Review Summary: A consistent approach to their synth heavy metal allows Silent Descent to firm up their position on the trance metal scene.
2008 was a big year for this English bred, trance metal group; it marked the year that the band’s debut hit the market and whilst it was widely missed by the metal community, the albums reception has been quite steady. Duplicity
(the debut) showed Silent Descent as a band that was building on a melodic death metal base. That sound may not be completely innovative, but it remarkably fresh on the ears of the listener. The willingness to experiment, not only on this album but their debut does sound rather gimmicky on paper; screams, cleans, breakdowns, melodic death metal styled riffs with synth patterns and other sources of electronica. For the band, these musical combinations actually work, dabbling in minor keys throughout the album, the ‘trance’ more-or-less backs the music quite well providing a depth that ultimately engages the listener. Listeners beware however; this isn’t going to suit everyone’s taste. Fortunately, whether this hits a chord with you or not, no one can deny that Silent Descent aren’t willing to break away from an overdone staple sound.
gives fans of Silent Descent exactly what they have been expecting. The band is not about to break away from the foundation that Duplicity
gave them. The trance is still thick and furious carrying the rest of the album along in its wake. However without a solid display of musicianship the album would be lost. The boys churn out the bottom heavy riffage as listeners would expect, tied in with some intelligent double bass work. It’s honestly nothing out of the ordinary for many a metalcore act, but unlike many other acts the bass work makes an appearance and hugs the guitar lines well. The vocal aspect of the album may come off as touch and go with its range being that of mid range shouts, pained high pitch screams and melodic cleans. The high screams especially are distasteful and could be brought back a notch. Thankfully, this does not overly mar a quality record.
Highlighting the album is the sinister ‘On That Trip’. The track begins with some left-to-right speaker swapping bass drum and riff work, accenting the rhythmic prowess the band displays on the entire album. The ideas are relatively simple but are presented well enough to be maintained well enough in the listener’s memory. Unfortunately for the album as a whole, Mind Games
does not leave the same impression as the debut. Sure some of the tracks may find some repeats (tracks like; ‘Psychotic Euphoric’, ‘Bring-In-Sanity’,’ Sober Thoughts’ and ‘Mind Games’) but this record does not have the same “fresh” sound that Duplicity
did. It seems that Silent Descent are simply expanding there synth metal sound. The effect is still there, it just would have been greater as a debut effort.