For those of you not familiar: Optimum Wound Profile is an industrial/hardcore band from Ipswich, England that existed between the years of 91-96 and released a total of 3 CD'scds (Cult of Saints is unreleased) before they decided to call it quits.
With a sound generally comparable to Ministry, albeit a more metallic direction on the Colin Richardson produced second outing Silver or Lead (1993); this final release with Roadrunner Records found the band building on the platform established by the debut; bringing a bevy of musical and twisted lyrical ideas, as well as programmed drums and much more interesting sampling to critical applause and "not enough" mainstream fanfare.
With this kind of music, "qualitative" repetition is the key for trance inducing success and the band was very adept at said skill. Listening to the song "Twisted" is a good example of bringing together punishing, cyclic riffs, washes of white noise, and a direct, but fierce lyrical delivery to bring home their point. "Crotch Metal Orgasm" is a rather "cheeky" instrumental sampling-pun on some of the more famous guitar riffs recorded throughout rock history and eventually--flushed down the toilet! Most interestingly is "Modus Operandi" with its whopping 25 minute length and acoustic introduction (first 4 minutes or so) where you find an "almost" spoken vocal line infused with a demented whispery delivery over a solitary acoustic guitar, until it departs and then reappears as an almost atmospheric soundtrack like piece around the 10 minute mark? Really, it is like one of those recordings where the music ends and if you continue to let the disc go, you will find a "hidden" bonus. Most of these songs on "Silver…" are vocally delivered with a self described "high/low" vibe that really adds a nice touch of contrast, especially to the brilliantly heavy opening track "One Head Two Eyes".
This CD does a very good job at defying convention & conveying chaos, both musically and lyrically, to the listener. Silver or Lead is never content to remain in the background and go unnoticed. Rather, it's unabashedly full of surprises; you never can consistently predict is coming next! Surprisingly, all the freedom and individuality blends really well together in terms of musical consistency, because in the hand of a lesser band, this could have really been an unpalatable mess!
1. One Head Two Eyes
4. Crotch Metal Orgasm
5. Plata O Plomo
6. Slave Trade
12. Modus Operandi