without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Coming off a strong debut, Silent Force struck another swift blow in 2001 with their second release, Infatuator. Yes, it’s an awfully strange name for a metal album, but with the classy logo and cover artwork, one can rest assured that the contents are still very metal.
The opening track might suggest that the band took up a speed metal direction. DC Cooper sounds very different here, shrieking and screaming, and only coming down into his sonorous baritone range for part of the chorus. While the initial title track isn’t a bad tune by any means, I’m still thrown off by it. It doesn’t fit terribly well with either Cooper’s voice or the band’s general style. But when “Fall Into Oblivion” gets underway, the listener is assured that this sound isn’t the new standard.
Structure and sound are more traditional on Infatuator than the band’s debut. However, it’s also a more accessible piece of work, consisting mostly of classic German power metal with some traditional and progressive overtones from time to time. In this way, it is a small but significant change in style from The Empire Of Future, and shows the band in transition to their coming stage in Worlds Apart. “Promised Land” and “We Must Use The Power” provides a glimpse of flower metal (“TAAAAKE MY HAND, LEAD ME INTO THE PROMISED LAAAAND!”) that I don’t mind one bit. Besides, Silent Force has always been a very encouraging band, lyrically, and takes very seriously their commitment to making their fans (“The listeners of true music”) happy with the experience.
Aside from the gooey, cheesy center of the album, there are a number of quality tracks. While the cover of Judas Priest’s “All Guns Blazing” is another off-putting throwback to the first track (and not the greatest cover, at that), it is balanced with the well-composed trilogy of “Cena Libera” (a brief instrumental introduction), “Gladiator”, and “The Blade”. Clearly inspired by the motion picture of the same name (“Gladiator”, that is), the musical quality of the trilogy redeems any thoughts of it being a silly ripoff of inspiration.
The keyboard work of Torsten Rohre and drumming of pre-Rage Andre Hilgers gets more of a chance to shine throughout these songs, as does the more emotive side of Beyrodt’s guitar playing. The biggest difference is in Cooper’s vocals, however, and when he’s not shrieking like a banshee in the Priest cover and the title track, he’s showing an improvement over his work in the debut. My favorite songs here are “Fall Into Oblivion” (The real opener, if you ask me), and probably “Gladiator”. Aside from a couple of minor misfires, the material is solid. Though lyricism isn’t as consistent and jumps around, the musical growth is evident, and the band is clearly beginning to gel. The ballad has also improved, but it’s still missing the energy that fills the other songs. It’s this energy that really separates Infatuator from The Empire Of Future, despite the greater complexity of the debut.
Again, a clear recommendation for listeners of power metal, and a good piece to have for those who enjoy Cooper’s voice or some of Beyrodt’s work away from Sinner. Silent Force further embodies their name as a quietly growing group of talented musicians, and later albums will see them capitalize on this promise more fully.
Original review written for Black Wind Metal
As much as I love D.C. Cooper's soaring voice, this album does not always do justice to his abilities. There are some very nice little nuggets of Priest worshipping power metal, like the title track, and the excellent, powerful Gladiator Trilogy. The Trilogy is certainly the high point of the album, and just as good as anything on their debut. The catchy melodies and soaring choruses show what good power metal can sound like. The excellent performances really show through on good material like this. Unfortunately, there's not enough of it on this album.
Of course the cover of "All Guns Blazing" only confirms what we already knew about Silent Force. It's a competent cover, and a nice view of what Priest might have sounded like with D.C. instead of the Ripper; but it's mostly pointless, as are 99% of Priest covers (Death's cover of "Painkiller" notwithstanding). Also, the ballad "In Your Arms" is pretty acceptable, and a good use of Cooper's range.
However, the album is also peppered with garden-variety power metal songs like "Promised Land" and "Last Time," to name a few. These songs have few, if any, redeeming qualities; and while they are well performed, the lack of creativity and just overall dullness of these songs robs the album of momentum.
Drop the pointless cover, and a few other dull songs, and you're left with shy of 40 minutes of solid material. Acceptable back in the old days, but unfortunately, today bands feel compelled to use as much of the avaliable time on a CD as possible, and as a result, we get a lot of albums like this, with a much higher concentration of filler than they should have had.
Although this album does mainly focus on the vocals of D.C. Cooper, thats not at all a bad thing. He has many different styles of singing and an excellent range. Silent Force has some rather talented musicians The first few tracks of the album resemble something that would be on Priest's Painkiller or Jugulator albums, while the others get back to more of a power and progressive metal style.
The title track without knowing that this was Silent Force, I could see how one could mistake this for Judas Priest. D.C. has a voice similar to Rob Halford on these songs. This track is a bit simplistic, but probably the heaviest.
Fall into Oblivion is a complete 180 from Infatuator. It has the sound that D.C has been known to produce no matter what band he has been in. One great thing about the song is the frequent use of D.C.'s high note at the end of each chorus.
Hear Me Calling is the only song that I've heard before purchasing the album, and it possessed me to spend my money on it. A drum intro similar to Dream Theater's Pull Me Under catches you pretty quick. This song is sang at a bit higher pitch level than most of the others and is probably one of my favorite tracks.
Promised Land however is very disappointing. Not only is it not played very well, the chorus is extremely cheesy. The lyrics display too much sexual innuendo(done with extreme cheesiness). This is probably the only song on the album I can say I don't like.
We Must Use the Power is rather catchy and has some pretty intelligent lyrics. The chorus gets a bit repetitive, but all in all its not a bad song.
Their cover of All Guns Blazing is competent, but its not that much how Priest does it. Its done the way a Progressive/Power metal band would do it, it lacks the true heaviness that it originally had.
Gladiator is one of my favorites as well. Its a very battle oriented track with a great power metal riff. Its your typical song about revenge on the system by one who is being oppressed.
The Blade is played much like a Judas Priest song, and the bridge sounds very similar to a Painkiller track, but for the majority, D.C. isn't trying to imitate Halford and just sings how he always has. One of the most different songs on the album, and I can respect that.
Last Time has another rather heavy riff and is also written rather competently. Once again, one of the tracks where D.C. experiments with his vocal range.
World Aflame has to be the catchiest song on the entire album. Some of the lyrics are not that great, but its played rather well, and is rather hard to get out of your head once you hear it.
In Your Arms is a very soulful ballad that is probably another one of my favorites from this album. Its a bit sappy with some of the lyrics, but how many ballads don't sound at least a bit weird in some way. If you like this track, you'd probably really like D.C. Cooper's solo album, there are a few songs on their that are in the same vein as In Your Arms.
For the most part, Infatuator is an extremely competent album, with exceptional musicians. Some songs do have the elements of "flower" metal, so if you aren't a fan of that genre, then keep away, but if your a fan of it, then this album will be at the top of your list.