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NETHERLANDS


Date Disbanded 5/Feb/2009

Categories: Doom, Gothic Metal, Progressive Metal

Biography

A Gothic Doom act with a strong sense of the majestic. Reuver, Limburg based AFTER FOREVER employed three vocalists, Floor Jansen on soprano, Mark Jansen on "screams" with Death Metal grunts courtesy of Sander Gommans. The group, just in their mid-teens, was conceived as APOCALYPS during 1995, quoting an opening formation of guitarists Mark Jansen and Sander Gommans, bassist Luuk van Gerven, keyboard player Jack Driessen and drummer Joep Beckers. Floor Jansen enrolled in 1997. AFTER FOREVER's recording debut came in 1999 with the demos 'Ephemeral' and 'Wings Of Illusion'.

Signing to Transmision Records, and still with an average age of just nineteen, the band's commercial inauguration came with the 2000 single 'Follow In The Cry' preceding the album 'Prison Of Desire', produced by producers Hans Pieters and Dennis Leidelmeijer at Excess Studios in Rotterdam. Japanese versions of this record added the bonus track 'Wings Of Illusion'. Ambitiously, 'Prison Of Desire' saw the band making use of a vocal choir comprising bass Hans Cassa, tenor Caspar De Jonge, alto Yvonne Rooda and sopranos Melissa 't Hart and WITHIN TEMPTATION's Sharon Janny den Adel. AFTER FOREVER's opening gambit had made a serious impact upon the European Metal scene, with Floor Jansen's almost flawless soprano bringing the group attention in particular. The singer made a further mark with the AYREON project's 'Universal Migrator Part 1: The Dream Sequencer' conceptual album, duetting with Johan Edlund of TIAMAT.

AFTER FOREVER's momentum afforded by favourable press and fan reaction to the debut was maintained with the 2001 'Decipher' release. The 2002 single 'Emphasis' included two tracks, 'Who Wants To Live Forever', a QUEEN cover version and 'Imperfect Senses', that featured Damien Wilson of British ProgRock act THRESHOLD on guest lead vocals.

During April of 2002 founder member Mark Jansen decamped, his replacement swiftly being announced as Bal Maas. Floor Jansen had recently donated guest lead vocals to the STAR ONE Sci-Fi concept album of AYREON mentor Arjen Lucasson and would tour with this project in September.

Mark Jansen was also ensconced in the Dutch / Belgian Doom 'Supergroup' LES FAIDITS assembled by ex-SENGIR members singer Jurgen Cobbaut and guitarist Kris Scheerlinck. Mark Jansen too would break away from AFTER FOREVER to forge SAHARA DUST. Joining the six stringer for this new venture would be a cast of Dutch notables comprising ex-CASSIOPEIA guitarist Ad Sluijter and keyboard player Coen Janssen, former TRAIL OF TEARS vocalist Helena Iren Michaelsen and drummer Iwan Hendrikx of SILENT EDGE and EXIVIOUS.

The October 2003 EP 'Exordium' included a cover version of IRON MAIDEN's 'The Evil That Men Do'. European package tour dates for January of 2004 found the group in league with with AMARAN, DARK MOOR and French veterans NIGHTMARE. The album 'Invisible Circles', issued in March, scored impressively on the national Dutch charts, reaching number 26. They would follow up with a round of Mexican dates with guests ARKHE before returning to the European mainland for shows throughout April and May united with FLOWING TEARS. That month the band dispensed with keyboard player Lando van Gils's services, replacing him with Joost van der Broek, formerly of SUN CAGED.

AFTER FOREVER commenced recording of a new album billed 'Remagine' in February 2005, laying down drums, bass and guitars at Excess Studios in Rotterdam with the vocals and mixing being conducted at producer Sascha Peath's Gate Studios in Wolfsburg, Germany. The band received a blow that same month when drummer André Borgman was diagnosed with cancer. Following surgery to remove a tumour Borgman rejoined the ranks, although Ed Warby of STAR ONE, AYREON and GOREFEST acted as stand in for the band's 11th February show at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam. Koen Herfst of XENOBIA would then be recruited as temporary drummer.

October found the band appearing at the Belgian 'Female Metal Voices III' festival alongside a cast comprising LACUNA COIL, LEAVES' EYES, EPICA, ELIS, MIDNATTSOL, SKEPTICAL MINDS, MERCURY RAIN, ASRAI, AUTUMN, DILUVIUM and THE LEGION OF HETHERIA.

