Silent Force – Rising From Ashes
Silent Force – Rising From Ashes (2013)
Reviewed by Daniel Millard
It’s no secret to anyone that’s read more than a couple of my reviews that I had a genuine love affair with the D.C. Cooper-fronted Silent Force of yore. While that incarnation of the band is dead and gone, I do not think it is to be mourned overly much, for a few reasons. First of all, D.C.’s restoration to the head of Royal Hunt is proving to be a success greater than most of us would have even hoped for; and secondly, while Silent Force now seems to be something of a modernized, less adolescent version of Sinner, it certainly could be a lot worse.
Beyrodt and percussive superstar Andre Hilgers are joined by what definitely reads like a hard rock lineup with muscle: Alessandro Del Vecchio (Edge Of Forever, ex-Eden’s Curse), singer Michael Bormann (Powerworld, ex-Bloodbound), and of course, Mat Sinner himself. Now, I heard the album before I’d read the full new lineup, and was surprised at the change in style. In hindsight however, I really shouldn’t have been. The long and short of things is this: even though some may claim that Silent Force was leaving power metal behind on Walk The Earth (and there is some truth to that), it fit in quite readily with what Beyrodt and company had accomplished up to that point. Rising From Ashes may be a trite (if applicable) title and a substantial shift in style, but the talent that brought us four superb power metal classics is well and truly alive here, as redirected as it may be.
Opener “Caught In Their Wicked Game” almost convinced me that, other than Bormann’s presence, not much had changed. It’s a powerful, guitar-propelled romp through reasonably familiar territory. Bormann sounds fantastic, all musical elements are tight, and the band generally places its best foot forward. While the power-infused (only by Beyrodt, mind you) hard rock continues, I’m afraid that I burn out on it very quickly. One of the main reasons I love power metal is because it has such drive, and often moves at a rapid pace – but when it doesn’t, that change in pace is starkly noticeable. In fact, I wouldn’t even call this power metal at all – Rising From Ashes is basic, foundational hard rock at its best. If Domain and Iron Mask are a proud hybrid of power metal and Germanic rock, Silent Force is now somewhere between Domain and Sinner. There is not a great deal of variety on this record, and while Bormann’s voice is powerful and passionate, I find the sheer repetitious quality of these songs to take away from the overall value (to say nothing of the now extremely trite lyricism).
If you’ve listened to and enjoyed Sinner, Voodoo Circle, and the likes, then Rising From Ashes is going to be a shoe-in for one of the finer albums you’ll hear over the turn of the year. However, if you’re largely a power metal fan and followed Silent Force for those elements, you may find yourself coming up short with this new entry. Rising From Ashes is undeniably well-made, but has drifted from the band’s founding vision, and is now something of “just another” well-accomplished Beyrodt hard rock project.
3.0 // 5