Released in the second half of last year, was the second album from Revamp, the new band formed by Floor Jansen following the demise of After Forever. After suffering from burnout and completely leaving music for a year, Floor was asked to join Nightwish to replace Anette Olzon in the middle of the Imaginaerum world tour to fill in for the remaining dates, and has since joined as a permanent member. After the tour finished, a re-energized Floor set to writing the follow up to 2010’s self titled, and the album Wild Card was released.
The first thing you notice on this album is how much heavier it is compared to the debut album. Perhaps because of her burnout, there were a lot of negative emotions she needed to get out, and it comes across in every aspect of the music. Heavy chugging riffs and grooving sections are interspersed with keyboards and choirs contributing a symphonic flavour to the album. Guitar and keyboard solos are also used and give the album a progressive edge, while heavy drumming and lots of growling add to the heaviness and atmosphere of this rather diverse album. The most symphonic track on the album is Distorted Lullabies, which is one of my favourite tracks, it just has everything. Fantastic vocals, heavy riffs, symphonic sections and catchy melodies.
Floor’s voice on this album is just staggering. She’s one of my favourite singers, and she puts in a very diverse performance here, definitely one of her best. She can belt out powerful emotional melodies to match anyone, while also able to growl, sing beautifully soft passages, and use her operatic voice to incredibly dramatic effect. It’s an incredibly genuine performance, and the lyrics for a lot of the songs are based on her burnout, three of the track names are even prefixed with the title “The anatomy of a nervous breakdown”. A perfect example is found in “The Lymbic system”:
“Open nerves, they’re killing me.
My mind explodes; it’s burning up and scaring me.
Nothing feels the same, So strong it shuts me down, so strong I lost control.”
Guest performances really add to the album: The prog mad-genius Devin Townsend contributes vocals to “The Anatomy of a Nervous Breakdown: Neurasthenia”, Mark Jansen (also ex-After Forever, Epica) provides growls on “Misery’s no crime”, while Marcela Bovio (Stream of Passion) and Daniel De Jong (Textures) provide choirs across the album, which really add a nice addition to the heavy riffs.
All in all, this was by far the best symphonic metal which I heard from 2013, and any fan of the genre should check it out. It’s incredibly emotional, heavy, progressive and epic in every sense of the word. It’s almost a shame Floor will be splitting her time between ReVamp and Nightwish, especially after releasing an album this good, a good deal better than Nightwish’s lastest release. Stand out tracks are: The Anatomy of a nervous Breakdown: the lymbic system, Wild Card, The Anatomy of a Nervous Breakdown: Neurasthenia, Distorted Lullabies and Misery’s No Crime, but in actuality there isn’t a single weak track on the album, and the album flows well as a whole, every track is its own piece of brilliance. And did I mention just how fantastic Floor is?
Hear Wild Card here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtX-PV7lPTA
Check out the band on facebook:https://www.facebook.com/ReVamp?fref=ts
The band are embarking on a small European tour in January and February, before hitting the USA as support for Kamelot throughout April in May. Attend if you can!