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Silent Images: Knightfall

Even though I gave their self titled EP a rather lukewarm reception a couple of years back, I did venture the thought that Sweden's Silent Images had it in them to make the required step up in class. Knightfall is their full length debut and it continues down an extreme metal path, however this time Silent Images appear more willing to offer up a wider palette of ideas and influences. One of the strengths of the debut EP was the clever use of spoken word sections, something this album also utilises to get its message across; atmosphere's built and augmented by the introduction of multi lingual clips and sections which offer a clever variance from the more expected.

The three tracks from the self titled EP, "Unleash The Dogs Of War", "Realpolitik" and "Tick Tock" also appear here, however split across the album they seem to hit harder and feel more rounded. Possibly something that can be put down to the more varied fare surrounding them. Death metal is still the order of the day and yet "I Am The City (Je Suis La Nuit)" mixes in more thrash elements, while "Praefectus Nostrum" brings the dry bite of Megadeth. Vocalist Mithun MK possesses a remarkably varied attack, everything from screams to barks, shouts to clean singing, shrieks to growls employed. Throughout he seems to be playing parts and roles in an almost theatric manner, and while I find his approach to be very fitting for the music he fronts, the more overt screams and shrieks may prove too much for some.

Undoubtedly there's an underlying concept to the album, however, in amongst extreme vocal grunts and howls, with the likes of "Außenpolitik" flitting in and out German and English, the aforementioned "I Am The City (Je Suis La Nuit)" adding French to the mix and "Praefectus Nostrum" throwing in some Latin, actually following what feels like a complex comment on politics war and international relations, proves quite a challenge. Although the mixture of languages and vocal attacks certainly brings a lot to the atmosphere of the overall piece.

There are still some flaws in Knightfall, with a few of the musical attacks not quite as robust as such an aggressive approach requires, while in other places things can get a little too bogged down in the tried and tested formulas. However considering where this band were just around two years ago, it would be unfair not to recognise the considerable strides they've taken. There's still some distance to travel, but as stepping stones go, Knightfall is quite an impressive one, and just as I ended that review of this band's debut EP, I can only suggest Silent Images will continue to grow. As they do so, they may well become something really rather special.

Track Listing
1. Prologue: Cry Havoc
2. Unleash the Dogs of War
3. Praefectus Nostrum
4. Realpolitik
5. I Am the City (Je suis la nuit)
6. Tick-Tock
7. Außenpolitik
8. Brethren's Burden
9. Rise, Narcissus, Rise!
10. Ignotum
11. Epilogue: Of Fervid Custodians

Added: April 2nd 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Silent Images on Facebook
Hits: 2332
Language: english

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