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Silver Bullet – Mooncult

Silver Bullet
by Rachel Montgomery at 20 April 2019, 5:02 PM

SILVER BULLET were a pleasant surprise. Combining elements of early Power Metal (Thrash and wah-wah guitars) and more contemporary melodic Metal, this Finnish band’s sophomore concept album has intriguing hooks and setups that keep you spellbound.

On the first few tracks, I expected a same-old 80s recreation style that at this point, got really old really fast, but the strong concept and the mix-ups of anthemic and thrashing songs kept me interested. Plus, the songs had personality. From the cold intro of Gregorian chants, setting the scene for sixteenth-century witch hunts, I found the ambiance in the songs carried them. They made each song stand out as unique and not as carbon copies of each other.

The second track made me think: this is how you recreate an 80s sound in 2019. It keeps the classic elements of New Wave of British Heavy Metal and intersperses them with melodic ambiance in the background that gives it its own character and sound. However, there were times that the wah-wah guitars and more classic elements of early Power Metal created a little bit of a dissonance with the melodic elements and the overall dark-medieval concept. You can hear it in the third track, “Forever Lost”, and especially in “Burn the Witch” with the guitar solos; while it was an excellent show of what the guitars could do with the sound, it seemed to clash with the more gothic aspect of the album.

However, the vocals were strong on that track and throughout the album. The singer knows his range and stays safely (and powerfully) there. He rarely tries to hit notes he can’t hit, nor does he try to emulate the ranges of Bruce Dickinson or Dio (I’ve heard it when an otherwise good singer tries to do that, and it’s not pretty, so this is a plus).

The album is strongest on its last half, where the theme of the album culminates with the narrative of a witch trial. I loved the duet and ambiance of the song “The Chalice and the Blade”, plus the diversion into ¾ time. I loved the interlude track “Purgatorium Ignis” that functioned as a calm-after-the-storm in the album’s narrative. It’s the final tracks that also play on the theme the most, particularly, the end of “Lady of Lies”. It starts off as a generic Thrash song off the album (initially making me wish they ended with a powerful ballad instead), but with the build of ambiance, it gives the album a powerful, but open-ended close.

Overall, it’s a solid album with clear, good production and some impressive and well-used vocals and guitars. If you’re not a fan of 80s Metal though, the dissonance can become too much, and you may not be a fan. If you’re into Power Metal, more into the NWBHM side, but you’re not that into operatic vocals or really classically stylized music, then this a band worth checking out.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1 1590 Edinburgh (Intro)
2 She Holds the Greatest Promise
3 Forever Lost
4 Maiden, Mother and Crone
5 Light the Lanterns (Scavengers of Death)
6 The Witches Hammer
7 The Chalice and the Blade
8 Burn the Witch
9 Purgatorius Ignis (Intro)
10 Eternity in Hell
11 Battle of Shadows
12 Lady of Lies
Hannes Horma – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Nils Nordling  – Vocals
Henri Asikainen - Guitars
OssiElonen – Bass
Patrik Albrecht - Drums
Record Label: Reaper Entertainment


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