Silvertung Album Review " But, At What Cost??!" by Silent Rival
Perception is everything.
When trying to understand something, it’s important to also understand the instrument you are using to study it to account for distortions in perception.
Therefore, it is important for you to know the writer of any artistic critique. I have very little experience listening to this style of music or interacting with its audience. This is a musical culture I know very little about. I grew up on classic pop, Motown, glam synth rock, and Michael Jackson. I am mostly a songwriter and a singer. This is probably the first metal album I have listened to from beginning to end.
First, let me just get this out of the way: The musicians demonstrate complete competency in their instruments. The songwriting adheres to structure and bends the rules appropriately. The vocalist is well aware of his strengths and capitalizes on them. The producer showcases all hooks, and the recording is professional. Everything else is just a matter of taste.
Immediately, the album gets off to an energetic start with the powerful drive of “Dodging Bullets.” The guitars dominate. It isn’t long before the vocalist exhibits his lung power with long high sustained notes. This song is a bit of a journey. The bridge surprises me with a new direction that I get lost in, almost forgetting where we came from. The band ethos is clearly and plainly stated in such lyrics as “taking over me” and “exposing who I am.”
In “Feel Human” I am already starting to tire of the sound, not because it isn’t good, but because this simply isn’t my jam. This song really could have benefited from experimenting with different melodies and rhythms in the top line. The rigidity could be an artistic choice since the song is about not feeling human. But maybe the contrast of a more human sound against the song’s concept would have created more of an opportunity for connection with the listener.
“World Gone Mad” has one of the more interesting melodic lines. The concept is relatable. I’m sure we have all felt like the world has gone mad.
The vocalist delivers a very convincing performance in “Wise Up.”
“Black Sunset” is very creatively written. It’s a little all over the place but in a GOOD way. Even as I am thinking this, the vocalist reassures me that this is an intentional artistic choice when he says “never know where this might lead.” The “hey hey hey hey” hook is one of the more singable and catchy parts of the album. As someone who is not a listener of this genre, I still feel included and want to join in here. Then there is a breakdown where the vocalist chants “hear it calling my name,” which is one of the more laid-back cool parts of the album. It’s also a register in the vocalist’s voice that is more confident than even some of the verses on the album. As this song winds down to the end, lyrics reinforce the band ethos again, rejecting playing by the rules. Since this is Silvertung’s fourth album, they’ve clearly been doing well enough to perpetually making music. It seems that maybe it’s time for them to break their own rules and explore other styles of music. (One of my favorite things about music today is that genres all borrow from one another, making the pallet of sound more colorful.)
“You’re Fine” begins with innovative sounds carrying the first melodic theme of the song, but immediately when the vocals come in, they’ve lost me. The lyrics are trite and the melody is elementary. There is something about it that just doesn’t “ring true.” It sounds forced, like they were trying to write a song. “You’re Fine” redeems itself slightly in the outro with its positive message.
In “Done My Best,” they actually do their best. The chorus is very melodic and they hit some chords that brighten the mood of the whole album. Everything gels in this song. The combined effect is the best chorus on the album, and a song that gives more dimension to Silvertung as artists. In the future, I could see them pushing this direction more.
Mrs. Sara Jude Law