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Weeping Silence – For the Unsung
CD Reviews
Written by Allyson Kenning   
Tuesday, 06 November 2012
Weeping Silence CD Review
For the Unsung
Weeping Silence - For the Unsung

 

CD Info

2012

Ravenheart Music / UK
9 Tracks

English Lyrics


Maltese metallers Weeping Silence released their third album at the end of September to great online fanfare, only for us fans of the band to learn shortly thereafter that leading lady and superb vocalist Rachel Grech had decided to split from the band. Oh, the disappointment! This news came hot on the heels of Anette Olzon's leaving Nightwish at the beginning of October, and later on in October, fans of Australia's Alpine Fault learned that that band's lead singer, Nadia Vanek had left the band. All these splits were a lot to take, but all a fan can do is wish both parties all the best and hope everything works out as it was fated to, and so I wish Rachel all the good luck in the world in whatever she pursues next, and I wish Weeping Silence, who fast became a favourite of mine at about this time last year after hearing their previous album, Theatre of Life, the best of luck imaginable for the formidable task of replacing such a wicked voice.

So, onto Weeping Silence's latest CD, For the Unsung, which was just released by Ravenheart Records. The short story is that this is an excellent album – even better than Theatre of Life, in my opinion, but it also marks a significant change in sound from their previous release.

The first significant difference is that For the Unsung contains beauty and the beast vocals, which is something that usually doesn't work for me. But if my musical tastes in 2012 have changed at all, it's been a change that's involved my becoming more and more comfortable with growling, a vocal style I've never been a fan of. Well, I'm getting over whatever it was I had against it – it's grating quality? It's un-melodic-ness? - slowly but surely. Rachel obviously is the beauty, and Joseph Grech, her husband, is the beast, providing the bulk of the growls, though there is a guest vocalist appearance on this album, and that is Draconian's growler, Anders Jacobsson, who adds his talents to two songs, "Love Lies Bleeding" and "The Search Within".

Weeping Silence's previous album was very heavily atmospheric, which was one of its strengths, and I am happy to say that the atmosphere of this new album is just as strong, only it achieves this with a more doomy approach. The choirs and symphonic elements are toned down quite a lot, and instead the atmosphere is created using the growling and the interplay between the two vocalists. Additionally, there are more doom metal structures: slower to mid-tempo songs with lots of tempo changes accompanied by even heavier riffing than we heard on Theatre of Life. The guitar work in general in this album is way heavier, and there are some great guitar solos, too. Yet gone are the haunting backing tracks and choir segments. In this album, you don't miss them because this album has a much rawer sound, is much more emotional, and even with the missing elements, far more textured. The backing vocals are kept simple, the keys are kept low, and there is much more double bass drumming.

For the Unsung starts off with a lovely instrumental track, before we blast off into the catchiest and most radio-friendly song, "Love Lies Bleeding", for which there is a video. In fact, it's a pretty great video, and I was tickled pink to see that the band had the opportunity and label backing to have a video produced. As a marketing tool, it will be invaluable and I hope it helps launch this band towards the big things it deserves.

While I'm not quite qualified to speak about the quality of the growls I will say that they sound pretty good to me, and I can at least understand what the growler is singing, unlike some similar vocalists who just make me want to skip ahead to the next ungrowly song. But the star of this album is Rachel and her magnificent vocals. Seriously, she is one powerful, emotional, evocative singer – and she sounds even better, more controlled and smoother, on this album than she did in the previous album. I can't say enough great things about her, which makes it all the more sad that she's not in the band anymore. (I would love to see her audition for Nightwish!)

Other favourites of mine on the CD are "Disillusioned" and "Mire of Pity," and I also really like "The Darkest Hour." The final track, "My Possession", is perhaps the most powerful on the album; you can really tell the band is playing its heart out in it and giving the listener every ounce of what they have to give, providing a thrilling finale. But in all honesty, there are no weak or filler songs on this 9-track Gothic tour-de-force. As a Gothic metal band, I'm so heartened to hear that Weeping Silence is dedicated to its roots in the more traditional sound and structures of Gothic metal, rather than adopting the more poppier sound a lot of so-called "Gothic" bands are trending towards these days.

Weeping Silence and For the Unsung is definitely Gothic metal at its best.

9.5 / 10

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