Silent Scr3am

Written by: PP on 16/12/2009 19:36:35

It sucks that in gothic metal you have to go through fifteen dead-on-mediocre clone acts that inspire no feeling or emotion in you whatsoever to find one decent act that immediately catches your attention. You start having a cynical opinion to all bands in the genre before you've even heard a single track, and as a reviewer, you subsequently postpone all gothic metal reviews for as long as possible by default. The tiny success rate is also the one reason why the gothic metal genre has been reduced to obscurity as this decade is drawing to a close, a free fall drop in popularity when compared to the genre's popularity ten years ago, around when Nightwish put out their classic record "Wishmaster". In case you didn't guess it yet, Greek gothic metallers Elysion are one of the exceptions to the rule with their entirely decent debut album "Silent Sc3am".

So what separates Elysion from the other two million European gothic metal bands? For starters, their vocalist Christianna. She is hands down one of the best vocalists I've heard in the genre to date. Instead of opting for the high-pitch, operatic delicate and/or weak delivery, she utilizes a medium-range singing voice but packs it with surprisingly much power, strength and emotional connection. The vast number of places where her extended cries fly dominantly and flawlessly through the soundscape - stealing the spotlight completely in the process - is admirable. With the kind of pipes that she owns, she'd have no trouble launching a solo pop career and people would fall head over heels for her. Check out especially "Weakness In Your Eyes" and "Bleeding" for lessons on how to sing, I'm almost tempted to compare her vocal talent to the likes of Shakira / Mariah Carey, though I have no idea whether their vox are a result of production rather than talent. Variety is no problem for Christianna either: you can hear her shift seamlessly through different layers of sound, from the deeper quiet sections to the overwhelming power of the pop passages and everything in between.

Consequently, the instrumentals are left to background, and one could easily be forgiven for not noticing the industrial tinge to the synths/keyboards, or the difference in soundscape to the typically funeral-speed, boring instrumentation this genre's known for. You could argue that the instruments have a slight pop-metal sense to them because they aren't flashy at all, despite squeezing out droplets of symphonic metal every now and then. But this is also why "Silent Scr3am" just works: the instruments are used as a platform to elevate Christianna's voice to the recognition it deserves. The record isn't the truly magnificent and groundbreaking album out of the gothic metal genre that's been a looooooooooong time coming, but it's absolutely a step in the right direction.


Download: Bleeding, Weakness In Your Eyes
For the fans of: Elis, Within Temptation, Autumn, Epica
Listen: Myspace

Release date 18.12.2009
Massacre Records

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