Silent Force – Rising From Ashes
Release Date: December 13, 2013
In the year 2000, German power metal band Silent Force hit the scene with their debut album, The Empire of Future. Since then, the band has released a total of four more full length albums, all receiving good ratings, as the band consistently stayed on the radar of power metal fans worldwide. The newest offering is Rising From Ashes. One could view it as a metaphor for the band itself, as the band is only left with two original members, André Hilgers (drums) and Alexander Beyrodt (guitars). Joining the band in 2013 are bassist Mat Sinner (bass), Alessandro Del Vecchio (keyboards), and new vocalist, Michael Bormann. If the names sound familiar, it would be understandable as between all of the members of the band there are about 40 ex-projects or current projects in the melodic metal world that they belong to. Some of these impressive names include Rage, Primal Fear, and Powerworld.
Regarding the new Silent Force album Rising From Ashes, the record kicks off in a very expected speed metal way on the track, “Caught In Their Wicked Game”. Instantly there are amazing bass lines and soaring lead guitar riffs that fade into the verse lines. One of the strongest of the metal songs on the album, this tune really doesn’t let up it’s driving force throughout. The keyboards are outstanding as they have moments to shine on their own, but accentuate the song perfectly when they don’t. The vocal work is strong and epic, showcasing great range and diversity, and the production quality is top-notch with vocal layering and effects. If you can’t tell by now, this song is pretty flawless as power metal goes. Now, if the rest of the album kept up this speed, this review would go very differently.
Immediately after that amazing display of creativity and strong songwriting is a series of very weak songs, that vaguely resembles Bon Jovi’s Keep the Faith days. The few songs in this series, “There Ain’t No Justice”, “Circle Of Trust”, and “Living To Die” are very bland, hard rock attempts. While the actual musicianship isn’t bad by any means, and the songs are decent songs, there isn’t much to be said that is special about them. They all have a “been there done that” vibe, especially in the lyrics. Continuing through the album, the music remains pretty mellow, especially compared to the album’s opener. “Before You Run” picks up the pace briefly, and features great drumming and keyboard work. The message of the song, “You’ve gotta learn to crawl before you run” repeats throughout the chorus and bridge, and while the originality points are low, the general music in the song is pretty fantastic and heavy.
“Turn Me Loose” is your typical, jaded ex-lover song about needing to be free of a hurtful relationship. And yet again, while the musicianship is great, and features some amazing keyboard and guitar solos, the song in general is lackluster and predictable. Another one of the straight out of 1980’s hair metal songs is, “Anytime Anywhere”, and in no way is that a bad thing. The vocal lines and vocal layering is catchy, and the simple rhythmic guitar lines really help this along. This is a cool, simple little song, but could easily get the band radio attention. Very similar style is heard in “Kiss Of Death” which is catchy, but slightly more gritty than the rest of the album, and so the album ends.
So all in all, Rising From Ashes isn’t bad whatsoever. While not every song is outstanding and demanding of attention, there isn’t a single bad song on the album. Yes some work more as background music than real in-your-face metal music would be generally considered, but the musicianship is strong. It’s the songwriting, especially in the lyrics that are holding the music back. I thoroughly enjoy the record, and it’s safe-for-work which is great, but I really hoped for so much more after the new lineup was known to me. The power metal “Who’s Who” that this band is should be capable of so much more.