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June 2002
Released: 2002, MTM Music
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: JP

Let’s get this out of the way. Silence is a dumb name for a band, especially in 2002! There have been many, many bands with the name or variations of the word Silent or Silence. This version of Silence is from France and without prejudice France has always been the poor cousin in terms of metal in the European scene. Something about the culture or French psyche that just prohibits them from producing any significant number of decent metal bands, in any genre.

Unfortunately Silence is not an exception. This disc borders and walks a fine line between melodic hard rock and AOR. Like most MTM releases this disc features excellent packaging and clean clear production. However, all the good features about this disc cannot save weak songs.

Silence play a watered down rock/AOR style. They remind me of Journey and bands like that. When a band, any band strays into that territory, inherently lacking in heaviness, the songs HAVE to be catchy, filled hooks, giant sing-along harmonized choruses and a mild guitar crunch. Unfortunately these guys don’t even meet that mark.

I think I know why. This is essentially a two-man band, a singer and Bruno Levesque, the guy who does everything else, production, mix, guitars, keys, programming etc… It really is a one-man show and that lack of alternative input shows. Some differing opinions might have brought out the potential in this admittedly decent yet flawed band.

The lyrics are not great. They suffer from translation issues. I’m sure they are quite well done and heartfelt in French and probably sound pretty damn good, with that silky smooth romance language being quite fitting for the material. However, the English version just doesn’t work as well. Songs like “Do Not Love”, Strange Sounds”, and “Why Not Today” just don’t sound right to my ears. The chorus of Utopia (part I) is a prime example: “One water well for eleven oil wells. Go to Hell! Oil Well!”

A nice concept but poorly executed verbally. The rest of the songs aren’t much better!

Musically, the band is smooth and tight as should be with one main dude doing all the music. There are three instrumentals and two cover tunes including “The Kids in America”. Kind of a weird choice and I vaguely remember it as some dumb pop song from the 80’s done by some lame band like Bangles or Bananarama. I can’t remember who did it first. An odd choice for a cover although the double-kick drums add a tiny bit of pep to the admittedly catchy tune.

I don’t want to be harsh but this CD really lacks balls. That is not an insurmountable object IF you have several other features to counter-act that weakness. Unfortunately this CD will be in realm of die-hard AOR fans who may find a little bit to enjoy on the disc. Standout track: “No Life on Planet Earth” actually has a little kick maybe achieving a Dokken level of heaviness but that is about it. Approach with caution.

Next review: » Silencer - Death of Awe
Previous review: » Silas - World of Colour

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