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Perfect. - 100%

cellistovmetal, August 26th, 2012

I’m not sure why this album has gotten such low ratings on this site, because this was hands-down the most spectacular symphonic black metal album of 2010. While lacking the harsh vocals characteristic of the genre, “Through Fragments of Christianity” is most certainly a work of symphonic black metal, utilizing keys, tremolo-picked guitars, and blastbeat drumming. Finland’s In Silentio Noctis combines the epic orchestrations and bombast of Emperor and Dimmu Borgir with the clean vocals of NightWish to produce an unparalleled work of music.

After an ominous intro track, “Libre Satanas” hits the eardrums hard, with fast drum fills (done by Janne Pyörre) and thrash-influenced guitars. The album’s production is crystal clear, and the drums definitely sound triggered, but neither one of these factors diminishes one’s enjoyment of the music; rather, it allows one to hear every subtle note of the keys, laid over beautiful vocals and precise guitars. The key section incorporates mostly strings, but also the celesta (sparingly), as well as the piano - listen to “Portrait of a Devil” and “Signum Crucis” for the best examples of such playing.

The guitars rarely take the music’s spotlight, yet provide a brutal and solid foundation for the music to unfold, utilizing creative lengthy chord progressions that provide for unique and varied melodies - no piece sounds like filler at all. The intro to “From Beyond” and the first lead guitar fill in “Sinner’s Lament” demonstrate well the technical abilities of Toni Taskinen and Elias Vihma, while “Divinity” provides an example of more melodic riffing.

The vocals are performed by Armi Päivinen, possibly the best vocalist of her genre, often compared to the likes of Tarja Turunen and Anette Olzon of Nightwish. However, Armi’s voice carries more smoothly than either of the latter two, sounding smooth, but not amateurish - unsurprising, considering how she has said in interviews that she is classically trained. The lyrics she writes center mostly around darkness, anti-religion, despair, and death - common topics in black metal, yet explored in this album with poetic originality. “Funereal Verses” and “Advocatus Diaboli,” in particular, showcase both her writing and vocal skills excellently.

“Through Fragments of Christianity” is an amazing album, with 12 well-written songs that one can listen to again and again. I would recommend this album to any fan of symphonic black metal or metal in general.

In Silentio Noctis - Through fragments of... - 50%

Phuling, June 14th, 2011

When promised symphonic black metal I expect some half-arsed Dimmu Borgir copy with just way too much keyboard, more than anyone seriously into black metal could possibly stand, it’s more for the adolescent youngsters just discovering how ‘evil’ one can be when fronting a shirt of said band. So I was definitely surprised in more than one way by In Silentio Noctis.

The first surprise was that this surely isn’t black metal. Despite the fact that they might musically have similarities to the genre, the overall approach to riffing and drumming is much more modern gothic metal, and far from any kind of aggressive black. It’s really too damn bad, ‘cause if the music truly was black metal the concept of the band would’ve been something new, and not another goth band trying to add aggressive aspects to their music. The tempo’s fast, the drumming’s tight and blasting, but the riffing’s not very exciting. Riff-wise it’s just one melodic guitar-line after another, growing boring after a few songs. The keyboard is also an omnipresent force, making the symphonic aspect of their sound just too damn in-your-face, and too damn melodic to retain any kind of brutality whatsoever. Now, what would’ve made this cool had it been black metal music are the vocals, which are solely delivered by a serene female voice.

I know what you’re thinking, that it sounds just like any other goth metal band trying to ride the success wave created by Nightwish. Well, in many ways it does sound like that, just faster and a tad more ‘aggressive’. I’m not really comfortable calling this aggressive, since it really lacks said feeling. But in comparison, sure… And that’s why I said it’d been cool had it been black metal and not black-inspired goth metal. It’s really a beautiful, haunting voice, strong when it needs to be, serene and mellow when it needs to be. And for a couple of songs it’s not that bad, I enjoy her incredible voice and tend to focus on that rather than the music behind it. But after a while I grow weary of the music, and the super-fast closer Signum crucis doesn’t do much to ease the weariness; too little, too late.

