Sometimes a collaboration can lead to something magical, especially when certain power houses come together and create music that can take away all your sorrows and worries. I listen to musicians coming together to create wonders all the time, and when I was recently looking for something to review, I came across the band under consideration today. The band is called Silent Voices, and I may not have known about the collaboration part until my eyes fell upon the bio. Boy I jumped up from my seat like a child after getting a new bicycle. You know why? Because this sweet sounding album called “Reveal the Change” features Sonata Arctica members Henrik Klingenberg and Pasi Kauppinen, guest guest vocals by Mats Levén [ex. Therion, Yngwie Malmsteen], Tony Kakko [Sonata Arctica],Mike Vescera [ex. Loudness, Yngwie Malmsteen, Obsession] and Mike DiMeo [ex. Masterplan, Riot]. The cherry on top: the album is mastered by Ted Jensen [Bon Jovi, Dream Theater, Megadeth].
Silent Voices was founded in 1995 by guitarist Timo Kauppinen, bassist Pasi Kauppinen, drummer Jukka-Pekka Koivisto and keyboardist Henrik Klingenberg. At the time their main influences were Dream Theater and Rush. A couple of years later the line-up was completed when Michael Henneken joined in on vocals. The band rehearsed intensely, made a couple of EP’s & singles and finally signed a deal and released their debut album “Chapters of Tragedy” (in 2002) through Low Frequency Records.
Two more albums were made, “Infernal” (2004) and “Building up the apathy” (2006) before the first era came to an end when the groups vocalist Michael Henneken left the band, instead of desperately searching for a new vocalist the band opted for a time-out, taking a well-earned break for over a year, And now the silence is finally over with “Reveal the Change”.
The album has a very solid start with a track called The Fear of Emptiness, the type of track you can associate with great bands like Dream Theater. I mean the first track in an album should be the one that’ll keep you listening to the whole album and for me intros plays an important role in my listening of the remaining album. The clean bass notes mixed with a raw guitar distortion from early metal years coupled with the best available toms on the drums. *flying kisses* mama mia. I said to myself: Scrumptious. And then instantly I heard the first vocals that were so mesmerizing, it sort of knocked me out. The track will make you move your head throughout, with a perfect metal guitar riff using power chords and the palm muting we all love, followed by beautiful alternate picking in some parts. The second track No Turning Back starts with some mellow notes and is the purest mixture of aggression and control, in the form of music, with parts of high screaming vocals and marching metal patterns within the whole arrangement. Reign of Terror has that bad ass feel to it, the type of track I call “beat you up” track, whilst listening to any track of the “beat you up” category, you can stay aggressive and may be beat up someone or do damage. The track is a true metal/prog metal gem, because of the characteristic vocals and the heavy guitar riffs that can easily associate the band with true heavy metal band, rather than being melodic metal, with the guitar solo Megadeth-ish, played with perfection and the overall drum patterns are remarkable. Faith in Me starts with sound effects of rain and a dial tone and instantly kicks into your head with a heavy metal power riff and guitar legatos. The track has a power metal feel, something you can relate to Stratovarius maybe. For me this track shifts the gear as we enter into the last half of the album and reminding you the diversity the band has as being versatile in every aspect of their album with each track having a uniqueness of its own.
Instrumental track Black Water marks the start of the last phase of this album and begins in yet another true progressive metal way, feeling something from Suspended Animation, with the guitars and keyboards working in tandem now in a more solid way, creating more magic for your ears. The keyboard and guitar arrangement with the drums is grandiose and you will have a hard time differentiating this track from any work of Dream Theater. Insane bass notes mark the start of Burning Shine with air raid vocals, the type of vocals you can relate to Bruce Dickinson. The vocals throughout the album impressed me, but this track stands out in terms of vocal performance because of the notes being hit and the vocal harmonies. Special goose bumps owing to the picture perfect bass being played throughout, that tap bass we all want to hear often in albums, Pasi Kauppinen knows how to give you ear orgasms by hitting the right notes. The last track is a 12 min track and the only lengthy track from this album called Through My Prison Walls. There are bands who usually end the album haphazardly, but Silent Voices had it all planned and this track is how albums should end. I can even call the track “Finale” just because of the manner it is set up. Again the use of classical guitar distortion, mixed with heavy metal drumming and an orchestral element announces the fact that this album is about to end. Combination of clean guitars mixed with heavy riffs and solid vocals made me forget that this is the last track. The track for is just complete, in all ways, be it being a metal track, a progressive metal track or a heavy metal track.
To summarize, the album is a very good metal album and I would let it fall in the mixed heavy metal/progressive metal genre. The outstanding guitar work combined with perfect vocal and musical arrangements will rudder you deep into the band’s versatility. The album is an esoteric masterpiece and will have an ephemeral effect of fulfillment. If you are looking for something that is full of talent I highly recommend this album.