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Three years after the formation of Greek gothic metal band Elysion, they released their debut album entitled 'Silent Scream'. It's nothing special, basically when people think of female fronted gothic metal, it's probably something similar to this band. A group of guys who are competent at what they do that become completely over shadowed by the vocalist. Sure, this isn't always the case, but it is here.
Though the music itself is decent, the album gets a little repetitive. Every song on the album follows the verse, chorus, verse, chorus song structure. Which usually I wouldn't consider a bad thing, but every single song on this album is structured the same way. Opening with an electronic/synth intro until the guitars come in with a powerful riff, and the drummer supplying the beat with the bass barely audible. Then the guitar and bass dies down so that the vocals are layered over drums and keyboards for the (usually) soft verse. Then all the instruments come back in for a powerful chorus, repeat the cycle. It lacks creativity.
Lyrics are usually about pain, dreams, but don't every strike you as amazing lyrics. Once in a while you come across those lyrics that are grammatically incorrect (which is something that I dislike, because you can't sing along without sounding like or feeling like an idiot). For example, a stanza from 'Killing My Dreams':
"Why have ourselves abandoned us
Why they no more belong to us
Cries in the sky pray to believe
My heart and soul will never forgive"
But, if you can look past the lyrics, you can fully appreciate the voice which sings this lyrics. Christianna, has a great voice, it is angelic and powerful. But when she really belts out the choruses, I found myself asking 'did she just squeak?'. But besides that, she is very talented. I especially thought her performance on the last track was the most moving, despite the fact that about half of the vocals done for that song were spoken word.
The solo work is good. The solos aren't crazy or all over the place, which are all too common these days. They actually carry melody and add another beautiful element to the music. Especially during the opening track 'Dreamer', where the guitarist and vocalist have a solo, vocal line switch off. Where it alternates between the two, which sounds great.
Over all, the music is decent, nothing special, and the songs are a little repetitive. But Christianna has an amazing voice, though the lyrics are a little iffy. But there are still those few great songs. Elysion is something I'd imagine fans of new Tristania to listen to, that kind of more commercial gothic sound.
Highlights: Killing My Dreams & Erase Me
Yet another female-fronted Gothic Metal band has surfaced, Elysion from Greece. Their songs are short, averaging just under 4 minutes. The music is vocally driven by the talented Christianna. For the most part, the music is pushed to the background and the choruses are big and loud.
Silent Scream is laden with incredibly catchy, memorable songs. They may not be the most original, unique creations, but within a couple listens, you may find yourself singing along. It is very accessible, approachable music, yet at the same time it carries the sadness and the dark element that one would hope to find in a gothic metal album.
Christianna's voice, however, stands out from your average gothic metal frontwoman. Where most vocalists of the genre have a softer, "angelic" voice, Christianna gives a more down-to-earth, powerful performance. Her voice carries the emotion that is very rare within this genre. Her command of the notes is very impressive and she really livens what could have been a boring album.
Also, atypical for a release like this, Silent Scream has guitar solos! I was incredibly surprised when out of nowhere, the guitarist goes wild. And not just once, there is a solo on almost every track (if not every). It was very unexpected and very welcome!
When I picked this one up, I was going in expecting a boring, two-listen-and-forget album. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find an album that both exemplifies and defies its genre.
Highlights: Killing My Dreams, Don't Say A Word, Walk Away