Age of Silence

At first glance, Age of Silence seems like yet another post-black metal band with all the usual suspects (cough, Hellhammer) in place, and upon first listening, as Lazare’s powerful and unique voice guides the opening neoclassical narrative, the comparisons to Solefald seem totally unavoidable.

While many of the elements of the individual member’s other bands do figure prominently on Acceleration, the whole is refreshingly superior to the sum of its parts. While not as awe-inspiring as Arcturus or Solefald (both represented by former or current members), this album is an entity of its own.

Much of the credit for this uniqueness has to go to the band’s esoteric and evasive concept for this album, sort of a step by step guide for survival in a modern world that is constantly frustrating and exhausting. The lyrics go from the poetically prophetic to college-lecture-styled disconnected prose and return to conversational tone frequently throughout the album, some of the most atypical metal lyrics ever written in both form and content.

These themes are manifested musically through a mix of neoclassical keyboard work blended with guitar playing that alternately goes from crunchy and direct, to thematic and epic. Hellhammer, along with Eikind (Lars from Winds) on bass, establish a steady and driving back-end, finding moments to shine, though mostly leaving it up to the keys (Winter, also from Winds) and Lazare’s commanding vocal presence to shape this sound.

Ultimately, Age of Silence provides its members with yet another opportunity to expound upon their collective geniuses, albeit with enough minor alterations from their usual fare to make for an interesting and stimulating experience for the listener. By utilizing catchy grooves and somewhat traditional, though quirky, song-structures, the group has created a work that, despite its many layers of well-crafted composition, really shines in its simplicity, its ever-present eerie flow.

Acceleration will surely provide hours of entertainment to fans of the individual band-members day-jobs and assorted side projects and at the same time appeal to prog-metal fans who are yet unfamiliar with the glorious sounds of Arcturus, Solefald, et al.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by John Gnesin
September 13th, 2004


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