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Platitude: Silence Speaks

On their third album, Swedish melodic metal band have honed their sound and created a more focused album full of catchy vocal melodies, melodic guitars, and enchanting synth work. Though I've heard some people call Platitude a melodic power prog metal band, I beg to differ. None of the ten songs on this album suggest progressive songwriting unless using plenty of synths and synth leads makes an album progressive. Basically, Silence Speaks is a mixture of metal and hard rock with a heavy melodic focus. The songs mostly revolve around the emotional vocals of Erik Blomkvist and Kristofer von Wachenfeldt's keyboards.

The other band members have a more subdued role in the songs. Guitarist Gustav Kollerstrom occasionally interrupts the synth-defined tracks with crunchy rhythms and his sound is always thickened by solid bass guitar. Other than that, Patrik Jansson on bass doesn't have much of an independent impact. All songs except one are within the three to four minute range, and are mostly started off with slow synth melodies before Blomkvist enters them with his moving and perhaps somewhat melodramatic voice. He possesses a really fine timbre and has a great delivery akin to that of Jorn Lande, best noticed on "Fear (It's Over Now)", one of the songs that stands out from the rest. This one features strong double bass work by 17-year-old drummer Andreas Brobjer and it really adds substantial power to the song. On the first track "Tell the Truth", Blomkvist is evocative of Evergrey's Tom Englund with his remarkable screams and slightly throaty vocals. There are also great harmonies on this song with smooth synth lines. It would have been interesting if they had written more songs in this vein where he could use more aggressive vocals. He goes for a similar style on "You" (though this one could have been shorter as it meanders a bit) where he belts out some impressive high screams. The band's hard rock side is best noticed on the playful 80's rocker "Walk With Me", where I had to think of Joe Lynn Turner and even Mats Leven during his Yngwie Malmsteen days. On tracks like the dark "Nobody's Hero" and the more midtempo stuff, Blomkvist will convince anyone he has pipes and a great tone.

It's the shorter and simpler AOR type tunes that might prevent Silence Speaks from impacting the way it was meant to. For example, on the title track, rather than developing the piece around its rocking guitar and synth verses, the band opts for a syrupy multi-repetition chorus that unfortunately doesn't do the first half of the track justice. Also, the bits of symphonic power metal heard on the melodic "Don't Be Afraid" steers into a poppy lead chorus amidst chugging d-tuned rhythms. It gets back on track as Kollerstrom plays a nice bluesy lead solo at the end though. "Falling Down" is one of the most emotional cuts, and it also features a nice atmospheric break with weird sounds heard in the background, and another sweet solo guitar. The album's biggest ballad has to be the 70's Journey synth-pop of "After the Storm".

Though this is their third release, it is clear the band still needs time to fully mature. Given the guys are all in their late teens and early twenties however, that's quite understandable. Silence Speaks will come off as a pleasant surprise to fans of AOR meets hard rock to synth-filled melodic metal. Tommy Hansen's production and Mattias Noren's cover art are great too.

Track Listing

  1. Tell the Truth
  2. Nobody's Hero
  3. Silence Speaks
  4. Empty Inside
  5. Fear (It's Over Now)
  6. Don't Be Afraid
  7. Falling Down
  8. After the Storm
  9. Walk With Me
  10. You

Added: January 26th 2006
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Related Link: Platitude website
Hits: 5251
Language: english

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