Released: 2001, Spikefarm Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
When Silentium´s debut, "Infinita Plango Vulnera", came out in 1999, the band was having some strong My Dying Pride -vibes in their sound. Despite that, it was a very promising debut from them, which gained a lot of the positive reputation for them for sure.
Now when I received their new album titled ALTUM in my mail, I was running my hopes pretty darn high towards it. Even more surprised and excited I got when I decided to give it a fair treatment in my CD player. Their obvious and clear M.D.B. -influences that were placed in the very front of their debut album, were luckily left behind on this new one... well, almost however. They still are haunting there in the background, but I guess when you want your stuff to sound romantic, sorrowfully beautiful, add female vocals (Tiina probably is one of those enticing sirens in the Odyssey epos judging by her utterly beautiful, melodious voice...) and some plaintive tunes of the violin into the wholeness, those references to Dewsbury´s ultimate mourners are pretty unavoidable after all.
Silentium, however, show quite a magnificient improvement in originality regardless of the fact, there are some conspicuous elements used on ALTUM that do remind you of some other Doom/Gothic bands around you. But on the other hand, the guys also use some elements there that push them towards their own characteristic, well-recognizable sounds of Doom and dark Gothic (less that, though). The 7th song on the album, "Lusticon", gets pretty damn heavy when some immensely creepy death grunts join in reminding me a lot of Tomi Koivusaari´s (Amorphis) death growlings he did on their two 1st albums. Next song from that titled "The Sinful", reciprocally has a few vocal lines of shrewish Black Metal shrieks on it that push them even further from a plain plagiarism of M.D.B.. Even the last song, "The Propheter of the Unenthroned", starts off like any fast tempo Black Metal song, so in my opinion the album gets better towards its end due to its variable tempo changes and more rarely used elements in Doom/Gothic Metal. It´s naturally a matter of taste, of course!!
Anyways, ALTUM is a somewhat pleasing continuum from the Silentium -bunch after their promising debut record, absolutely!