In early 2005 Joest van den Broek featured in the multi-national Hard Rock outfit THE COTTON SOETERBOEK BAND, comprising a veteran cast including AYREON singer Robert Soeterboek, guitarist Alan Cotton, Mike Davis from TERRIF, HALFORD and LIZZY BORDEN on bass guitar with SAHARA, ROB ROCK and DRIVER man Reynold 'Butch' Carlson on drums. The keyboard player also guested on the 'Ohm' album of Brazilian melodic Metal band SAGITTA. Meantime, both Floor Jansen and Sanders Gommans put in session spots on the album 'The Dominion Gate' by veteran French Heavy Metal band NIGHTMARE.

AFTER FOREVER put in South and Central American dates in July and August, taking in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. A new album, 'Remagine', would be scheduled for September. An October single, 'Being Everyone', featured non album cut 'Face Your Demons' complete with guest vocals by Marco Hietala from NIGHTWISH. An AFTER FOREVER concert at Tilburg's 013 venue on 22nd October proved a special event as the band was accompanied by noted wind orchestra ORPHEUS. Drummer Andre Borgman played a one-off show with fellow Dutch Rock band SUSTAIN on 3rd December.

Joost van Den Broek enrolled himself into a multi-national Metal band dubbed THE SUPREMACY, hailing from the UK, USA, Brazil and Holland comprising singer Rafael Gubert of AKASHIC and BARROS, guitarist Bill Hudson of CELLADOR, AQUARIA bassist Fernando Giovannetti and drummer Mark Cross of WINTER'S BANE, HELLOWEEN, METALIUM, NIGHTFALL, KINGDOM COME, SPITFIRE, VALANOS and GOD'S ARMY repute. Also announced would be a Prog-Rock concept dubbed KX3 as a collaboration with ROBBY VALENTINE of VALENTINE and Keiko Kumagai from Japanese band ARS NOVA. Meantime, Sander Gommans activated side project HDK, a Death / Thrash Metal involving vocalist Mike Scheijen of the bands SECTARIAN, CHAINSLACK and 37 STABWOUNDZ. GOD DETHRONED drummer Ariën van Weesenbeek supplied his skills for 2006 HDK demo recordings.

AFTER FOREVER's European tour of 2006 would be supported by French Heavy Metal band NIGHTMARE and Rumanian Symphonic Metal act MAGICA. At this same juncture the band severed ties with their record label, putting out a press statement claiming "Transmission is a bad loser."

Joost van den Broek engaged in side project APOLON in June, an eclectic union also comprising the METALIUM rhythm section of bassist Lars Ratz and drummer Michael Ehré and DARK FORTRESS guitarist V Santura. AFTER FOREVER announced album sessions with producer Gordon Groothedde in August and September.

In October AFTER FOREVER united with a heavyweight billing comprising STRATOVARIUS, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, SAXON, NEVERMORE, SEPULTURA, PRIMAL FEAR and GOTTHARD for the 'Live n' Louder' festivals across Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. Upon their return the band set to work on new album recordings given a working title of 'Energized' but subsequently switched to simply 'After Forever'. Studio guests included ANNIHILATOR guitarist Jeff Waters and German singer DORO. The Prague Symphonic Orchestra featured on the song 'Discord'. Japanese editions, on Avalon Marquee, added two bonus tracks 'Lonely' and 'Sweet Enclosure'.

Concerts projected for 2007, backed by a promotional video for the track 'Energize Me' and commencing at the Antwerp Hof Ter Loo venue on April 27th, were announced as the 'Earthshaker Roadshock' tour in union with FINNTROLL, TAROT, DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER, MACHINE MEN and ALL ENDS. However, Sander Gommans was forced to sit out these shows under medical advice. The guitarist was undergoing tests to establish a cause for frequent attacks of vertigo and blackouts.

US dates in October included supports to SONATA ARCTICA, FINNTROLL and OVERKILL.

In 2008 Sander Gommans featured with THE COMEBACK, an ambitious conceptual project, involving an album and a graphic novel comic strip based on the character of a rock star in a coma, led by CARDAMON and SOULSTITIA musician Kevin Storm.

On 5th February 2009 the band ceased operations, issuing a statement reading "After nearly 15 years and with heavy hearts, we have decided to call an end to a great and exciting time as AFTER FOREVER."

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