Deafening Opera - Let Silence Fall
Bryan Morey's Review
Deafening Opera straddle an interesting zone of progressive metal, one that leans heavily on quieter moments. This German band is comprised of Christian Eckstein on bass guitar and backing vocals, Thomas Moser on rhythm guiatrs, Adrian Daleore on lead vocals, Moritz Kunkel on lead guitars and backing vocals, Gérald Marie on keyboards and backing vocals, and Konrad Gonschorek on drums. Daleore's vocals are all clean, which gives a bright and open feeling to the music. There are a few moments where he adds some grit to his voice, but don't confuse grit with growl. There are no "cookie monster" vocals.
The soft piano intro to the album is quite nice, but it is rather deceiving. While this is not a particularly heavy album, it is still metal and is heavier than many prog bands. Like Haken, Deafening Opera draft between quiet and loud moments. Let Silence Fall is heavily synth-driven, but guitar licks abound. Deafening Overture sets the stage for motifs to come, and the synth sounds are the first thing the listener hears. Amber Light has a good guitar line and a great solo.
Sweet Silence is probably the proggiest piece on the album. The stuttered riff to open, is an excellent way to make the track enter with a heavy tone. The drums are at their most imaginative on this song, as well. The fills match the overall tone of the song very well.
Elsewhere on the album, I think some of the drum fills could have been a little more interesting. A few of the songs are a bit too open and need the extra intricacy that detailed, yet heavy drumming can provide. Sundown is another example of a heavier song with perfectly executed drumming.
Let Silence Fall seems like a loose concept album. There is no major storyline, but themes of déjà vu and past images are found throughout the album. This lyrical structure gives the album a cohesive narrative. The lyrics themselves give it a sense of mystery while causing the listener to contemplate the passing of time.
The CD packaging is quite nice, especially for a smaller, unsigned band. The digipak gives it a very professional look. I highly recommend picking up a physical copy. The booklet is bright and easy to read, and obviously the CD is of much higher audio quality than streaming.
Let Silence Fall certainly is not the heaviest prog metal album you will find out there, but it does a good job of balancing the dark and the light. I think the band would have been better served by starting off heavier with their first long song, rather than with the sedate Down The River. It has its heavier moments, but it takes a while for the song to build. Beginning with a crunch would have been a stronger move, because the overture was not long enough to be fully satisfying.
Beyond those issues, the album is solid, and it is a worthy listen for prog fans who like their metal in measured doses.
Raimond Fischbach's Review
On their third album, the young men from Munich take us on a journey out of the ordinary and unravel their most recent musical explorations. While the songwriting goes far more in depth and the lyrics take a full cycle of a concept, the instrumentation and arrangements have been given a great update, moving away from the vintage prog rock into more modern production values, but without sounding overproduced.
This update in sound production doesn't flatten out the musicianship. On the contrary: the songwriting explores way more depth than before, providing interesting spins in chord progressions and atmospheric arcs. The songs are of greater duration and are composed in a constant progression, so that they never cease to amaze.
The spins the songs take are quite surprising. In this way the boys create great rooms for the different moods and emotions that walk hand in hand and constantly vary the sonic color provided.
But it all happens at a moderate musical calculation, so that the album can be enjoyed by many fans of the genre; both those who can enjoy prog only at light levels, but also the die-hard prog fans will enjoy the cleverness of these compositions.
With Let Silence Fall, the Opera finally sets sail to reach the shores of Echolyn and fill a gap of which Europe's prog rock has suffered for long.