Label: Avalon (Japan), Frontier Records
1. My Queen of Winter [4:15]
2. More Than Friends [5:38]
3. Oceans of Regret [6:31]
4. Gather the Faithful [3:50]
5. Into the Blue [4:25]
6. Dawn of Solace [4:18]
7. Thorn in My Side [4:07]
8. Morpheus in a Masquerade [6:51]
9. Stolen Waters [4:35]
10 Elegantly Broken [2:46]
A Finnish power metal supergroup. Wow, does that sound impressive or what. Ironically though, for a band featuring musicians who are already accomplished in their own rights within the metal scene, Cain's Offering sounds more radio-friendly and pop-ish than really metal. At least, that's what their debut album, Gather the Faithful, gives the impression of. Their label, Frontier Records, is notable for working with bands that play melodic music, and that's a sure indication of what's to come for anyone who just got their hands on this album.
To their credit, Cain's Offering sound graceful and classy. That is mainly because of their vocalist. Fans of Stratovarius will agree with me that Timo Kotipelto has an amazing voice. Its soft but powerful, with a type of soulful flair that makes the relationship themes of the lyrics suit him very well. Mind you, not that the lyrics are well written. I reckoned former Sonata Arctica guitarist Jani Liimatainen was a romantic when I learned "My Selene" from SA's 2004 album Reckoning Night was written by him but this is bordering on the ridiculous. His attempts at poetry are not succeeding and luckily Timo is such a good singer coz it takes one to not make the lyrics sound crass really.
Other than that, there isn't a lot to find fault with in the music. Its heavy on the keyboards though, so its generally more accessible to the mainstream audience but it depends on how you like your metal really. Despite that, the guitars also do their part to form very enchanting melodies, such as in "Morpheus in a Masquerade", which just changes and shifts into different beautiful melodies. And to represent the speed that is indicative of power metal songs are tracks like "Dawn of Solace" and the opening track, "My Queen of Winter", where the drums are not loud or heavy, but definitely rocket off at a relatively comfortable tone. Keyboardist Mikko Härkin, another former Sonata Arctica member, really stands out though, in the ballad "Elegantly Broken" where only the piano complements Timo Kotipelto's emotion-filled voice. Add to the fact that its the only song where the lyrics are slightly well-written, and there we go, its positively one of my favourite ballads ever.
Left to right: Jukka Koskinen (bass), Jani Liimatainen (guitars), Timo Kotipelto (vocals), Mikko Härkin (keyboards), Jani "Hurtsi" Hurula (drums)
Ultimately, Cain's Offering sounds very good, which isn't something common for power metal bands these days. But we shouldn't expect less from the likes of Timo Koltipelto, Jukka Koskinen and the rest. I also appreciate the lyrical theme better than the fantasy stuff that most of their peers are doing, its a personal preference. But aside from the theme, the lyrics are really not up to par. Someone else should do the writing, I think its absolutely crucial. Gather the Faithful is still highly recommended though.
There doesn't seem to be an official music video, so below is just the youtube vid I found for "Oceans of Regret" and just for a treat (which means I feel like it XD), the ballad, "Elegantly Broken".
Verdict: 9.2 / 10