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Dragged Down by Caveman Riffs - 65%

NoSoup4you22, September 12th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2004, CD, Massacre Records

Right from the first note of guitar, your speakers are filled with Wolfgang Kerinnis's special brand of basic groove riffs. Like Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, they're trying to assimilate into the strange and frightening world of high-brow prog, but seem somehow out of place. They're usually just a couple of notes, if not monotone chugs, and often employ inverted power chords (for maximum forehead slopeage.) Layered over these primitive meathead riffs are the familiar fancy trappings of progressive metal, creating a bizarre dichotomy. This is End of Silence?

Seriously, the album's style is kind of like if the guitarist of Disturbed studied and practiced his leads really hard, wrote some Dream Theater-esque songs, then paid Elton John to randomly add cheesy piano parts in the middle of some of them. They combine about as awkwardly as you'd expect. Now, I hate two of those three things and only sort of tolerate Dream Theater, so why don't I hate this?

First of all, vocalist Roland Stoll is awesome and sings well-written melodies. Regardless of any other shortcomings, the band knows how to put together a good chorus. Check out Clockwork or Silent Maze for two knockouts. The music isn't always boring, in fact some parts are quite good, but in general the vocals prop up the rest of it. Mr. Stoll is sadly absent from metal at large, but if he sings on something new, I'll listen to it.

Secondly, when the music hits the right balance of metal and melody, it's solid. The keyboards and more melodic guitar parts are well done. All the band members can play, and sometimes they find a cool atmosphere, such as the intro and bridge in Short-Time News. Most of the weaker sections are broken up by a good idea somewhere. It's only when it tips too far into stupidity or sappiness that things go wrong. Unfortunately, this makes up a lot of the album...

Besides the troglodyte guitars, the other problem is the ballad and a couple ballad-like sections. They tend towards a lame mainstream rock sound, and are especially weird alongside the guitars. It's hard to take the 20-minute epic seriously when it jumps straight from the stereotypical lighter-waving piano chorus to a riff White Zombie could've played! The follow-up, All I Need, is also pretty heinous major key balladry. Skip unless you're into that sound and still browsing this site somehow.

Dreamscape showed promise here - good singer, good players, logo stolen from Babylon 5 - but ultimately End of Silence doesn't quite hold up for me. Some more nuance in the guitars outside of solo sections would've helped, as well as trimming the songs. The ideas just don't support the long running times. I like a lot of the parts, but only Clockwork and Short-Time News escaped unscathed as good complete songs. Give at least those two a listen if you're into prog. Otherwise, there's better stuff in this style.