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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)