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Close to a Sygnet reunion - 80%

Blaze, September 17th, 2014

As a big fan of both Alex Beyrodt and DC Cooper it was a big pleasure to get to know the band Silent Force in 2000. Their first two albums, 'The Empire Of Future' and 'Infatuator' are classic metal albums to the core that kind of summarize the best elements of the rising European power metal genre of the later '90s. Their third material, the 2004's 'Worlds Apart' is a continuation of this style, but it has a more modern touch, regarding the overall sound of the band. 'Walk The Earth' is a more diverse record, as it contains some gothic and progressive elements too, but it's still a very powerful yet melodic and dark work.

In point of these statements, it goes without saying, that the expectation level was high for the next chapter of this all-star project. In 2012 I sadly took notice of DC Cooper's leaving (but fortunately for the right reason: he rejoined Royal Hunt), but knowing that Silent Force demands high quality, I was sure that they are going to find a world-class singer as Cooper's replacement. I was guessing who it can be, but I would never have thought that Michael Bormann can undertake the position, as he is mostly known from hard rock and AOR bands like Jaded Heart and Bonfire. Later I was reminded that Beyrodt, Bormann and the drummer André Hilgers played on The Sygnet album 'Children Of The Future', which is a great record. Knowing that The Sygnet later transformed into Silent Force, I approved that what we are talking about here is a mighty reunion, in which the legendary Mat Sinner participates as well.

To me, 'Rising From Ashes' promised to be the follow-up to the (1998's) 'Children Of The Future', regarding the reunion of this line-up and the fact that Beyrodt does not experiment a lot with music if it comes to songwriting. My expectation was somehow verified after listening to this album, but there were some ambiguous feelings in me. It was very strange to hear Silent Force with Michael Bormann, because he has completely different voice and vocal style from DC Cooper. I mean this new sound fits well to Bormann, but not Silent Force. I would be more satisfied if this album was released under a 'Sygnet reunion' manner. Although I can't complain at all, as Beyrodt's great songwriting style is still there, but what we've got here is a far more hard rock- and AOR-ish Silent Force than the one we got to know in 2000 with DC Cooper.

Speaking about the songs, I was sorry to hear that the opening track 'Caught In Their Wicked Game' is not entirely a Beyrodt baby, as its chorus almost completely sounds the same as the American melodic rock band Guild Of Ages 2001 song 'Wicked Game' from their second album 'Citadel' (check that song out, you won't believe your ear!). I don't know much about copyright, but in case of this song it's not just about some inspiration, it's undeniable duplication. I respect these musicians, and it's a fact that SF's version is way better and heavy than the original, but I really don't get it... Why? So this whole thing reduced my enthusiasm a bit right after the first chorus.

The rest of the album is strong and original. The highlight here is 'Circle Of Trust', which I guess function as the main single for it, as it was released in form a music video. This track is a real hard rock / heavy metal anthem with a catchy melody and chorus. It's a great song, in the vein of the Sygnet album mentioned above.

Luckily there are no slower songs or ballads on this record. At first I was afraid, because I don't know about any Bormann album, which doesn't contain at least two or three ballads. No doubt, he is good at it, but the mainman here is Beyrodt... Almost every song is great here, but only problem is that they sound so 'soft' compared to the rest of the band's discography. I am calming myself with the fact that I got used to DC's voice and style, and I can not let go of that experience.

I learned that the sound of Silent Force can change, and I can fall into any good hard rock albums as long as it is original, melodic and emotionally powerful. And this is the situation here (except that certain chorus in the opening track). I don't feel I have to rate the changing of the overall sound (from power metal to hard rock), because that has nothing to do with genuineness, but as I said it's rather a Sygnet reunion than a Silent Force masterpiece.