Cain’s Offering - Stormcrow

Cain’s Offering Stormcrow cover
Cain’s Offering
Frontiers Music Srl
Cain’s Offering is the brainchild of Jani Liimatainen, one of the founders of Sonata Arctica, a band which is one of the biggest power metal exports of Finland for no clearly apparent reason as they feature one of the worst vocalists of the genre, but I digress… in a non-surprising move they employ both Jens Johansson and Timo Kotipelto from the other Finnish power metal heavyweights, Stratovarius, and a couple of more Finnish guys make up their rhythm section.
Their style, is predictably a mix between the two aforementioned bands, drawing from the better aspects of SA and just somewhat reminiscent of Stratovarius because of Kotipelto being the singer and Johansson’s playing being rather recognizable. Their second album so far is in almost every way better than their rather unimpressive debut but doesn’t offer the genre anything more than a predictable and safe album... Kotipelto, having lost a good bit of his range, still sounds mighty impressive, as he was almost ear-piercing back in the day. He also sounds a little “tuned” quite often, to avoid, going overboard… but what is the cardinal sin of the album are not the performances in it, which are rather good, but the rather forgettable, almost banal songwriting that is by the numbers power metal, that often fails to excite.
While opener “Stormcrow” manages to kickstart the album with typical Finni-power-metal aplomb, the next few tunes fail to repeat the trick, sufficiently well… 

“The Best of Times” is more mid-tempo, but repetitive and it features this very smurfy sort of choir, that quite ruins it, which is a bit of a shame, as it has a nice solo in there by Johansson.
“A Night to Forget” has an interesting enough set of verses, where Kotipelto sings, cleanly and low, which is quite interesting – but as soon as the chorus lands, things go downhill fast, because as good as the song might be is, it’s so “predictable”, it almost feels as if someone just pasted certain parts in there. Another good idea gone to waste.
“I Will Build You a Rome” is more of the same standard, quite uninspired, passé, by the numbers power metal that Stratovarius perfected and popularized ages ago, but done a lot worse; again sad, since the verses have some interesting melodies in them.
“Too Tired to Run” is a sad, slow ballad, which feels a little weird for as long as Koti stays low and more typical when he launches into his mid notes. It’s actually quite heartfelt and I can’t make out if it’s about a generic relationship or a veiled allegory for what happened in his main band, some years ago.
“Constellation of Tears” is an ultrafast neoclassic inspired metal maelstorm, but while when this type of songs would sound exciting an new back in the day, now sheer virtuosity without much else fails to genuinely inspire. Impress, perhaps, well most definitely it does, but still it's "yesterday's news" (no it ain't !)
“Antemortem” is a little more mysterious and dark, but fails to make a mark.
“My Heart Beats for No One” is another semi-sentimental, type of song, but not a ballad and even if it’s quite negative and regret ridden, it’s got a lot of pop sensitivities and for that alone, for just being a little different, it manages to stand out from a lot of the songs that precede it.
“I Am Legion” has an overtly pompous intro but quickly turns into a double bass and even maybe triple bass, number lol – what surprises is that this highly sophisticated and symphonic piece is actually an instrumental/orchestral piece and I dunno if that happened intentionally or lyrics, didn’t come easy, as in a couple of places, the song slows down and you would almost expect to hear some lead singing.
“Rising Sun” is a typical Koti/varius power metal number, rich in double bass drumming, but again, it doesn’t manage to top some of the man’s past achievements, without being completely rejectable.
Last but not least, “On the Shore” is a semi-ballad, that Koti sings in his new, lower more mature clean mid voice and sounds rather good, as a matter of fact being a cut above most of the material on the album.
While the talent pool in the ranks of Cain’s Offering is rich, the result is quite below the project’s collective ability or past achievements. Very average songwriting with only a few outstanding tracks cannot really help this “Stormcrow” fly too high…