'Rising From Ashes'
AFM (Soulfood Music)
Release Date: 16th December 2013
Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke
These Power Metal merchants are held in high regard thanks to their personnel who have the experience, plus the previous four albums by Silent Force have held the attention mixing the hooks with rampant guitar riffs and their flair for clinical execution.
Their last album, 'Walk The Earth', was unleashed back in 2007 so there has been plenty of water under the proverbial bridge leading up to this release.
One notable difference for fans of Silent Force is the absence of D.C. Cooper on lead vocals. He has returned to the mighty Danish Melodic Progressive Rock band Royal Hunt and on this album is replaced by Michael Bormann known for his work with Bloodbound and Powerworld.
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Known as the main brain behind these Metal marauders, Alex Beyrodt starts the proceedings with some Yngwie Malmsteen style fretwork before 'Caught In Their Wicked Game' runs loose. Fast paced and ready to eliminate the competition the band sound hungry and eager to please.
The new vocalist here really complements the sound, but may have some struggles winning over purists who yearn for their favourite original singer. 'There Ain't No Justice' and 'Circle Of Trust' both thrust the sword through the torso as the energy remains relentless.
I really enjoyed the opening salvo of these three songs the first time I heard this album, through to the fifth spin and so on. The latter of these three tracks retains a pop sensibility, but loses none of the Metal credentials that you'd expect from this band.
Not much to find fault about regarding 'Living To Die' which doesn't have the same prominent and obvious hooks as the previous songs, but still retains the quality. Listen out for some tasty keys from Alessandro Del Vecchio in the song 'Before You Run' and there's some mean riffing throughout 'You Gotta Kick It'. The balancing trick between the keys and guitar is the love affair that makes this album so appealing to the ears. They are the real stars from start to finish.
Sarah has a lot to answer for as 'Turn Me Loose' tackles a relationship lyrically and maintains the groove in the backdrop. Solid drumming from André Hilgers keeps the good ship Silent Force on course providing a solid backbone, but is still unable to save this song from being below par in comparison to the rest. Perhaps slipping a little through the gears and reaching auto-pilot, 'Born To Be A Fighter' goes through the numbers competently enough, but the sparks aren't flying.
Meanwhile, 'Anytime Anywhere' picks up the level of quality and mixes things up with a fine arrangement oozing melodies at each turn. This brings us to the final track 'Kiss Of Death' which chugs along like your favourite Metal anthem. The chorus stands up well and is a great way to round off what overall has been an enjoyable journey.
Eight out of ten of the songs here are monuments to their reputation and abilities. Top quality musicianship, crisp production and power found in the crevices are all that I was hoping for initially, plus a feisty and strong delivery from the new vocalist. Thankfully, they tick the boxes consistently apart from a couple of weaker tracks that don't quite reach up to the benchmark they set with the rest of the album. Let power and melody unite in a blissful collision once more, as album number five aligns itself with their back catalogue.
1. Caught In Their Wicked Game
2. There Ain't No Justice
3. Circle Of Trust
4. Living To Die
5. Before You Run
6. You Gotta Kick It
7. Turn Me Loose
8. Born To Be A Fighter
9. Anytime Anywhere
10. Kiss Of Death
Alex Beyrodt (PRIMAL FEAR, VOODOO CIRCLE) - Guitar
Michael Bormann (POWERWORLD, ex-BLOODBOUND) - Vocals
Mat Sinner (PRIMAL FEAR, SINNER) - Bass
Alessandro Del Vecchio (EDGE OF FOREVER, ex-EDEN'S CURSE) - Keyboards
André Hilgers (RAGE, SINNER) - Drums