Type: CD Company: The End Release: 2005 Genre: Progressive Reviewer: Veritas Published: 12/15/2005
Probably would be quite enjoyable if executed in a different manner
Age of Silence - Complications - 2005 - The End Records
1.The Idea of Independence and the Reason Why it’s Austere 2. Mr. M, Man of Muzak 3. Vouchers, Coupons and the End of a Shopping Session
Age of Silence is made up of some of Norway’s finest. The band features Lazare (Borknagar, Asmegin) on vocals, Hellhammer (Mayhem, Arcturus) on drums and Andy Winter (Winds) on keys. This combination results in near perfection when it comes to the technical and conceptual aspects of the music. Despite the immense amount of talent present in the band, however, whatever Age of Silence is trying to do isn’t working at all, at least not on “Complications,” a three-song EP.
The band's style is curious and innovative, and probably would be quite enjoyable if executed in a different manner. Master songwriter Andy Winter has assembled three tracks of psychedelic progressive metal, with intricate guitars accentuated by rather funky keyboards. But everything falls to pieces in the vocal department. Before I go any further, I want it to be made clear that Lazare (otherwise known as Lars Nedland) is one of my favorite musicians in the metal realm. His keyboards and backing vocals with Borknagar are both nothing short of epic. In Asmegin, he has sole command over all the clean male vocals (which make up approximately a third, as Asmegin have three singers) and does beautifully. I once said he should take over the lead clean roles in Borknagar, as his voice is crisper than Vintersorg’s. He’s also lent his talents as a drummer to Carpathian Forest, and plays several instruments in his Solefald project. It’s a real shame that Age of Silence picked him as a vocalist, though, because his voice does not even come close to fitting with the music. Lazare was born to sing in folk, Viking, and black metal (at least black metal that features some clean singing) bands, not some avant-garde progressive project. Age of Silence’s music is structured in a way that it requires someone akin to a power metal singer to capture its essence – someone whose voice is much more powerful and much less majestic.
Age of Silence is a band that frankly isn’t worth investigating. The disharmony between the vocals and instruments (which, on their own, are excellent) is too big an obstacle to traverse in order to enjoy the music. After this “Complications” EP the band would be wise to make some sort of stylistic changes if they wish to find success. Otherwise I fear that they will forever flounder at the bottom of the metal spectrum, never to be heard by sympathetic ears. I’m going to stick to my no-ratings-for-EPs rule, and for that Age of Silence should consider themselves lucky.
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