Latest updates:

We hope you enjoy your visit here. Please join or login if you have joined before.

MT @ Facebook

Not logged in

Users online

58 guests

Welcome to our newest member, mikemcmahan

Silent Winter – Empire Of Sins

Silent Winter
Empire Of Sins
by Rachel Montgomery at 28 March 2021, 3:57 PM

SILENT WINTER is coming in with the sophomore album, set to release on March 26th. Formed in Greece in 1995, but reformed in 2018, this power metal band is an epic fantasy dream featuring great vocal work and instrumentation. While it falls flat in a few places, it’s a generally solid album with some great tricks and thematic elements thrown in.

The opening track doesn’t give the album a promising start, but it sets the tone. “Gates Of Fire” launches into a jarring chorus that’s supposed to echo but ends up sounding clunky. The instrumentals feature tuned-up guitars sounding less epic fantasy and more artificially created. The vocals are more speak-singing when they’d be better served to have the more operatic style that picks up in the chorus. Other than that, the song is a typical epic fantasy romp featuring magic armies and grand-scale battles.

The second track features better-orchestrated echoing vocals that make me pay attention after a typical, galloping intro. “Wings Of Destiny” soars on the vocal melody. The guitar solo features some lovely sweeps and soaring notes to keep it sounding like a dragon in flight. Similarly, the simple vocal opening of “Shout” is an excellent hook to start the vocal melody. The characterized vocals and the soaring chorus and guitar solo come together to make this some engaging and a fun listen.

My favorite track on the album has to be “Mirror”. It has a grand, majestic opening, signaling the battle is won or the gates of heaven have opened. The melodic intro is a standout, but while the lyrics are a clever play on the “mirror, mirror” rhyme from “Snow White”, the vocals in the first verse bring the song down. However, the soaring, uplifting chorus compensates in spades.

Their following two songs are longer and wonderful in their own ways. If you like long songs with varied melodies and epic endings, “The Hunter’s Ghost” is the track for you. Starting with an ominous narrative, the song travels through different movements to culminate in a grand finale of swirling instrumentals and bombastic vocals. The piano opening for “Where The River Flows” leads into smooth, spot-on vocal work proving the singer has the chops and training to succeed in this genre. The characterized, screeching high-pitched chorus can be seen as covering sins like a less polished upper register, but it’s well executed with the theme. Everything about this slower track is smooth and beautiful, showing the range of the vocalist and the technical side of the instrumentalist.

However, the song falls a little flat on the title track “Empire Of Sins” thanks to a personal nitpck of mine: vocals sounding too much like an IRON MAIDEN knockoff. Don’t get me wrong: the intro vocal melody and the instrumental leading into the first verse are done beautifully. However, once the vocals some in, they’re styled so much like Bruce Dickinson, it overshadows the rest of the lovely song. The chorus and instrumentals through the verse are tight. This is also one of the better-produced songs on the album, possibly because it’s one of the singles. However, I wish the vocals were styled more like they were in “Shout” or “Mirror”. That said, the choir in the instrumental break is epic and the song overall is well-done. I personally think this should’ve been the closing track. The final number, a clover of Belinda Carlisle’s “Leave A Light On” would be a great concert closer before they break out the encore songs, and while it’s well-executed and technically great, it’s not much to write home about.

Technically, if this album were more polished in the beginning and had a smoother production tone throughout, it would be great. The characterized vocals on “Shout” are a treat and I wish they incorporated them more throughout the album. When the band becomes more conventional, like digging too much into epic fantasy conventions or trying to sound like Bruce Dickinson in IRON MAIDEN is where they lose me. Little nods to Dickinson here and there are fine, like a long, high-pitched note, but an entire song or album is so overdone, I cringe when I hear it. For the most part, while the vocalist is a high tenor and has a similar vocal style to Dickinson, it’s he has pipes and generally sticks to his own way of singing.

Songwriting: 9
Production: 6
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Gates Of Fire
2. Wings Of Destiny
3. Shout
4. Mirror
5. Hunter's Oath
6. Where The River Flows
7. Dragons Dance
8. Empire Of Sins
9. Leave A Light On
Mike Livas - lead and backing vocals
Kiriakos Balanos - guitars, keyboard
Vangelis Papadimitriou - guitars
Vangelis Tsekouras - bass
John Antonopoulos – drums
Record Label: Pride & Joy Music


You do not have permission to rate

Metal Temple © 2000-2014
Yiannis Mitsakos

Designed, Implemented and Hosted by PC Green