|Musical Style: Melodic Power Metal||Produced By: Jan Cvercko|
|Record Label: Ulterium||Country Of Origin: Slovakia|
|Year Released: 2015||Artist Website: Within Silence|
|Tracks: 11||Rating: 85%|
Elbowed out of the spotlight the first quarter of 2015 by albums from big name artists such as Sweet & Lynch (Only To Rise), Impellitteri (Venom) and The Neal Morse Band (The Grand Experiment), Ulterium Records latest signing Within Silence has earned minimal hoopla. This, however, is certain to change with the upcoming release of the group’s full-length debut Gallery Of Life (May 8, 2015 for Europe; May 12, 2015 for North America) in which it sports a sleek brand of melodic power metal meets intricate progressive metal. Defined by choice songwriting, adept musicianship and refined production, the album is poised to win over critics and fans alike, or at the very least allow Within Silence to solidify itself in what has proven up to this point a very competitive first half of the year. In other words, Within Silence exhibits the musical credibility to prevent it from ending up overlooked and overshadowed by the aforementioned!
Musical comparisons vary, but the press material of the Slovakia based act, which shares the same label as countrymen Signum Regis, has the right idea when mentioning Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius and Theocracy. The commonality shared by Within Silence with the three is the trademark European power metal sound with its emphasis on big melodies and occasional foray into the progressive. I might have also included lesser known though no less able Absolon in this regard. I can also see Within Silence appealing to those into popular Brazilian acts Angra and Destra in addition to leading players of the operatic power metal scene such as Sacred Warrior and Queensryche. Where Within Silence separates itself from the latter can be found in how it eschews the use of a high-pitched vocalist in the mode of Rey Parra or Geoff Tate. Rather, front man Martin Klein approaches things from a melodic and soaring middle register standpoint while periodically reaching for the end-end (or falsetto driven) side of things. He otherwise comes across with a rich and distinguished delivery that otherwise aligns perfectly with the power/progressive nature of the music at hand.
At this point it must be noted how I appreciate the international flair to Ulterium Records, in that in addition to also having signed acts from Slovakia, , the label has bands from Greece (Black Fate), Harmony (Sweden), Theocracy (USA), Norway (Grand Lux), Italy (Sleeping Romance) and Germany (Sinbreed) either currently or previously having been part of its roster.
Opener “Silent Desire” provides a good indicate of the Within Silence power metal sound, as the heartfelt up-tempo and boldly uplifting combine to create a setting on the imposing side of things. The near perfect catchy vocal melodies cannot help but bring to mind Theocracy. “Emptiness Of Night” sets a similar forthright tone but overall heavier with its staunchly done front to back riffing and authoritative low end. The impassioned refrain once more has Theocracy written all over it. Helping both tracks further stand out is how Klein exhibits the expansive range to his vocal delivery.
Within Silence ups the energy level on “Elegy Of Doom”, a relentless mauler upheld by prodigious double bass and the decisive tempo that goes hand in hand. Impetus evens out (even if just slightly) for the richly done refrain. Interestingly, growled vocals briefly step forward following the harmony guitar driven instrumental break. Likewise, “Love Is Blind” almost approaches speed metal with a brusque milieu in which a big bass presence (credit going to Filip Andel) aligns with staunchly done guitars. Technical but accessible (similar to much of the Gallery Of Life material) is the feel at hand.
Tempering the pace albeit still decisive, “Judgement Day” gives rise to a darker (almost sublime) aspect from its airy keyboards and tinctures of organ highlighting the backdrop. Another reverberant bass line stands out, while Richard Germanus unleashes a torrid stretch of lead guitar. Ominous “The World Of Slavery” sustains the mid-paced proclivity, impelling its length to galloping riffs in playing up a classically flavored medieval flair. Heavyset backing vocals lend further to what amounts an epic flavored environs.
A progressive stance is taken on “Anger And Sorrow”, opening its first slow and moody minute to stilly done guitars only to gradually build and gain momentum as stout rhythm guitars and double bass take over and carry things the rest of the way. A slight hint of Absolon comes to the forefront. “The Last Drop Of Blood” also proves progressive but in the overall heavier package, with a dogged mentality and reverberant low end leading the way through moments ranging from boisterous to the climactic to the affable. Germanus lets loose with albums best stretch of shred lead guitar. “Road To The Paradise” gives rise to the lighter feel in comparison in upholding the same upbeat demeanor, as an over the top sweeping chorus aligns with unwavering verses and multiple instrumental excursions to create albums best track. The overall feel is epic progressive power metal at its finest.
Only a few things to complain about and they are all minor. The presence of a pair of minute long ‘intro’ and ‘outro’ pieces neither distract nor detract from the albums appeal but lend a predictable feel either way. It might have worked better if the group instead had included a full-length instrumental allowing it to display its abundant musicianship. Speaking of which, lead guitarist Richard Germanus is a very fine player but wish he had cut loose a bit more throughout the project (he is that good!).
Production fits the bill when it comes to the genre at hand: well-rounded guitars combine with accenting keyboards (that accent but not dominate) and a pronounced rhythm section. Lead vocals receive a balanced position in the mix.
I wrote the review off downloaded pre-release promo music files; hence, I have no lyrics to work with (at least not yet). Lone track with lyrics available is “Road To The Paradise”, in which Within Silence released a lyric video. This one leaves little doubt as to the group’s faith:
I will die for the King of the Truth
Whether I bleed or dreams come true
Keep me alive and show me the way
I believe in fire
It’s the heart of melody
You can feel the same just look at His face
I’m flying higher through the cathartic tears
Love will hold me up on dark days
Rise! From the bottom
Rise! Can you heal my wounds?
Wind will blow through eye of the storm
He said “I’ll return”
So many times I have failed in my life
I never hide what I’ve done wrong in Your eyes
The cost of human life was paid
He conquered the death and grave
More details as they pertain to lyrics forthcoming upon the release of the hard copy CD version.
The quality that is Gallery Of Life is certain to prevent Within Silence from getting lost in the shuffle, particularly when factoring the talent at hand in what (at least up to this point) has been a year top heavy with releases from well-known acts. Within Silence proves more than capable in this regard from composing memorable material within the melodic power metal to progressive segments and backs it with strengths in the areas of vocals and musicianship. It is encouraging to know that in the future this talented Slovakia based group is only going to get better with future releases!
Review by Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: “Intro” (1:10), “Silent Desire” (4:22), “Emptiness Of Night” (5:13), “Elegy Of Doom” (4:38), “The Last Drop Of Blood” (7:00), “Love Is Blind” (5:00), “Anger And Sorrow” (5:53), “Judgement Day” (3:50), “The World Of Slavery” (5:54), “Road To The Paradise” (7:40), “Outro” (1:00)
Martin Klein - Lead Vocals
Richard Germanus - Lead Guitar
Martin Cico - Rhythm Guitars
Filip Andel - Bass
Peter Gacik - Drums