A Broken Vision the new album from UK metallers Silent Empathy is such a frustrating album though overall it is also an enjoyable one. Within its punishing walls there is a real gem trying to get out and the promise of something major from the band ahead more than apparent. The trouble is one feels A Broken Vision could have been that important release as its eleven tracks of imaginative and adventurous sounds pummel and stroke the senses but somewhere along the line the album loss or never found a clear definition and direction. The production is no aid to their creativity either and one feels with a top producer, no disrespect to whoever took the duties, the album could have been a remarkable release.
Formed in 2009, Silent Empathy have been through their share of line-up changes but the band has stayed strong and continued to pick up fans and strong interest along the way to this their debut album. With influences ranging across all genres of metal brought into their melodic metal/hardcore assault the band is one brutal and formidable beast with strong invention to their songwriting and ideas. They have an obvious creative quality and craft in their ability to blend their melodic prowess and aggressive nature which is clear to see across the album showing that any fault in the album does not lie in that area .
Released July 2nd via Rising Records the album features the great drumming skills of Alex Micklewright (ex Martyr Defiled) and it has to be said is the drums throughout the whole release which are the one impressive constant on an variable album, powerful and unpredictable they leave one breathless. The release opens with the crushing Si Vis Pacum, Para Bellum, a track which disrupts the senses from the off with its insatiable drums and surging riffs. Like a waking leviathan it consumes with its immense weight and oppressive atmosphere with the vocals firing up the intensity. The dark growls spew malice and spittle with every syllable and with occasional slips into a malicious clean delivery leave tingles in their wake. The full clean vocals though just feel like an intruder. They are strong and well delivered but the mix is off putting and at odds with the mountainous effect of the rest of the song, unfortunately this becomes a frequent event throughout A Broken Vision. It is confusing with things so good elsewhere and the voice itself more than decent and leaves one again going back to the production and mixing side of the album being at fault.
The likes of Into The Mouth Of The Harlot, the excellent For the The Guest Artist, and A Saga Beyond The Silence, keep the attention firmly gripped as the guitars weave and scorch quality melodic aural patterns before the ear and the rhythms drive with impressive intimidating power. The songs are unpredictable and surprising in the best way, leaving one engaged consistently despite the growing feeling of a lost opportunity as the album progresses in its destructive and expansive adventurous mix.
Biggest album highlights come in the shape of the imaginative Hourglass Memoirs with its emotive beginning the catalyst for a storming ravenous consumption of the ear and a mighty melodic/violent blend and the marrow sucking Human Weakness. This song is pure nastiness brought with manipulative ingenuity only strong songwriters and musicians can conjure. It leaves one in a numbed state whilst contemplating what just happened and wading through a flood of triggered thoughts and emotions.
As mentioned at the start the album as a whole is actually pretty satisfying but it could have been much better. It is though worth your time and attention and offers more than a few moments and strong qualities to suggest the case for Silent Empathy having the potential to be a big noise in the future.
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