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Grönholm - 'Silent Out Loud' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/17/ab/54/1766_gronholmsilentoutloud_1323974886.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 15, 2011    
 
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Second album by the Finnish progressive metal act.

Finnish progressive metal act Gronholm was formed in 2009 and released their debut record ‘Eyewitness Of Life’ the following year. Twelve months later they return with their sophomore album ‘Silent Out Loud’ and it’s a CD that I found very confusing to listen to indeed. The main reasons for this are that although the musicianship and song writing is of a very high quality, the way the songs differ in style, pace and genre, gave this album an odd, strange almost eclectic outlook, that I found hard to get my mind round. Maybe it’s because of the bands philosophy that each band member should record their parts in their own home studios, before they are then finally put together by band leader Mika Gronholm, a philosophy that made this album (in my case) so hard to get to grips with…

The songs range from intense prog metal like ‘Under My Star’ with its Sabbath-like guitar work or ‘Cross My Mind’ and ‘Giant Step’ where heavy guitar riffs are interspersed with clever keyboard arrangements and emotive vocals, to the more traditional melodic rock of ‘Distorted Eyes’ which rips the riff from Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Rocker’ off to a tee. Then it’s onto the best song on the album ‘Vanity’ which features Tarot/Nightwish bassist Marco Hietala on vocals, and it is his presence that lifts this song to a whole different level. The pace then changes (and not necessarily in a good way) as ‘Set The Stones’ and ‘Dawn Of A Dream’ are both slow acoustic guitar pieces that dreamily drift along into the final cut ‘Away’ which is a piano, vocal track that whilst being a very good song, filled with the melancholia and regret only prog can give, just doesn’t end the album with any force or bite.

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So my real issue with this album is its pacing and sequencing which is really rather chaotic!. Lots of heavy progressive metal to start with, then a more melodic centre and ending with a lot of ambient prog just (for me anyway) does not work. And that’s a shame because the band of Mika Gronholm, Tom Rask and Marrku Kuikka are great musicians and if maybe the album was laid out in slightly a different way then it would maybe probably be easier on the ear and a much better album to digest.

Sadly (because I really liked the debut) apart from a couple of the tracks ‘Silent Out Loud’ doesn’t do it for me: but perhaps this is just what you are seeking, dear reader?

Ian Johnson

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