution.45, Mehida, ex-Sonata Arctica, ex-Wingdom, ex-Kenziner), bassist Jukka Koskinen (Norther, Wintersun) and drummer Jani "Hurtsi" Hurula (Paul Di'Anno). The roster seems to be in order...what about the album then? Would you believe me if I'd say it doesn't have a single bad song on it? Well like in all reviews...these are always just opinions of one person but mine is that every song on "Gather The Faithful" is excellent. And I am so hyped up about it since this rarely EVER happens! There is another side to all this of course...when you hear an album which sounds just about perfect from the first time on there is always the chance that you get bored as quickly. And that was what I felt also..."Man this album is so good that it simply can't last". Well I have listened the album now for about 20 times and although there are some songs that start wearing out a bit, it's still a god damn good album. If I would have made this review a week ago I would have given it 10/10.

I am not going to review each song this time. But what I am going to do is talk about it in general. The first thing that came to my mind when listening to "Gather The Faithful" was that it reminded me of old Sonata Arctica. Ecliplica and Silence times. And the second thing that caught my attention was Kotipelto. Man it has been years since he sounded this good. I think we have to go all the way to Destiny and Infinite era of Stratovarius. His voice sounds so natural and clear. Whatever they did in the studio to make the man sing like that...don't change anything in the future. I was also very impressed about Mikko Härkin. Well overall the chemistry in the band sounds very tight.

From "Gather The Faithful" I would lift the following songs as absolute pearls: "My Queen Of Winter", "More Than Friends", "Gather The Faithful", "Thorn In My Side", "Dawn Of Solace" and "Oceans Of Regret". I could easily recommend this cd to anyone. Only if you totally hate high and clear vocals you might want to reconsider. But even should give it a chance.

Review: 9.5/10

Gather The Faithful tracklist:
  1. My Queen Of Winter
  2. More Than Friends
  3. Ocean Of Regret
  4. Gather The Faithful
  5. Into The Blue
  6. Dawn Of Solace
  7. Thorn In My Side
  8. Morpheus In A Masquerade
  9. Stolen Waters
  10. Elegantly Broken
Cain's Offering is:
Timo Kotipelto / Vocals
Jani Liimatainen / Guitars
Mikko Harkin / Keyboards
Jukka Koskinen / Bass
Jani "Hurtsi" Hurula / Drums



  1. you indeed had already written one article about this cd, in which you gave it a surprising 10/10, which I agreed with (I also agree with the 9.5 as well... every album is boring after you hear it 20 times, no matter how good it is)
    what left me more curious here, now that you mentioned it is what the hell happened with/between jani and the rest of sonata arctica. I remember I was also kind of shocked by the crude way they put it in their website (at least they didn't write him an open letter, but still). they weren't outright insulting, but the tone sounded anything but friendly.
    I just want to know if someone would fill me in on that story.

  2. "it reminded me of old Sonata Arctica. Ecliplica and Silence times"
    "(Kotipelto) it has been years since he sounded this good. I think we have to go all the way to Destiny and Infinite era of Stratovarius."

    Tero, with those 2 sentences only, you convainced me to buy the album!!!

    Btw, I don't understand why there is/was so bad publicity against Jani (from Sonata members and fans). The guy is an amazing guitar player and from the few times I met him, a really nice and down-to-earth person.

  3. Ferris: No it wasn't me who wrote Gather The Faithful-review in the past. It was one of MFF-editors and she gave it 10/10. Here is the review:

  4. Laurent: Buying the album is well worth it I assure you. I don't know about the bad publicity towards Jani...but what I do know is that he is doing extremely well with an album like this :)

  5. It seems like diplomacy is just not in the Finnish blood ... at least in male metalheads. I was disappointed by the treatment of Jani, too. This review certainly sounds intriguing.

  6. There is something else in the blood of Finnish metalheads which might help to explain certain things, though. *cough*

  7. Tero: really? I was convinced it was you... sorry for the mistake, then.

    Laurent: bad publicity? really? I haven't heard anything bad about Jani. Maybe some people think that because in live shows he always seemed rather distant and maybe a bit self-absorbed, but that could have been just his stage persona or concentrating on playing so he could give his best to the audience.

    Regarding Sonata Arctica, I liked Unia, but indeed I believe their best cd yet is Winterheart's Guild... I think both Ecliptica and Silence are a bit overrated sometimes (I enjoyed the Successor EP better). I like Elias and his way of performing old solos in his own style, and to me he will always be the one I got to see live (I was standing just in front of him, I still can't forget that!), and that rocked with his charm and friendly smile. But still, there's no denying that the classic sound of Sonata Arctica had Jani's signature upon it, and for a very good reason: he's got what it takes to make any band stand out among the others.