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Deafening Opera - Let Silence Fall CD (album) cover

LET SILENCE FALL

Deafening Opera

 

Heavy Prog

3.21 | 14 ratings

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Steve Conrad
3 stars The Band:

Adrian Daleore (vocals) Moritz Kunkel (guitar) Thomas Moser (guitar) G'rald Marie (keys) Christian Eckstein (bass) Konrad Gonschorek (drums)

DEAFENING OPERA was formed in 2006 in Munich, Germany, and have released three full-length albums, and an EP that formed the basis of their second album 'Blueprint'.

Let Silence Fall was released March 2018.

The Album:

My initial thought when I started listening was 'Wow'!

There's a lot to like on this album. It's billed as a concept album- for me one of the things that have ultimately reduced my over-all rating.

If it's a concept album, it has different requirements than simply a collection of songs. It needs to hang together with common threads and themes.

Perhaps I'm obtuse, but for me, the concept is terrifically obscure- I'll take a shot at interpretation, but for sure, I'm doing a lot of guessing.

A Lot to Like:

There are the kinds of contrasts, melodic passages, musicianship, composition, ensemble playing, and grandness that I value in progressive rock.

The band, who's core has endured and thrived for a dozen years, has surely gotten to know each other's styles and strengths.

I was impressed as well by the packaging- the digipak that housed the CD that guitarist and composer Moritz Kunkel provided me- the lyrics sheet (makes reviewing much simpler), and the art work as a whole.

I could hear the progressive metal roots of DEAFENING OPERA in the crunchy chords and riffs that predominate, yet the evolution into more complete stature as progressive rock was also evident.

A song might start wistfully and tenderly- and here vocalist Adrean Daleore shines- and then move into a near- orchestral grandeur'and back again. I like music that makes me think AND feel, and much of this does.

The Concept: The track 'Down the River' seemed to set the themes. The river itself was a recurring image, and by the end of the tale, had changed from waters of life to the stillness and stolidity of sand and rock and desert.

The protagonist- a young warrior who is coming of age, implores his father for wisdom and guidance. He begs for father's blessing, and points out two scenarios that appear to cause him anxiety.

He asks his father to define him, and to help him set free the destiny he believes he holds within.

Now, it gets murkier.

It seemed like the protagonist found love. In 'Amber Light' there is certainly tenderness, but also restless insomnia, and (a vision?) his father blaming him for the sense of crisis in the world.

From then on, things get worse, spiraling into madness, terror, and finally, what seemed like death for the tragic couple.

It SEEMED like in twisted sexual play, the protagonist destroyed his wife, and then struggled to live with himself, and with her in his memory.

Oddly the timelessness of the opening tracks and lyrics gave way to modern-day images, like driving, gasoline, some current topics.

In 'Sweet Silence' we hear a modern TV announcer, for example, and some news headlines about The White House, war, and politics.

These seemed jarring, and ill-fitting.

The best tracks did have mythic timelessness and images. I was especially touched by such lines as this one, from 'Man and Machine': 'We walk in life backwards watching the past/ Blind to what lies yet ahead'.

Or these lyrics from the epic closing track, 'Plus Ultra': 'Growing old losing hold of you/ Far from grace now to face my shadow/ Rust to rust turn to dust again/ Twin echo as we're going down'.

What's Not to Like:

The confusing concept was one challenge.

Another was that while the vocalist shone on the tender and gentle passages, for me he did not handle the rough and raw sections as well. I was distracted at times, and found myself wondering what a gutsy, powerful vocalist would bring to those sections.

His efforts at the rougher segments seemed forced or growl-by-numbers, and not as authentic.

There were the seeds of some fine choral segments. Harmonies were established, and needed more development. This would be a strong potential growing area for the band.

Finally, the energy of the opening tracks seemed to wind down a bit, and the hour-and-change of this album began to seem long as a result.

My initial 'Wow!' changed to a bit of a let-down because of those factors.

My rating:

My initial response was to go 2.5 out of 5 tragic stars.

But after several more listening sessions, I think I was too severe.

Today, 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Steve Conrad | 3/5 |

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