Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Silent Force - Rising from the Ashes (2013)

Years after “Walk the Earth” released, it seemed that Silent Force was staying quiet. “Walk the Earth” was a great album and a great successor to “Worlds Apart.” Now after a long six years; they return with a new vocalist and release the aptly titled “Rising from Ashes.” The new album sees the band going in a much different, albeit more generic approach. It sounds like a mash-up of Bon Jovi and Motley Crüe instead of balls out power metal. I’m not knocking the band, I think they’re fantastic, it’s just the new direction makes me scratch my head. “Worlds Apart” is by far my favorite album from them and I don’t expect them to sound exactly the same on that album; but I feel like they’ve lost their signature sound.

“Caught in Their Wicked Game” kicks off the album and it has passion and great musicianship, it just falls very flat as a Silent Force song. “There Ain’t No Justice” and “Circle of Trust” are two of the tracks that have that Bon Jovi/Motley Crüe sound I mentioned earlier. The choruses in both songs can easily be on “Slippery When Wet.” The tracks “Living to Die” and “Before You Run” sound like they’re straight out of the eighties and they feel a little uninspired. The lyrics in “Before You Run” are particularly corny. “You Gotta Kick It” and “Turn Me Loose” are songs that have great guitar solos but everything else is on a plateau. There aren’t any dynamics on these songs and they’re just “there.” The choruses are very repetitive and very cheesy. The words “you gotta kick it” do not belong in songs in this day and age; it sounds like the name of a Mark Farner comeback album. “Born to Be a Fighter” has an intro that sounds like a Nintendo game and it also happens to be my personal favorite on the album. This song has an eighties sound, but it’s done with a certain panache and the guitar work is pretty awesome. “Anytime Anywhere” has a catchy chorus that actually does the rest of the song justice; I just wish it didn’t repeat so much. “Kiss of Death” closes the album and it’s one of the worst songs on the album and it actually makes the album more forgettable than it already is. It’s probably the blandest song on the album in a spot where it should be the grand finale song. Closing an album is just as important as opening one, there has to be some sort of thought process to make it feel complete. This album just feels like a collection of songs thrown together on a disc.

I really hate myself for bashing “Rising from Ashes,” but I just can’t bring myself to like or recommend it. Silent Force is a fantastic band with amazing albums; this just isn’t one of them. The vocals are great, the instruments are great and the production is great. How did it end up so bland and generic? I think I sound like a nut when I basically say that it’s good but it’s not. The lyrics definitely aren’t the best and the album feels like it has no flow. With all of its faults, it does have some good parts too. The guitar work and solos are just awesome. I know the die-hard Silent Force fans are going to eat this up because it’s the first album in six years, but it really isn’t worth the listen. I was trying to let it grow on me after multiple listens, but I only grew more and more inattentive. As for newcomers, go listen to “Worlds Apart” and  “Walk the Earth,” stay clear from “Rising from Ashes.”


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