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Death metal with great riffs and melodies - 87%

Milo, January 20th, 2005

“Melody” is such a controversial concept. A parcel like it a lot, and others just can’t stand it. That’s because, when used in the wrong way, it will turn into a powerful screw-up agent to the music. Traditional heavy metal works great with some melodic ideas. It’s also a present factor in some thrash bands like Heathen. However, its relation with death metal is often dismissed (or hated). Some DM bands have that concept in full domain, and others simply overdo it and we end up with albums like “A Banquet in Darkness”.

In my opinion, melody should not be involved in a musical genre that was meant to be violent and unrelenting. But “The Nocturnal Silence” proves to be an exception. This cd was not meant to be brutal, but dark. The drum work, empty of blastbeats and other features of standard death metal violence proves that. The vocals are much more in the black metal territory, instead of the standard death metal growls. The emphasis here is in the evil sounding DM riffs, with their particular grinding sound, trademark of every death metal album. Good production provides that crunchy sound to the riffs. Speaking of those, they are not banal in any way, with some complexity, never sounding boring or over-technical.

This band has a nice eye for melody. The prevalent guitar style is blended with some great melody touches, which unlike most bands today, are not annoying or cheesy in any way. There are melodic riffs, acoustic interludes and pretty good soloing. No happy, Holymarsh-like annoyances are to be found here. It’s all somber and dark (including those spoken passages…”I believe in the dark lord”), exactly how the album theme (all things eeevil) demands.

The soloing is purely melodic. They are pretty good sounding, but lacking in length. This is one of this CD’s weaknesses. The lead guitarist should be more present, considering the length of the songs (around 4 and 6 minutes), which provides time enough for more elaborated solos. No matter how short they are, the excellence is there. My favorite is that one at “Where the Sinners Burn”.

The songs are pretty diverse in their structures. Speed, midpaced crunches, acoustic interludes are all here. “Sacrificial Rites” alternates those in a very intelligent way. “Awakening” is pure guitar delight. The album seems to lose a little bit of its power by the end, but nothing significant enough to hamper the progress.

All in all, “The Nocturnal Silence” meshes DM and melody in a very good, entertaining way. Recommended.