SILENT OPERA – Reflections
- by Matt Coe
- Posted on 13-02-2014
When looking up information on this French sextet, I find three different musical descriptions based on their label biography (melodic metal), their Facebook page (melodic death metal), and Metal-Archives.com (symphonic gothic metal). Thus, I set about listening to this second album "Reflections" with as open a mind as possible, and believe that Silent Opera at heart are a symphonic gothic metal band with melodic death tendencies- especially in terms of their fierce guitar maneuvers and the male death growls from Steven Shriver.
Ultimately final consensus to my ears comes down to songwriting, performance, and execution- and at this point the 9 tracks of this record present an act full of talent and diverse dynamic intuition, giving each arrangement its own set of drama and ever flowing atmosphere. Female vocalist Laure Laborde has a soaring operatic presence, easily providing the enchanting, angelic melodies when the heavier guitars or death growls provide the necessary contrast. Keyboardist Laura Nicogossian goes toe to toe in the arpeggio sweepstakes as well as providing the neo-classical edge on winning material such as "The Great Chessboard" and progressive, almost Dream Theater-minded "Inner Museum".
Where a lot of bands can go overboard on the symphonic elements, Silent Opera never forget that metal is just as much about aggression as it can be about sophistication. Guitarist Romain Larregain and drummer Jon Erviti provide thunderous riffing and rhythm syncopation plus drop on a dime death/black to power signature changes on the 11:31 closer "Sailor Siren and Bitterness"- as Steven again sets a furious undertone with his multi-faceted extreme growl/ scream attack.
For my initial sojourn into Silent Opera, I’ve come away being very impressed. Employing a mish-mash of music styles and getting everything to work within the confines of one band isn’t easy- and thus "Reflections" will probably appeal more to those who love the heavier side of symphonic gothic/ death metal than those looking for another Nightwish/ Within Temptation styled band.