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Wintersun's Twin? - 100%

Scapulla, July 15th, 2014
Written based on this version: 1999, CD, Hammerheart Records

Dead Silent Slumber is very closely affiliated with Melek Taus - another symphonic black metal project from Sweden that was around at the same time as Dead Silent Slumber. In my Melek Taus review, I didn't mention this because I just worked this out as I'm writing this review right now. I rechecked the Melek Taus CD, and in the lineup; special thanks were given to Jens Ryden - which is the mastermind behind Dead Silent Slumber. Melek Taus was created in the memory of Krielle's mother. Dead Silent Slumber was created in the memory of Jens' father from what I can tell from the booklet. I don't know if there was a scene going on maybe in the memory of people's parents especially in Sweden? The year was 1999, so you should already know that this is an epic release whether you like it not. There wasn't many one man symphonic black/death metal projects back in the 90s. Wintersun's first album has the same aspects as Entombed in the Midnight Hour from my perspective. Everything was written by one guy yet the music sounds like it was written by Beethoven.

Everything is perfect on this album. The production is great especially knowing it was released in 1999. Unfortunately, the Gothenburg influence is valid here but it's a Swedish band so what do you expect? There's heaps of chugging when it comes to the middle of songs but you'll understand later why it doesn't matter. The riffs are dark, heavy and very catchy. All songs except the album's self titled song would interest any symphonic/melodic black/death metal fan.Entombed In The Midnight Hour is the song that changes everything in the album. It's not metal at all as it's mainly acoustic with cellos. I consider this song as one of the best atmospheric black metal songs followed by Mercelel's Through The Ancient Fogs. This song mainly consists of female vocals then followed by falsetto black metal vocals that are greatly timed with the cellos. Epic is the best way to describe this song.

Jens Ryden's vocals are a big thing here. You either love or hate them. He tends to use the same singing technique in all of his songs. The only problem here is that you will possibly start to think every song will sound the same. The vocals he uses are great and right on the tune as always but he is a cunt just like Jari Maenpaa as he sings whenever the hell he wants to. With choruses, Jens repeats and echoes his words a lot which i find very interesting. Repeating words is a hell lot more catchier than I thought. The vocals are fast-paced so the build up to the chorus is always good and attracting the listener.

If you dig deeply, you'll realise there's a bit of power metal influence as well but it's mainly symphonic stuff. Jens released only one album under Dead Silent Slumber. Sadly, this album is better than anything else he released with bands like Naglfar and Thyrfing. From the looks of it, it's just a one off project just like Melek Taus. A must purchase for any fans of intense fast-paced melodic music.

Entombed in the Midnight Hour - 80%

Ramseus, March 14th, 2008

Not what I expected at all. I only checked out this album after having heard the title track, which is a slow paced atmospheric track. I half expected the rest of the album to be atmospheric like that, afterall Jens Rydén used to be a session musician in Ancient Wisdom, but it turns out that that song was a one off. The rest of the album is a collection of thrashy, mid to fast(ish) paced songs.

I prefer Rydén's vocals sound in Naglfar to the vocals on this album. On Entombed in the Midnight Hour he seems to have taken a raspy, shouty thrash approach to vocals rather than a more piercing black metal approach. But it's not all bad, the vocals grow on you after a while once you realise that this really isn't symphonic black/death metal at all.

Musically it's like a mix of melodic death and black metal, with keyboards, and a side order of thrash. The best thing this album has going for it is the groove that carries through the whole album. Even during the leads, which are brought to us by some guys I've never heard of and which all sound great, the groove carries on. The guitar playing is precise, the drumming is nicely varied, the bass is... ok nevermind that. The keyboards, however, can get annoying at times. For example, for whatever reason, Rydén felt the need to use xylophones in some places, uggh. For the most part the keys just stay in the background just giving the music a larger feel.

Most of the songs sound the same, and they all transition into one another so you may need to be paying close attention to notice when the song changes, but the album basically has three parts. I'm not sure what to classify the first three songs as, they're a mix of a bucket full of genres. Entombed in the Midnight Hour is on its own, being a slow acoustic song aside from its guitar solo, with female vocals, and a cello. Then the final three songs are pretty much melodic death metal.

I didn't know what to make of it at first, but I do like it.

Pros
-Headbangable groove all the way through
-Excellent production
-Great leads

Cons
-It sounds more like 3 songs rather than 7
-The vocal style
-Occasionally annoying keyboards