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Moaning Silence - A World Afraid of Light

Moaning Silence - CD Review
A World Afraid of Light

Moaning Silence 


CD Info
Progressive Vision Group
10 tracks
English lyrics


There seems to be a fairly solid trajectory in this style of music towards the “Doom” oriented approach. And, the closer you get to Eastern Europe, the stronger that movement is. Well, Greece is about as close to Eastern Europe as you can get and there are several bands in the region that seem intent on exploring that direction although, in this case, the band seems to employ the term atmospheric metal at times. Either way, it’s a signature form of metal that takes a particular path to rendering a musical mosaic. Moaning Silence use a quote from Oscar Wilde to describe their sound, “music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memories”. And that pretty much serves to describe what we get here. They package the sound with a visual for the CD cover that nicely captures this message. The band explains, “The whole music vision of the band was captured on canvas by acclaimed French painter Gilles Grimmoin.”. It’s a lovely, if somewhat desolate portrait of life, one that nicely captures the music you are about to enjoy.

Doom music is a combination of several distinctly individual components. Of course, there has to be a musical component, and Moaning Silence has a nice musical vehicle to work with. Beyond that, lyrical themes are typically more strongly developed and presented in this particular genre. In fact, the band points out, “Emotions, thoughts, pictures, gave birth to lyrics and music notes, while the great poets and writers of our times, created a dreadful atmosphere in which music, dreams, feelings become one”. And that leads to the third component, emotion. This is music you feel as well as hear. And the lyrics have to be a significant part of that emotional appeal. The band uses a male and female vocal to deliver those lyrics and both do a nice job of communication. The 10 track release covers multiple sounds and lyrical themes, most of a somewhat darker persuasion.

The music is certainly the most immediate component to catch your attention. There’s a lot of what could certainly be called funeral dirge sound here but, with this release, that isn’t always the overwhelming structure. Of course, this is metal and the boys from Moaning Silence seem to keep this in mind, this is quite often pounding Doom. And we get that right off the bat with the opening track Solitude. This one seems to hit the atmospheric side of the coin although there is still a measure of the Gothic Doom, especially to the lyrics:

Breathless / I close my sorrowful eyes / Hear the whispers of the earth
Wash my heart in the rain / Cause I’m alone again

Daylight fades behind the clouds / (with weeping voices they call)
Lonely candles in the sky / (the sirens of the night)
Tragic thoughts invade my mind / (and with lust invade your mind)
Shining shadows make me blind

An ode to solitude

I always like to look at visual interpretations of the music when possible. Moaning Silence is new, however, so there isn’t a lot to look at. Stay is their big video presentation from this release and you get a peak at our clearly visually appealing female lead, the lovely Ms. Aimilia Papatheochari. And, you get the lyrics. I’m pretty sure the male vocals are band honcho Christos Dounis who also contributes the stellar guitar work on the release. And, this track does a more than adequate job of capturing what the band is about. Dounis does both clean and harsh vocals throughout the release and, quite often uses a dialog to frame the lyrical approach with Papatheochari.

Another video presents a slightly different track, As if it was Yesterday. This one isn’t in the Doom camp, probably not the Atmospheric metal camp either. Starts out with a chugging guitar over some nice piano work. With this one, Papatheochari gets to demo her musical chops. The visual is that CD cover I mentioned earlier, nice, eh? The lyrical work, however, never strays far from the Gothic:

I step outside when the rain begins / I hear from the stars , our favorite song
The city lights, shine upon me / leading my way to the last dance

And I danced with you all night / As if it was yesterday

There are tracks that seem to present a more pronounced beat. Black Skies actually starts out with a quicker pace. But that only lasts for a short period of time, this is not that kind of music for the most part. Again, we get the interaction between the vocalists but, with this one, Dounis gets an opportunity to crank away on the axe. And, he’s pretty good at it, no complaints from me.

On Fragile Wings brings us back to the solitude that is the master of this release. Some absolutely beautiful work here, the keys, the guitars and some other instruments I’m not quite clear about. Again, Dounis and Papatheochari combine to present a memorable duet vocally. The message, with a degree of consistency, will not make any comedy channel material.

And those lyrics continue to pursue the ultimate message of this release, a message based on an emotional appeal. You can approach the darkness musically but only to an extent. Moaning Silence makes sure the message is delivered in fairly resolute language throughout each track. The Last Days of December delivers on both fronts. We get the droning music initially, but the final couple minutes of the track actually crank up some pounding and truly lovely symphonic metal. Maybe the best track on the release, if only because they demonstrate the band’s ability to do so. Lyrically, however, the message is consistent with the rest of the release:

Autumn shows its scars, as we enter the great night
My soul departs with the last birds of the sky
Leaving the body defenseless to the winds / Carrying the burden of endless memories

Voices from the shore they call me to a restless pain / Messengers of love, they break my heart again
They shape the face of an angel in disguise / Into her eyes I wandered, Into her arms I cried

Moaning Silence is a new sound, it combines things from the past with a modern approach to the genre. And they do it with style. It’s music, “which is most nigh to tears and memories”.