Review Summary: A journey into the deepest, darkest and most haunting areas of the human mind
The black metal scene is one with many stories surrounding it, from the killing of Euronymous at its very start, to the issues with Wrest raping his girlfriend with a tattoo gun, these stories can occasionally overshadow the music, drawing attention away from the very thing these artists set out to do. This may be the case with Silencer
, a suicidal black metal band from Sweden. The tales and whispers surrounding front man Nattramn are so numerous and speculated; from the debate as to whether he has pig trotters for hand, to his apparent attempted murder of a girl and his suicide attempt afterwards, all this drawing your attention away from their only release, the masterpiece Death - Pierce Me.
On first listen one does not really know what to expect, for anyone who goes into this expecting something akin to any other depressive black metal album, such as those of Leviathan
they will be shocked. This album is unlike anything anyone has ever heard before, from its soft acoustic opening, to its furious and brutal moments of pure black metal, to acoustic passages reminiscent of Agalloch
this is a journey into the deepest, darkest and most haunting areas of the human psych that will leave listeners changed forever, its variety adds to the experience that this album is, throwing the listener back and forth as the band take you through their hellish landscape.
the instrumentation on this album is superb, guitarist Leere crafts an atmosphere of intense dark through the variety of different sounds he creates, from slow acoustic passages to intense tremolo in a heartbeat, all backed up by powerful drum work from Steve Wolz, from blast beats to rhythmic sections, its as varied as the guitar work, coming together to provide an intense wall of sound that draws the listener in, switching from instrumental passages that weave and flow harmoniously, to supporting the vocals in furious displays of rampant black metal, its all done with perfect precision. Other instruments take part in this gloomy sound scape, an example been the piano passage in the title track and synthesisers adding to the atmosphere been created.
The biggest factor in this album however is the vocals, the unique style performed by Nattramn here is one of tortured wails that make or break this album for the listener. For me they are the thing that makes this album perfect. The painful shrieks emanating from Nattramn are the very sound of someone in the fit of despair, the very sound of depression and the emotion that is poured into the noise created only makes it more powerful. Rumour says that he achieved this scream by harming himself in the studio, and listening to it you could very well believe it. The vocals are as varied as the instruments however, Nattramn switching from his wail, to simple black metal snarl and hoarse cries with ease, an example been on Sterile Nails and Thunderbowels.
Lyrically this album is poetic, with the words howled by Nattramn deepening the emotional well that this album is. Far beyond the realms of the stereotypical depressive black metal lyrics, Nattramn adds depth, an example:
Bitten by infected jaws
Lurking with moulded eyes
Nodding in gallows
This is an absolute masterpiece of the suicidal black metal genre, and indeed of any black metal album, this album will draw any listener into its murky depths of sadness and throw them out at the end. Any fan of depressive black metal should give pick this up, they will be the better for it, whilst it won't be the most enjoyable experience, its one that should definitely be undertaken.