Silent Fall - 'Otherwise'

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Silent Fall - 'Otherwise'

There is very little here that hasn't been done many times before.

I am at a loss to know why WMP on my computer suggests this French melodic power metal band (originally called ‘Winterland’) is actually called ‘Fall Silent’! Anyway, have you ever been seduced by the first 45 seconds of an album, only to be ultimately unfulfilled and left frustrated by a largely generic and rather distracting performance? If your answer is “yes” then I think you can empathise with me. ‘Otherwise’ is Silent Fall’s debut album and despite having some really delightful moments of melodic metal bliss (such as those terrific opening 45 seconds!), the sum of the whole has indeed left me feeling at the very least disappointed. Not for one moment do I wish to dismiss the competence and abilities of the band members, and they have clearly absorbed lots of influences that could well provide for future success if they can begin to carve out more of a distinctive niche. But there is the rub.

The album is crying out for the talented players to show us something original. There is very little here that hasn’t been done many times before – although the guys do have a certain panache and absolutely trowel on the layers of melody. So far, so (relatively) good. But then vocalist Adrien Eyraud opens his mouth…Regular readers will know that I have a far greater tolerance of vocalists than several of my Fireworks colleagues. But even I have found this guy to have one of the most heavily accented voices when singing in English that I have ever encountered, and to the extent that it has really bugged me. At times he also seems to be out of tune and/or flat! But this is only part of the problem I have with the vocals, because leads guitarist Olivier Caron introduces some moments of extreme vocals/death metal roars: at the beginning of ‘I Wish’ and during both ‘Play With Fire’ and ‘World Of Secrets’. These are so unnecessary here and add nothing whatsoever to the tracks in question and will surely alienate potential purchasers…and when they intrude towards the end of the otherwise magnificent and less generic ‘On Top Of The World’ – well I just shake my head in disbelief every time!

‘Otherwise’ is not a complete catastrophe, but it is my view that there should be a complete rethink of the vocal side of things next time around (if there is one), while the songs and arrangements need to focus on material that starts to raise Silent Fall above the morass.

Paul Jerome Smith

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