Label: Independent

Author: Victoria Wise

AFTERTIME EP01. Infinite Legacy
02. Forge Your Destiny
03. Reflection
04. The Dream Is Still Alive
05. A Voyage Remembered

AFTERTIME is a symphonic/cinematic metal band from Minneapolis, United States, formed in 2011. The band members are Sarah Wolf (vocals), Chris Radke (guitar), Brad Sturgis (guitar/harsh vocals), Lucas Weide (bass) and AJ Blakesley (drums). Infinite Legacy follows their 2020 studio album The Farthest Shore and 2017 EP World We’ve Lost, diving further into ‘unapologetically epic’ music! They’ve toured with the likes of Epica, Delain and Hammerfall.

This review is my first foray into AFTERTIME and I’m a huge symphonic metal fan, so I’m excited to listen to them for the first time!

AFTERTIME - SarahInfinite Legacy” is the title track and the first single from the EP. It’s the first song of AFTERTIME that I heard. It has a gorgeous intro and the piano matches the cadence of Wolf’s vocals. The addition of glorious cinematic-tinged symphonic metal really grabbed my attention. 1:16 is probably my favourite part of the entire EP. The note she hits is absolutely beautiful! The lyrics give me power metal vibes (much like the album art!), which I always enjoy. I love the cinematic feel of this track and it highlights her stunning, unique vocal range. The power of her voice throughout, ranging from impressive highs to stirring lows, is really enjoyable. This track feels like it would fit an MMORPG perfectly for a big boss fight ; it’s so dramatic! It’s a stunning introduction to AFTERTIME if you’ve not heard them until this release.

A dreamer’s single spark is shining bright / Reaching the darkest corners of uncharted earth / Carry out your destiny

Forge Your Destiny starts with a more symphonic metal feel and it’s a tone shift from the opener. It’s a vocally intense track, with lots of chanting and Sturgis’ growling. It’s a definite change of pace from the first track. The chorus feels a little bit slow, but I love the little dip just before the chorus highlighting Wolf’s voice and the cool guitar riff. She hits some stunning, angelic notes towards the end and the outro is super cool. Not as much of a fan of this track, it’s probably my least favourite from the EP, but it’s still awesome.

Reflection is a remaster of the EP version on World We’ve Lost. It starts with ethereal wind and string instruments and piano that tug at your heartstrings, and they continue throughout. It’s a beautiful ballad, with Wolf enunciating the lyrics beautifully. It suddenly kicks up a metal notch with great drumming from Blakesley and some gorgeous guitar work from Radke and Sturgis. Wolf’s vocals take on a haunting feel, really cutting deep! The blend of cinematic and symphonic metal here is incredible. Great job!

Though I feel so hollow / I know not what I’ve left behind / My memories draw me forward / Closer still to you, reflecting on myself

The music video is so serene and fits the song perfectly.

The Dream Is Still Alive kicks off with some memorable scores. Wolf starts with a beautiful vocal performance hinting towards another balladic track. Nope! They add a catchy chorus and drama! There’s a striking dip in the middle of the song with some operatic vocalisations and Sturgis’ growling, which adds an awesome note to the track. Then there’s a fancy guitar solo. Very nice!

A Voyage Remembered is an instrumental track. The intro sounds like the start of a film! There’s a lovely dip in the orchestration, highlighting all the instruments and the beauty they bring to the track. As it goes on, I almost start to get Blind Guardian At The Edge Of Time and bard vibes. Really nice! The strings hit dramatic highs and then the power is reintroduced with vocalisations added at the end. Gorgeous song, and I love an instrumental! A fabulous way to close the EP.AFTERTIME bandpicThis EP was a great first experience with AFTERTIME! I’d definitely recommend giving it a listen if you’re into epic symphonic metal. It leans more towards cinematic with the incredible orchestrations on The Dream is Still Alive and A Voyage RememberedWolf’s voice is incredible to listen to. If you enjoy Simone Simons and Tarja Turunen’s voices, you’ll enjoy Wolf’s vocals with AFTERTIME. Personally, operatic-leaning vocals grate on me very quickly (thank you so much, weird brain), so I prefer it when it’s broken up with well-placed, contrasting growls and stunning instrumentals. My favourites were the title track Infinite Legacy and the instrumental A Voyage Remembered. Reflection is an absolutely beautiful ballad, too!