Release DetailsLABEL Spinefarm
RELEASED ON 3/7/2005
The Silent Stage
posted on 3/2005 By:
It’s arguable that Rapture, with their lucid 1999 debut Futile, ushered in a new wave of post Tales from the 1000 Lakes melodic but somber ‘Finnish’ (in sound not country of origin) death/doom metal; Shape of Despair, Swallow the Sun, Insomnium, Searing Meadow, Rain Paint, etc. So now after the fine follow up, Songs For the Withering, this super group of sorts returns for the long awaited album number three and the best thing I can say is..well, it’s Rapture.
Thankfully, with nary a stylistic change in sight, Rapture pretty much continues with their eloquently morose, mid-paced take on doom/death metal. With what’s now trademark lush, crunchy guitars and a superb deep bellow and clean croon from possibly the genres most underrated vocalist Henri Villberg, Rapture’s semi accessible gait is undoubtedly pretty unvaried but shined with a simplistic, artful brilliance that relies on emotional weight rather than technical or brutal girth.
The nine tracks all carry a similar pace and delivery with maybe a couple of slightly slower ‘ballad’ type songs (“For the Ghosts of Our Time”, “Completion”), and all weave a binding atmosphere of depression and loss. “Misery 24-7” opens things up pretty much like “Nameless” opened up Songs for the Withering; a catchy, driving main riff and Villberg gruffly introducing himself. As before, from that point on the beat/pace rarely shifts and you can tap you feet pretty much for the same pace throughout, but the riffs carry the varying moods and hues (all pretty much grey), not the drums. “The Past Nightmares” and “I am Complete” may initially make listeners think this album has more clean vocals than Songs for the Withering, but if you listen to them consecutively, there’s not that much difference, it’s just that the clean vocals open up a few more of the songs rather than solely deliver the chorus. The rending instrumental “For the Ghosts of Our Time” pretty much is the template for all somber Finnish metal I’ve heard; graceful harmony overlaying a draining main riff and draining atmospherics. Someone should really ship tons of porn and fast food over to Finland, they seem so depressed.
Despite the high quality of this band and their output, there’s one nagging doubt that crawls into my mind from this album; it doesn’t really have any defining character or standout qualities to differentiate it from the last two albums. In fact many of the songs could be interchangeable from Songs of the Withering. Play “Silent Chrysalis Stage” or even the standout track “Cold on my Side” from this album and a couple of tracks from their past discography, I'd be hard pressed to identify which tracks came from which album. Of course, that’s a minor knock on material that’s generally stellar; I just wish it didn’t sound so… recycled.
Still on the whole and as a stand alone album, The Silent Stage delivers the goods in somber spades. Of course, it’s richly produced, sublimely played and at times truly moving, but what did you expect?
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