I have come to respect and look forward to acts and releases on Italian Cruz Del Sur label. They have an ear for the unusual. If it is power metal, then it is not the umpteenth Labyrinth impersonation, with Jezebel, Pharaoh and, especially, Slough Feg having their own distinct style. When it is gruff male-angelic female gothic duet, Lifend in no way rips off Lacuna Coil taking the sound in a different dimension with both more death metal inclination and jazzy saxophone, as dissimilar as it sounds. The question, however, is: can the desire to be non-conformal catch up with you?
It is interesting that the promo sheet for Italian Infliction The Silencer pushes their definition of being the “melting pot of metal” front and center. I happen to completely agree, as after my obligatory five listens I am still bewildered as to what category this belongs to.
You would be too, as from the very get-go Eyeseeblack starts out as hard rock tinged classic metal only to switch to double bass fueled downtuned chord driven metal-hardcore brand I hear on American TV and radio. Keys continuing to twinkle in the background and melodic soft breakdown reinforce the point – there is some modern commercial metal on display in The Silencer. There is no doubt that Infliction are many years ahead of dime-a-dozen American bands trying to make it big. The Silencer is a well crafted professionally sounding album, but there are way too many faceless songs on it which good musicianship can’t save (Poisonradio, Breathe).
I was surprised that Bjorn Goosses of Night In Gales is on vocals. I haven’t heard much from that German band after 2001 Necrodynamic, but their earlier Thunderbeast used to receive a regular spot in my player. Judging by the picture, Bjorn has put on a few pounds, but more importantly he has regretfully foregone the melodic growl for a tough guy screams on The Silencer. His clean singing, however, is quite good, making just about every hard rock – classic metal – soft moment on the album work. Had it been a regular nu-metal whine dripping with angst we could have closed the book on Infliction.
Luckily, the modern commercial gruff metal isn’t the only face of The Silencer. The album is full of gothic introspective moments and aggressive Swedish death/aggrothrash, an unlikely combination. It is possible that Welcome, Paperlife, Thirtyseven, Breathe and Closer are linked into a small story. Welcome and Closer are piano-acoustic short pieces with subliminal whispers and Paperlife is a good authentic track where piano riffs lead the way, the song grows heavier only to resolve itself with an excellent classic metal chorus. Thirtyseven is a page from Swano’s Nightingale, again corrupted by a few moments of a tough guy act. With Nocturnal Johan Edlund of Tiamat should be calling for royalties, as the song sounds like something left out of Judas Christ down to effervescent synths, timbre and phrasing of the vocals. And when Nocturnal or Eyeseeblack end, the last thing you would expect for a next cut to start with is a blast of At The Gates introduced and Night In Gales practiced Gotheborg variety of thrash. Yet it happens.
In a way, The Silencer reminds me of Edge of Sanity Infernal where half of the songs were written by Swano on his way out of death metal, the rest by the remaining troupe bent on staying with the sounds of Stockholm. But as Infernal switches its chameleon colors from one song to another, The Silencer mixes such cocktail within individual songs. Such dissimilarity would not be the downfall, but the main commercial inner core of the album is. It is not too tasty to serve together spicy jalapeno sauce and sweet cherry pie, but it is worse when the middle is only half-baked.
The Silencer is closed by Ultravox cover of The Voice, which would look out of place on just about any metal album, but not this, seeing how it already combines oil and water.
Killing Songs :
Redhouse, Paperlife, The Voice
|Alex quoted 57 / 100|
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