I remember when I first heard Starstealer
's single "Chain Me" this summer. Right away, my first thoughts were: "Damn, Estonian industrial really sucks compared to American indu bands". Needless to say, I was having a huge hangover that day, my mood was ***ty, and I just wanted to throw on my favorite Crossbreed album. Still, No-Big-Silence is known as one of Estonia's premier metal- and live acts, so curiosity got the best of me soon after, and I proceeded to check Starstealer
out. I had previously heard No-Big-Silence's last album before Starstealer
, War In Wonderland
, and suddenly I remembered I really used to dig it 3 years back when it came out, and for a good reason as it turns out, because both War In Wonderland
are excellent industrial albums.
"Chain Me" actually is a very good song, although it's questionable if it's the best representation of the album. It falls a bit too much on the metal side, leaving the mesmerizing electronics, which are so prominent during the rest of the album, out a little bit. What’s interesting about this album is that it’s very versatile for industrial metal. At one point you are greeted by the metallic “Chain Me”, and at the other, you are already in amidst of funky bass lines and soothing vocals (excluding the harsh chorus) from vocalist Cram in “Kiss The Beast”. There are many surprises along the way, especially in the guitar department, as extended guitar lines here aren’t what you'd call few and far between, and the song “505 Signs Of Chaos" even features a solo. Also admirable is the band’s skill to make every song different, yet retain the same cold and harsh atmosphere throughout the album. That is most definitely due to the fact No-Big-Silence are no amateurs. Being on the scene for 20 years already, these guys definitely know their chops, and then some.
No-Big-Silence are very good in adding the catchy funk touch to their brand of industrial metal. Just take “Radioactive Paradise” for example. Guitars are blaring in the background, and Cram’s harsh, Estonian accented vocals are in the forefront, but at the same time, it’s all admirably catchy. You can headbang/mosh to this album, you can kick back to it, or hell, you can even dance to it if you’re feeling like it.
While the guitars are always blaring, and Cram is continuously presenting his raspy vocal work, one can’t help but to admire how well the electronics are mixed. They are never protruding, never tackling into the spotlight, but as far as atmosphere goes, the electronics sound perfect. Lingering and cold-sounding, the adamantine electronics are a true pleasure to listen to.
While I tend to agree with sputnik community's decision that The Shizit's self titled album is probably the best industrial record of the year, No-Big-Silence's album is definitely the most varied one and isn’t far behind. It’s harsh, it’s cold, yet it’s very catchy at the same time. When bass is present, it brings the funk, and when it’s not, the extremely well thought-out electronics make up for it. I really like how another Estonian critic Marko Mägi has already said before me about No-Big-Silence, and I quote: ”It is a great achievement in itself – to sound tough and delicate at the same time"
is a must-have for any industrial fan out there, and is a great addition for someone, who is looking to find some last minute 2009 releases to blast.