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Silent Stream of Godless Elegy have had an illustrious career, evolving at every stage, each more extravagant than the last. As members, of which there has been many, have come and gone, each has left his or her mark on the music that has been offered to the audience.. ‘Iron’ is the first full-length from the Czech band, who perform a hybrid sound, mixing aspects of doom with elements of folk in order to produce an elegant and experimental sound. This is a record that will suit the needs of an open minded doom metal fan, who can appreciate the elements of folk as they exist persistently throughout the piece. ‘Iron’, although not the most accomplished record from the Czech outfit, is a brave work which taps into a beautiful emotional concept and exudes eloquence to provide the audience with a touching and memorable effort despite the fact that this band does improve vastly down the years.
‘Iron’ is considerably different to the other full-lengths due to one fact, it uses a male outlet to project the lyrical themes which range from human emotion, feelings and folklore, which is impressively expressed mostly by the evocative clean vocals, bass and violins. It is in these aspects of Silent Stream of Godless Elegy’s music that the brilliance of this band shines through like a phoenix rising from the ashes of destruction. The vocals, which have been touched upon, take various different forms throughout the record. From clean vocals, which express a vast array of emotions like pain and sorrow, to harsh growls which, although they often display emotions of the same nature to the clean vocals, offer a different side to these emotions and a resonance that rises above the soundscapes in a stand of passion and pride. There are, what seems to be anyway, female vocals used on this record, but they’re merely used as backing vocals and in a chanting (like on ’Desolated Remain’) way, which inspires the folk elements or in an operatic way (like on ‘Only Stream’). This contrast of vocals suit’s the contrast of instrumentation presented on ‘Iron’. Lyrically, the Czechs provide a poetic presentation of their themes and like to splice things up with intriguing surprises by tapping into the senses with their lyrics which use references to colour and light and dark imagery.
“I want to See you Again
I want to Hear your Voice
silent Night, your cold Light and my Black Bloody Soul”
The diverse and experimental sound won’t be enjoyed by all, especially those with their hearts set on a fast paced, non-stop action approach. Elements like the violins, which are expertly shown on songs like ‘Bittery Sweet’, are enough to keep those avant-gardé fans down and appease them. The production, although not the best, allows all aspects of instrumentation to be effectively shown in a desirable manner. It’s slightly amateur sounding, but the instrumentation, musicianship and song writing are solid enough to be enjoyed without worrying about the production values despite the fact that they do take away some of the power from the guitars when relying on distortion. However, there are positives to take away from the production values as they give a certain aquatic aura and mystique to the soundscapes, specifically on songs like the short instrumental ‘Naked Susan’. Although this record does rely heavily on the folk elements to ‘get it out of trouble’, there is a sense of it being worthwhile at the end of the record because the performances on the underlying bass and violin especially are very good. Again, although I wouldn’t suggest that this is the epitome of Silent Stream of Godless Elegy, I would say it is a good opening to a strong career which continues to impress.
It seems not many people know of this band, they are a combination of death/doom metal, with some cool chello work. This being there first full lenghth release and the band still being isolated (mostly) to eastern europe it has a few problem with the production ie; bad production. The sound quality isn't all the great or powerful, I guess this can be blamed on production costs/the band didn't have alot of money or the record label didn't spend much on a relatively unknown band.
Aside from the production nothing else isn't really all that bad about this release. There is more chello work on this release than their later ones. That can be something good or bad depending on how you see it. I think its a good thing that there is more chello work, it makes the songs different from the rest of the death/doom metal out there. I think it adds more depth and makes the songs seem a little darker. Other than that is a pretty straight forward death/doom metal release, nothing bad about it. Some nice heavy riffs, and a few different styles of death metal vocals.
There are a few pleasant sound ambient tracks like only stream, but they don't add anything to the album. Overall the album offers a light helping of death/doom metal. I am just taking off points for production.