Within Silence burst onto the scene in 2015 with the well-received ‘Gallery of Life’, with an interesting take on the Christian prog rock scene. Lead by front man Martin Klein on vocals, with Richard Germanus and Martin Cico on rhythm guitars, Viktor Varga on bass, and Peter Gacik manning the drums. A talented group of individuals with some serious skills, all returning for another go around. With the familiarity and experience growing over the years, one would think this would translate into a top tier metal album…
Unfortunately, what we have here is a less than inspiring pseudo mix of some Stratovarious, Ed Guy and a splash of Iron Maiden tossed into a blender. The results could be either awesome or just kind of ‘meh’. We have some ‘meh’ here; with a few tracks standing out as strong with an overall above average offering by these lordly metallers.
‘We are the Ones’ starts us off on the right footing with an excellent speedy riff intro that quickly builds into a well-paced chorus that shows us right off the bat the vocal talents of Martin Klein hitting some high notes very reminiscent of Queensryche’s Geoff Tate. ‘Heroes Must Return’ slows things down a bit in a near 90s style chugging progressive beat that comes off as your average offering. ‘Children of Light’ has a few moments of decent build to a very Maiden-esque chorus. Nice power chords accompany this track, leading up to a more aggressive song with ‘Calling from the Other Side’.
‘In the Darkness’ is a 16-minute track that is to be considered Within Silence’s magnum opus; however, the payoff never really comes. Like it has some breathtaking moments, but the build is slow and the lyrics come across as forced. I am not sure if this was the result they were looking for. ‘The Final Victory’ starts off like a Sunday school ballad that I had my anus clenched ready the entire album; however, what came just 30 seconds into the track was a furious blast of amazing howling guitars and lightning fast symphony! This has to be the very best track on the album and one of the finer speedy progressive metal offerings of 2017! Excellent work here!
‘You and I’ continues some decent momentum now with this track. Very upbeat and contains masterful pacing and transitions from beginning to end. ‘Master’ takes on a bit of the sound found in earlier album songs - nothing generally wrong with this track; it’s just a bit unimaginative while plodding along. The title track, ‘Return From the Shadows’, closes the album off with a 10 minute sermon that does show off a few of the strengths of this group, and also shows off how similar they are trying to sound to such legendary acts like Iron Maiden and Helloween. Not bad, just incredibly unoriginal.
Of all of the mythical deities imaginable to focus your talents on, I am a bit sad that Within Silence uses the Christian God as theirs. Not that there is anything wrong with any of their personal choices, it just comes across as a bit hard to separate this act from more impressive acts like Theocracy or Signum Regis. Whereas this quintet would likely be considered an up and coming act in the progressive metal scene, they unfortunately will be shoehorned with other Christian acts by the masses.
With all of that being said, Within Silence puts forth a valiant effort; however, this whole album has so many “This sounds just like….” moments, with a strong finish towards the middle end, but not enough to recommend it to many outside of diehard fans. Above average metal as it is, worth a listen.
RETURN FROM THE SHADOWS
Review by Joshua Jaeger
27th Oct 2017
1) We are the Ones
2) Heroes Must Return
3) Children of Light
4) Calling from the Other Side
5) In the Darkness
6) The Final Victory
7) You & I
9) Return from the Shadows
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...a less than inspiring pseudo mix of some Stratovarious, Ed Guy and a splash of Iron Maiden tossed into a blender."