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I wasn't familiar with US thrashers Silent Scream about six months ago. I got their only album for a low price from a friend. It's nice to discover something good from the early 1990s, that crushes many of today's metal releases just with one single note.
'From the Darkest Depths...' contains 44 minutes of dark thrash metal, made the US way. As the band's name might suggest, they weren't a Slayer clone. Silent Scream located in the heavier end of the thrash, sometimes getting very close to death metal. Eerie lead guitars remind me of Death, as does the dark atmosphere. Chris McCarthy had a short stint with Dark Angel prior to this, but Silent Scream weren't on the amok-gear of early Dark Angel. There's a bit or two of crossover thrown in, but just for spice. 'From the Darkest Depths...' is quite varying pacewise; there's some fast blasting and also some slow creeping parts, but mainly the pace is somewhere in between. Compositions are all different to each other and are more adventurous than any average stuff. It keeps well together and doesn't stale during the album. First few spins created an average picture of the album, but this needs to be observed with attention, so this isn't a mere headbanging affair. However, this is not a show of technicality, but a soulful whole. Hey, one thing that'll surely get someone's attention: a bass intro! I said this is old school stuff throughout.
The Gene Hoglan production is heavy for its time. Guitars are also shredding and drums are pounding. Instruments and vocals (angry basically bordering on growl, pretty much one-note) are well distinguishable in the mix, but the whole is king of hollow, not tight enough. Lyrics are varying, but sticking to the album's title. Themes as perversions, child abuse, drugs, snuff flicks, madness and nazis were nothing new even in the early 1990s, but the lyrics are well written altogether. Cover art sticks to mind, so to speak. It's ugly, especially that album title graphics, hehe. But fuck it, zombie's painted and this goes to the list of memorable cover arts. It's a part of the whole.
Hunting for some darkened thrash metal? Then 'From the Darkest Depths of the Imagination' should be your next prey. It has more to offer than it showed at first few spins. This has class.
(Originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com in Feb 2005)
Silent Scream, one of those bands that popped up during the thrash hype, made a couple demos released one album and then as fast as they appeared they vanished. The real interesting thing about these guys is that they had Gene Hoglan mastering this album, and writing the lyrics for a song as well (Theater Of The Depraved).
The impressive thing about From The Darkest Depths Of Imagination is how thick the production is. The heaviness of this album would make Tortured Existence whimper. So if you haven’t heard this, be prepared. But it’s not just the guitar that’s heavy as hell, everything is, from the sludgy bass lines to the pounding percussion. But the vocals are ripping as well, this guy has an extremely deep proto-death metal style of vocalization, but at times it gets pretty monotonous and annoying. And that's something that takes away from the good experience of the album is it gets repetitive too quickly, and gets a tad boring about five tracks in.
The riffs as previously stated are heavy, but not much speed at all, it’s mostly mid-paced thrash almost all the way through, there is a handful of points where it speeds up, but those are few and far between. Hell if it wasn’t for the thrash style riffage and speed breaks this would be a straight-foreword death metal record. The guitar solos are pretty slick as well, there are a few notable ones in the latter half of the album, but they’re nothing too special. At some points the solos sound Morbid Angel-esc.
The lyrics are fairly odd though, they’re dark, really dark. Most of it is social commentary, ranging from erotic asphyxiation, humanity’s destruction, murder in a movie theater, and much more. I have to say the lyrics are very fitting for the mood already set by the music itself.
From The Darkest Depths Of Imagination is quite the gem in the realm of thrash, a darkened ride of horror and gruesome social commentary. I recommend getting a hold of this in some form or fashion, you’ll probably have far better luck finding a site where you can download this, ‘cause the cd copies are few and far between-87%.