Released: 2002, Lion Music
Born in Osaka, Japan Mr. Kelly Simonz is a new name to me. This SILENT SCREAM album showcases his great talent for guitar playing in the neoclassical style of shred a la Yngwie Malmsteen. Unfortunately, what is best about this album and his talent is buried beneath a lot of throwaway songs. If you absolutely love neo-classical shredding and you can’t get enough, this album will be for you….that is if you can overlook the lack of good songs just to get to hear great solos.
“Silent Scream” opens the album in Yngwie like style with only the guitar solo section really captivating me. This is followed by the track “Time” which is a mediocre song (mediocre as in not even as good as Yngwie’s lackluster ECLIPSE album). There is an annoying rap-ish styled beat in a few places on this one and as expected, the solo in the song is the only good part. After this is another song that had me scratching my head! It’s called “One And Only Love.” This could have easily been a Backdoor Boys song. Kelly Simonz has the ability to totally shred and is a great guitarist. As such, what is SHIT like this doing on his album? You might say he likes it, but c’mon, this is more like an identity crisis. Who are you writing for? Fans of guitar hero playing or 14 year old girls with absolutely no grasp on music and talent!?! This track is followed by Backdoor Boys part 2 called “Girl…I Give My Life For You.” Holy fuck is this ever horrible, even the song title is laughable and makes me sick!! Again, bubblegum and very gay. The song consists of piano, drums and keyboards. The guitar is absent until the solo, which is slow with what some would call “soulful playing” – I’ll call it “boring as hell.” After these back to back bullshit tracks it’s onto to something REAL – “Angel Eyes.” This is uninspired mid-tempo hard rock song / 80’s metal. This style is also found on the track “Forever” with its fake sounding drums – again, only the leads keep me from skipping to the next track. A gem of the album is the track called “Fly Away.” It has double kicks and neo-classical Yngwie-styled soloing played very well. The vocals are a bit too laid-back making it sound like the singer is always holding back from getting too intense. Next it’s “Paradise Lost” which contains a riff section that is a major rip off of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.” The song is 9 minutes long and drags on. Another highlight on the album is the much more metal sounding track “Aftermath.” This is again up-tempo (finally) and has some great riffing and jaw-dropping soloing. The use of the piano in this song is done well and is not something Yngwie has used in this way before. Unfortunately, this is followed by yet another ballad, this time an instrumental, called “Blue Monday” in which Kelly plays with more of a blues feel (as the song title suggests). Sadly, the next and closing track is AGAIN a slow ballad that does not leave any lasting impression on me.
In my opinion Mr. Simonz needs to solve the identity crisis. Do you want commercial success from the shallow pop realm? Do you want to play uninspired hard rock and a bunch or sleepy lovey dovey ballads?? Or do you want to show off your skill with better-written songs, heavier riffs and a better vocalist? Of course I would recommend the later, because after all I love metal…not rock or pop crap and not sappy ballads. Bottom line, weed out the shit, write heavier songs and shred it up!!