Release DetailsLABEL Fist Music
RELEASED ON 11/15/2006
Followed By Silence
posted on 2/2007 By:
Even though I do enjoy reviewing bands that don’t necessarily try to pigeonhole themselves into one set-in-stone style, occasionally the mixing of genres into a hybrid of sorts makes for a perplexing listen that takes some time getting used to. In the case of Colorado’s Followed By Silence, this melding of genres comes in the form of technical thrash, melodic death, and black metal styles with an entirely modern American feel. In a subtle way, there is a whole lot going on with this self-titled full length, and if ever I’ve laid an ear onto a debut album that I’d describe as ‘smart’, this would be it.
Followed By Silence delves into a method of songwriting that leaves little doubt that this four-piece has much to offer the realm of metal. It’s quite simple, really. First, the riff plays the most important role, namely an excellent ‘signature riff’ if you will, and each track contains one or two that really stand out. These rhythms are assembled ambitiously, with keen attention to details as far as melody and flow, and these signature riffs are then unraveled, altered, and redistributed with added tension, precision palm-muting, power chords, and latent harmonies. Basically, they take great riffs and work them with everything they have, in every variation possible to fit the altering moods of the songs, with very little filler to be suffered through. No unnecessary whiddly-dee crap, no misplaced breakdowns, just good music with a strong direction.
The band wears their influences proudly, with plenty of late 90’s Testament, early In Flames, Absu, Cynic, and latter-day Death inflection (especially with Joe Pickett’s vocals) felt from beginning to end. While their muses might be readily apparent, the personality of the band isn’t compromised by their songwriting choices. There is hardly any flashy show-off soloing, the blastbeats are used only to enhance dynamics rather than push false extremity into the ear, and the softer, clean segues don’t waste time with artsy bullshit in a forced attempt to make the band seem progressive. It all makes sense, in other words, which is refreshing.
Tracks such as “Torn In Half By Rotting Children”, the superb “The October Country”, and “Beaten To Death” are prime examples of the clever songcraft this quartet deftly assembles. The five short “Canto” instrumentals placed randomly throughout the disc also run the gambit between an oceanic Isis headspace, to a Nachtmystium sense of pure psychedelic darkness, and all of them compliment rather than distract. Closing track “Pissing And Calling It Rain” ends the album with pure vitriol and class that almost sounds like Pharaoh trying their hand at lurching, blackened prog’. I told you, there's a lot going on, but it glides smooth as glass.
While this might have some of you ready to run over to Fist Music’s website and grab a copy, I think Followed By Silence are still kind of finding their place, trying different things yet adhering to their self-imposed boundaries (nothing wrong with that), with further room for growth. A stronger production job, perhaps an additional guitarist, and longer song lengths to help really flesh out the music more, I’d say we’re looking at a pretty impressive young band here. Along with Gabriel’s Path, and Year Of Desolation, the U.S. underground is spawning some promising new acts. Let’s hope it continues.
Register to post comments.