I had a dream the first night I slept in Japan. I went to sleep listening to "All the footprints..." and in the dream, Envy came to Nashville and played at Indienet, a local place for shows. Somehow I was there, and it was incredibly intimate. You could say that this was some sort of premonition, because a week later I got off an overnight bus in Tokyo, ready to see Envy play that night. I had been in contact with some bands before leaving for Tokyo, and I met Yuki from After Forever in the entrance of Shinuku Anti-Knock. We traded some words. My Japanese was really poor, so it was difficult to communicate on a deep level, but he was nice enough to give me a copy of his band's demo. That was the end of our contact that night, but I listened to this demo so much afterwards.
In some ways, it's hard to describe After Forever. I don't really think they sound like any other band out there. Each band member has their individual style, combining to create something unique. The drummer plays some sort of pop-punk or new-school hardcore type drums. The guitars play metal riffs with screamo melodies. The bass is like this constant moving, deep rumble, like in some of those newer death metal bands. And then there's the high-pitched screaming. It makes this desolate and melancholy sound that is just amazing.
They've sort of broken up... maybe. I honestly don't know, since they supposedly had an EP come out a few years back. It's sad that a band so amazing and unique ended up having the same name as a crappy goth band that got popular. It kind of drives the lesser known band into obscurity.
I got to see After Forever on multiple occasions, and their shows were always pitch perfect. Here's one from 2003:
1. End to Go
2. Depressed Days
3. Three Caskets