Echoes Of Silence – Silent Whispers

I imagine that many of us get leery when we check out a band’s page at http://www.metal-archives.com and see dozens of releases within relatively short frames of time. Such is the case for Echoes Of Silence, who have a surprising amount of bold in their resumé. Of course, with the rise of digital production, one can do nearly anything as long as you have a computer, so I imagine we’ll be seeing many more artists of this sort in the following years.

Echoes Of Silence plays a slightly gothic-influenced form of black metal (present mainly in the omnipresent keyboard melodies). A sense of discordant melody (such as just past midway through ‘Fog Covered Lands’) is also present. The largest reference point is, to me at least, Beherit, though the music here isn’t quite as overwhelmingly minimal as that on ‘Drawing Down The Moon’. The distorted growls lend themselves to such a comparison as well, and the sense of melody is in some ways deeply similar to what can be found on ‘Drawing Down The Moon’.

The music here is generally solid. The majority of the emphasis is placed upon the gothic keyboard melodies that dance within every song that border upon cheesy at their climactic moments without every really crossing that threshold. Drums are provided by a drum machine which concerns itself mostly with straight blasting with periodic cymbal crashes and tom fills to accent the proceedings; however, certain songs are more creative in this regard (‘Nightfall’s Lament’). Vocals are rather hit or miss; less related to itself than as to the distortion used upon them, which seems very appropriate sometimes but rather out of place in others.

The central issue here that hamstrings this album from being a damned solid piece of symphonic black metal is the production. Now, I’m not one of those people that needs crystal-clear fidelity. But I do need to be able to hear the guitars. The vocals almost completely drown out the guitars, which are hopelessly pinched between all the over instruments. And when they do get to breathe, they’re subject to a very unappealing, overly digital tone that is unusually grating to the ears. While all the performances are fine, the sonic properties leave much to be desired, most noticeable are the very bass-heavy parts which turn everything into an unintelligible murk. There is a lack of variation as well; while there are more than enough keyboard melodies and rhythms, there’s a lack of varying structures; ‘Storm Over The Land’ is probably the best track here, changing it up quite a bit from the others rhythmically and structurally.

Echoes Of Silence is not a bad band. They’re just deeply subjugated by their bad sound. However, there’s no reason to think that if Leviticai spends more time on the mastering and construction of each song that this couldn’t be a very potent artist in due time.

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~ by noktorn on March 20, 2007.

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