Silent Knight – Masterplan
Silent Knight – Masterplan (2013)
Reviewed by Evan Barnes
Ah, Australia. The land where everything can, and tries, to kill you. Perhaps lesser known is that this island of convict descendants is home to a number of awesome metal bands. While Australia has always had an underground metal following, a number of its bands have recently gained considerable popularity across waters in Europe and even North America. My first real taste of what the Aussies can accomplish came in the form of Voyager touring through the States with Rhapsody Of Fire, and proceeding to put on a better show than the famed Italians. Other bands, such as veterans Black Majesty and relative newcomers Dragonsclaw have obtained decent followings as well. Silent Knight tries to replicate their countrymen’s successes with their debut Masterplan, but ultimately falls just short of the mark.
When I mentioned Australia’s penchant for creative ways to kill a person, I didn’t think I would have to include power metal vocalists on that list. Falling somewhere between drop bears and the box jellyfish on the scale of Outback deadliness, vocalist Zoran Cunjak nearly sent me to the hospital to stop my ears from bleeding out. Rarely do vocals make or ruin a band for me, but this could be the apparent exception that proves the rule. Throughout Masterplan, Cunjak struggles to hold his vocal melodies and always seems off key and flat.
That’s not to say that this is a bad album. If you ignore the vocal department, Silent Knight actually knows how to make decent-to-very good power metal. Musically, this is a fun and fast album, even if it is very generic (which it most definitely is). The guitarists definitely know how to riff, and while the solos are not spectacularly flashy compared to some of their peers, Silent Knight makes them count. There is no doubt that this is a very capable group of musicians, but I’ve real complaint about the lack of variety contained herein. After a while the songs blend together, and it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish them from one another.
If you’re looking for something original, you are in the wrong place. If you’re looking for an Album of the Year, definitely look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a unabashed power metal band with room for improvement to keep an eye on the future, give this album a listen. Silent Knight certainly has potential to be an absolutely killer band, and this album is a good glimpse at what they can accomplish if they can develop their sound further, and hire a good singer.
2.75 // 5