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Silent Fall: Otherwise

There are some bands that lead the way, blazing their own path making whatever sounds they feel like, taking heed of neither fad nor fashion. Such bands have little time for genre or tradition, they simply are. There are other bands, however, which lack that singular clarity of vision, and instead choose to shamelessly ape the styles of those that have been before, desperately clinging to a long outmoded bandwagon in the hope that the magic of their more illustrious predecessors rubs off.

In truth, most acts fall somewhere between visionary and blind followers. Silent Fall's first album, Otherwise, pulls off the impressively baffling trick of hiding their modest visionary instincts behind a façade of ovine imitation. As if the band - embarrassed by the good ideas they had - decided to bury them in a grey sea of drab genre music. The fi

rst half of the album follows the traditions and clichés of their chosen musical path - in this case the melodic metal of the likes of Sonata Arctica - with maddening predictability. The drums are fast, the guitars are sharp, the vocals are earnest, and nothing of value is added to an already saturated genre.

Towards the end of the album, however, sparks of life appear. New vocal dynamics are opened up by adding a harder edge to some of the lines, rhythms shift and turn in unexpected directions, guitars drop away only to re-group against humming electronic noise in the background. The improvements begin with the strong second half of "I Wish", with "Tears of Fate" and "On Top of the World" featuring strong moments. True, none of the ideas are completely groundbreaking, but they are enough to expose through contrast the dearth of energy in the first half of the album.

Overall, we are left with an album that pretends it is totally hopeless. Closer inspection reveals that isn't entirely true, but the moments of verve in the second half aren't enough to make Otherwise a great success, they merely show what the band may have been capable of with a little more focus on their strengths.

Track Listing
1. Who is the fool?
2. Kill for life
3. Haunted Sights
4. Forever and Ever
5. One cold winter night
6. I wish
7. Play with Fire
8. World of Secrets
9. This could have been
10. Tears of Fate
11. On the top of the world

Added: June 24th 2010
Reviewer: Richard Wheelhouse
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2053
Language: english

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