Since forming in 2007, German black metallers Silent Leges Inter Arma has built up a strong fan base and reputation for their deeply shadowed sounds. Early releases brought good word towards their distinct black and death coated form of metal which now with the release of their debut self titled album, should spread much further afield and into plenty more responsive hearts.
The trio from Rostock, take their name from a quote from Roman politician and philosopher Cicero, which roughly translates as “Under the weapons the laws keep silent”. From the moment of their first demo in 2008 they have drawn a keen response their way. Their EP Synästhesie followed in 2009 and was given great reviews and acceptance upon its release through Deviant Records. This was surrounded and continued with impressive live shows alongside bands such as Wolves in the Throne Room, Endstill, Angantyr, Endstille, Mathyr, and Todtgelichter as well as a tour with Totalselfhatred and Hypothermia. From the end of 2010 going into 2011 the band set to work on their debut album, its release coming through Eisenwald Records. It is an album one can only seeing further enhancing their reputation, its imaginative and thoughtful sounds bringing a fresh and captivating breath. It arguably falls short of challenging best of lists come the end of the year but as a release to inspire and hold longevity in an enthused companionship, it stands with any other.
As the drooling bass opens up We Are the sense that things will not be sticking to a formula is immediate, the subsequent eight tracks soon providing the proof. The track spreads into a storm of pounding rhythms and enveloping riffs and though it is not particularly destructive or venomous it certainly has a sinister breath to leave the senses smarting but awakened by the skilled guitar play. The song is not ground breaking but offers something undeniably different. The vocals are a dark rasp upon the ear without trying to be corrosive but still provide plenty of shadowed threats in their expression. The core groove of the song is catchy and welcoming whilst the guitar and bass flare and scythe across the air with expertise and a magnetic presence.
Falcon-Headed One and the excellent I Will Hunt You Down follow with equally impressive enterprise. The first is a brewing atmospheric weave which moves into a heavy cloud of intense energy and punishing rhythms. The vocals bring a darker growl to their crawl whilst once more the guitars mesmerise with imagination and craft. The song is not as accessible as the first or its outstanding successor but enthrals and ignites satisfaction from first grasping note to last. The other is a teasing and twisting romp which wraps a delicious unforgettable groove around the ear. Its attraction is full and distracting whilst the nastier rhythms and vocals take full advantage with their intensive intent to bring a great balance and ally to the contagiousness of the track.
The scorching melodic lure of Beyond The Light drags one willingly into its tempest of aural vehemence whilst Shades is a beautiful guitar instrumental which evokes the imagination and provokes the heart . The album has a pleasing and thoughtful diversity across its length, this pair as prominent and rewarding as anywhere on the album.
Silent Leges Inter Arma continue the compulsive experience through the remaining tracks For The Dead, Wings, and In Shadows Again, all skilful and absorbing slices of invention with the last another enchanting guitar piece to leave a lasting warmth.
Silent Leges Inter Arma has created a fine album with a strong energy and creativity which has plenty for any black and melodic metal fans.
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