Enchained Souls – Tears of Silence – 3/5
This was a band posted by the lead vocalist in the facebook group “Addicted to metal for life.” Now im sure regulars reading this are probably thinking along the lines of ‘since when were good bands ever posted there,’ – this was my thought as well – so you can only imagine my surprise when I gave them a listen and found something better than I expected.
They were advertised as a gothic band, fronted by an ‘operatic’ female vocalist, sounds like another Nightwish clone doesn’t it? They certainly draw influences from there, but they cant be put down as another clone that easily. The sound is very much more gothic, more atmospheric, dark, sinister and delicate, and it results in a fairly unique twist on the genre.
After the gothic intro is done away with – nicely done, but nothing particularly special – we find ourselves with “Misfortune” featuring a quick, if simplistic guitar riff which whilst not adding to the atmosphere, it doesn’t confuse it, and creates an interesting riff to draw you in to the song, which quickly gets under way with vocals that shockingly, actually are fairly operatic in sound, working with growled vocals for the chorus. This a very good attempt, even if the final result feels a bit odd – it doesn’t gel properly, something doesn’t quite work, though its hard to pinpoint precisely what.
Unfortunately, as we progress a lot of these elements seem to disappear. The guitar work fades into the background, the harsh vocals seem to vanish, and were left with a fairly bare sounding piece. Don’t get me wrong, the vocals are done well, but they simply cannot sustain interest for the length of the album, and this is an album of considerable length - unnecessarily long in my view. Clocking at 72 minutes, I cant help but get the impression that it could have done with a trim. Usually, we find ourselves with a number of filler tracks, acting as ‘padding,’ but here there isn’t one that stand out as being particularly bad (though it must be said, “Manifiesto Revolucionario,” definitely feels out of place). Nothing too different from what preceded it perhaps, but instead the problem is the tracks themselves are longer than they need to be. A perfect example of this is “Innocent,” which could easily be the strongest track on the album if not for a minute at the start of intro, consisting of a simple, repeated piano riff. Again, a similar situation with “Torturandome con tus recuerdos,” taking nearly two minutes for the vocals to appear, and whilst I liked the intro, felt it went on longer than was required.
This is certainly not an album without its problems. Many of the instruments aren’t given as much presence as id have liked to see – there are keyboards heard which on most of the tracks would work wonders at enhancing the atmosphere, the violins which occasionally make themselves known too could offer this on many of the tracks, working with the vocals rather than in tandem with them. The growls could create a new experience but seem to have vanished, and the guitarist proves his ability but then rarely gets to perform. Each of the musicians are clearly capable at wielding their instrument, but needs to be worked into the music, and given more presence, rather than relying on the vocals to simultaneously carry the atmosphere and draw in the listener.
Highlights: Innocent, Moon Tears, Manifiesto Revolucionario
By T. Bawden