Release DetailsLABEL Crash Music
RELEASED ON 9/21/2004
posted on 12/2004 By:
Inspiration and influence are both tools best implemented in subtlety. Silent Voices does not entirely demonstrate this adage to a tee, but this isn't necessarily a downfall. With a progressive recipe that is equal parts Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Rush, with a scattering of the more power metal driven acts such as Masterplan and Warmen, this Finnish quintets sound is disciplined, dynamic, and diverse. On their follow up to 2002's critically acclaimed Chapters Of Tragedy, the band (made up of members from Sonata Arctica and Requiem) managed to effectively borrow some of the musical traits of the aforementioned groups without completely standing in their shadows. On Infernal, each musician steps into the spotlight, showcasing their own talents and proving that said abilities are far more relevant than which well known bands they play in fulltime.
The oddly timed and technical arrangements meld splendidly with the bombast upbeat segments in each track. Like different eras of progressive music colliding somewhere in time, Infernal could be accurately described as a conglomerate of Signals, The Odyssey, and Awake, with the latter coming through as the most dominant attribute of the three. The Symphony X comparison serves more or less as an example of the heavy modern edge that the album hosts. Opener "End Of Days", which is probably my favorite song on the disc, holds a very close resemblance to certain phrases of Dream Theater's "6:00" and "The Mirror", while "Avalon", the remarkable trilogy that closes the album, breathes a sort of new life into the classic composition process that the masterminds like Rush originally set in stone. Other shining moments are "On The Wings Of Rage" (a total power metal title if there ever was one) and, with one of the most impressive keyboard solos ever put on tape, "Infernal Mind".
When I listen to Infernal, I don't imagine the band called a group meeting one day to discuss how these other acts have all been very successful in making the genre so popular and that they should try to cash in on their hard work. With each member being more than proficient on their respective instruments, not only can one easily visualize their apparent idols, but more importantly you sense that the band is honestly attempting to (re)create something special and unique from an age old blueprint that was drawn up by those who came before them and shaped the scene into the greatness we all know it as. Not only this, but Silent Voices really do somehow pull it off in a way that comes across as their own. I genuinely feel as though this record is more of a tribute to the prog gods that they respect and admire than an attempt to steal their fire. This is music written from the heart, not the wallet.
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