Justin Broadrick is something of a legend within the metal community. To be honest, I was never into any of Broadrick’s projects, despite the constant flow of praise for his work. I am considering a reevaluation of Broadrick after hearing Silver
. The music on Silver
is simultaneously crushingly heavy and ethereally melodic.
Justin Broadrick – Guitar, Vocals
Diarmuid Dalton – Bass
Ted Parsons – Drums
The title track begins with the sound of swelling distortion. Underneath the guitar, a melodic synthesizer line weaves a repetitive, hypnotic pattern. Broadrick’s angelic vocals, sounding almost like a hymn, rise over the wall of distortion. The crushing distortion of the guitar and bass obscures his words. More important is the melodic sense that his vocals bring to the song, providing contrast to the crushing guitars. When the guitar drops out, the synthesizer continues over the warm, resonant sound of the bass. The synthesizer builds, changing its form, seeming to stretch upwards, until the song ends.
enters with rapid, pulsing drums accompanied by an interesting distorted bass line. Broderick repeats variations of the words “If I could forget it like you do," lending the track a melancholy feel. Throughout Silver
, Broderick uses his voice sparingly. The scarcity of vocals serves to emphasize the presence of Broadrick’s singing. As his voice rises above the mire of distortion, it serves as a focal point for the listener’s attention. Wolves
feels noticeably darker than the previous songs. The synthesizer and bass are initially responsible for creating an ominous atmosphere. The entrance of a guitar playing a crushing chord progression then heightens the tension. Broadrick’s haunting vocals fade in and out over the wall of sound. The final track...
, begins with the sound of a damaged record. The synthesizer lines contain the suggestions of a human voice, but it is impossible to catch any words. At 4:10, the heaviest guitar riff on the album enters. Gradually the instruments begin to drop out, until only the crackle of the synthesizer remains. The inclusion of the same sounds at the beginning and the end of the song lends Dead Eyes
a cyclical feeling of unity, although the song itself does not offer enough of a climax to stand with the rest of the record. The main downside to Silver
is the repetitive nature of the material, which could ruin the album for some listeners. You get the same distorted guitar and bass tones throughout the album, and every song is linear. Jesu
make up for the repetition by lacing the album with melody. Although at first listen picking out the melody may seem daunting, the listener does not have to search too far beneath the layers of distortion encasing the melody. Silver
is successful because its outward harshness conceals an underlying pop sensibility that catches you when you least expect it.
– Music remains crushingly heavy while concealing a wealth of melody
– The guitar and bass complement one another with interesting lines
– Broadrick’s ethereal vocals provide a nice counterpoint to the music
– Songs are linear in composition
– Occasionally repetitive
– Lack of variation in the guitar and bass tone