In Silentio Noctis has since disbanded, leaving this their only album. I really and truly hope Armi Päivinen will find new musicians to team up with, musicians who master their instruments and aren’t afraid of taking the concept of this now defunct band to new heights. With the right musicians backing her up, the right music laying the foundation, she could really be part of something incredible, ‘cause her voice is strong enough.

Originally written for My Last Chapter

Dimmu Borgir Meets Nightwish? - 70%

FullMetalAttorney, November 15th, 2010

Who among us hasn't wished for a band that combines the bombastic black metal symphonies of Dimmu Borgir with the bombastic gothic metal symphonies of Nightwish? What? You haven't? Well, me neither.

But that's just what Finland's (big surprise!) In Silentio Noctis set out to do. Or, at least that's how the label is billing it. Tremolo picking and pro-devil lyrical/image content aside, their debut Through Fragments of Christianity is decidedly more for fans of Nightwish than of Dimmu, with its ultra-polished production and generally more gothic style of writing. But at least they're not another faceless Nightwish clone like the seeming thousands of others (Epica, Within Temptation, Leaves' Eyes, need I go on?).

But I've been known to listen to a little Nightwish, and most of us have even if we won't admit it. And In Silentio Noctis isn't all that bad. Highlights include "Libre Satanas", the ultra-dramatic closer "Signum Crucis", and especially "Funereal Verses".

The Verdict: Far too polished and artificial to be black metal, but it does have influence from the style, In Silentio Noctis has created a style that is at least distinguishable from others in their scene. And the album is enjoyable.

adapted from http://fullmetalattorney.blogspot.com/

Same old, same old - 25%

Pratl1971, April 26th, 2010

Another Finnish import of the black/gothic persuasion releases its first full-length effort. In Silentio Noctis, fronted by vocalist Armi Paivinen, is a melding of Nightwish-type vocals with otherwise keyboard-laden black metal. The band’s Through Fragments of Christianity might be one hell of a title to investigate on the dark impressions alone, but it is cautiously misleading.

The music itself has moments of inspired clarity, but for my ears the vocals seriously do not fit the music. The reason Nightwish managed to entrance and resonate as it did and does was simply due to the fact that no other band boasted an operatic female vocalist capable of what Tarja Turunen was doing. The music was also bombastic, grand, lending credulity to her style, which was overpowering when needed and subtle when necessary. While black/dark/gothic metal can, in essence, be loud and overpowering I’ve yet to find it bombastic to the level of a Nightwish or Within Temptation. Paivinen’s voice, while both strong and easily-enjoyable, is an imperfect fit with the steam of the “black” sound here. Where you might expect Jon Nodtveidt you get a serene, enchanting vocal that floats over the trees and through a waterfall - wonderful as they are, the music sometimes leaves the vocals in the settling dust.

For me, the problem here is simply that I am weary of all of the Tarja-clone bands popping up and vying for that gothic/opera sound that has become both tired and rudimentary. This in no way reflects Armi’s vocals or even the band’s music, which is also very good throughout (save for those persistent, $500 ring-a-ding keys that grow tiresome early); it merely seems as if they aren’t the right fit for each other. I understand well the desire to reach this gothic, melodic audience that likes a bit of darkness sprinkled on its cereal, but there is no two-way street there. The operatic vocals are done to death, and since Tarja’s abandonment of Nightwish some years ago the contemporaries are all rushing to the front lines to opt for her place. In that, the music, while enjoyable, becomes stagnant and redundant.

As I said, listening to it a second time through, the vocals seems to be left behind in the music for most of the tracks, save for the very impressive “Funereal Verses,” which finds the flow of the album perfectly and showcases Paivinen’s voice as it should be: draped effortlessly over the music as opposed to it being speedily covered like a painted wagon. What might otherwise be a fine album has simply been an addition to the same female-fronted gothic trend that has seen its better days around the time of Wishmaster or the Mother Earth albums. I’m certainly not saying there isn’t room in this vast wasteland of metal music for newcomers, but the once-endless waters are fast becoming a beach where bodies are everywhere, stealing both sun and sand from the interested few among us.

(Originally written for http://www.metalpsalter.com)