[Review] Aggelos – Silentium
Silentium is the sophomore release of Aggelos and the first for new label Rottweiler Records. This Columbian band continues to show a great amount of talent and brings some experimentation into their overall sound with this release. I have now heard this album some 6 or 7 times and there is so much to digest I could probably hear it 6 or 7 more times and discover something new each time.
The first thing you will notice from this band is the female opera style vocals, in the vein of bands like After Forever and Nightwish. While this is not my favorite style of vocals, and sometimes can even become a bit much, like After Forever and Nightwish the fusion of genres that radiates actually allows this vocal style to work. While it is not for every one those who do like that vocal style will find lots to enjoy with this album.
Opening with a pretty creepy intro that is a mix of operatic vocals and black metal growls combined with eerie keys that give a very ominous feel to the start of this album.
Higuera Seca brings in the very black metal style of brutal vocals to the mix with Carolina’s opera vocals and the chord progressions and musical style of the typical symphonic power metal make this song stand out, or so one would think. Aggelos has a full album of tracks that would be stand outs on most albums. The brutal vocals take a more dominant role on Panis Vitae going back and forth from the main vocal parts to even being a kind of harmonic, if such a thing even exists in black metal vocals, with the opera vocals providing a refreshing mix of styles that honestly I don’t think ANY band in the symphonic power goth genres do. The guitars on Panis Vitae change tempo and you can hear definite time changes in the music from one time to another and then back again. This song would be like going from 4/4 time to 3/4 time to yet anther time and then back to the original 4/4. While time changes are not unusual in music to have such dramatic time changes as what you hear in Panis and in this style of music IS.
Noche Oscura is one of the mellowest songs on the album. Bringing in a very heavy After Forever/Nightwish feel to it. This is a more typical type of song found in this genre…. That is until the 2:20 mark which brings in a subtle stylistic change in the rhythm guitars and the very obvious presence of the chinese drum cymbals. A type of cymbal that is simply unmistakable in its sound and one that adds a further element to this album. By the 3:13 mark there is a piano interlude that fades into a full band all out symphonic finish with black metal backing vocals and heavy use of the chinese cymbal and the finale of Carolina’s vocals hitting a typical high opera note.
The next song Ergo Factum Silentium is heavy on the brutal side in the beginning and then a quite unique musical surprise halfway through that is nothing short of pure gothic genius and then vocally finishing heavy on the brutal side once again.
Having Aggelos’s first album and enjoying it very much I also felt that the production on that first album was not as good as it should have been but it was very enjoyable none the less. This second effort by the band shows a ton of musical growth and the black metal style vocals, as opposed to the more death metal like on the first album, playing a MUCH bigger part in the album that the brutal vocals did in the first album adds to the uniqueness as does the use of instruments that were not present on the first album. In addition the mush higher quality production gives this a more polished sound. The continual changes in time adds to a very good listen that will offer something fresh with each song.
Overall Aggelos has come up with an offering that will not just appeal to goth metal fans but to fans of goth metal, symphonic metal and black metal alike. If you are a fan of bands like After Forever, Epica, Nightwish and Sirenia then you will very much enjoy Silentium.
There are some downsides to this album however. This album clocks in at only 33 minutes for 8 songs. And ALL of the lyrics are in Spanish. While there is nothing wrong with this what so ever I myself don’t speak Spanish and I would love to see at least a few songs in English or maybe an English Version of this album. Another downside is that while I do like to hear different and unique instruments in an album I do feel like the drummer, who loves his new cymbal, Loves it a little bit too much and at times the chinese cymbal I feel is used a bit too often and at times can almost over power the music.
Even with the downsides of this album, and really that may just be me being a bit nit picky, this is a very enjoyable album that I think is not only worth putting in your collection but I feel it is an album that MUST be in your collection. Even if you only like a small part of the genre fusion going on this is a very strong effort and frankly I can’t wait to see what a bit more maturity and musical growth will do for this band in the future.
To purchase this album click on Rottweiler Records