Saturday, 30 April 2011

For All We Know - For All We Know

(Written for Powerplay Magazine) For All We Know is the solo project of Within Temptation guitarist Ruud Jolie, proving a rather different beast to the symphonic metal outfit. The album is a marvellously executed endeavour of atmospheric and emotive art rock, with slices of metal and piano augmentation providing it a solid backbone. Jolie’s writing exhibits a fantastic grasp of melody, displayed early on by the melding of quiet brooding and hooky chorus sensibilities on 'Busy Being Somebody Else'. A defining moment is the album’s shortest cut, 'Keep Breathing' – a wonderfully simple and stripped down number that sees several guest singers (most notably, Sharon den Adel) sing in round canon, followed by a brief injection of liveliness which dissipates before it can spoil the song’s elegance.

Despite its merits, For All We Know isn’t perfect. For instance, the failed Jeff Buckley attempt, 'I Lost Myself Today', comes off more whiney than affecting. Still, the album redeems itself thanks to Ruud and his ensemble knocking out stellar performances on each track. Of significant note are the vocals of Wudstik, whose clean croon is imbued with an enthrallingly bitter tonality and carries many of the songs through the addictive vocal melodies. Honestly, if you’re a fan of atmospheric rock / metal in any capacity, For All You Know is a mature and erudite album that demands your attention.

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