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Age Of Silence - Acceleration CD (album) cover

ACCELERATION

Age Of Silence

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.23 | 22 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Acceleration' - Age Of Silence (8/10)

Age Of Silence came together as a fusion from members of Mayhem, Arcturus, Solefald, and so on. In other words, this is something of a supergroup between the more adventurous bands in the Norwegian black metal scene. At once, this may excite fans of those bands, perhaps wanting to hear some sort of 'ultimate' black metal album. On the contrary, many of the overt black metal sounds have been filtered out, and instead, these musicians try their hand at a very strange and keyboard-heavy take on avant-garde metal. It takes some getting used to, but 'Acceleration' is a successful departure from these musicians' black metal roots.

With a sound somewhat similar to that of fellow avant-metallers Solefald, Age Of Silence is an elaborate mish-mash of styles, rolled into one distinctive sound. The symphonic keyboards of band leader Andy Winter give a gothic vibe to the music, and he brings some eerie classical piano to the table on top of that. Age of Silence is decidedly not a black metal band, but the guitars here aren't too dissimilar from Emperor, or Ihsahn's solo work. The most distinctive element of Age Of Silence's music are the vocals, offered here by Lars Nedland. His voice is very melodic, and there is no ego in his delivery; while a more traditional metal or rock singer would have put inflections in the performance or at least something to prove that they are a great or fantastic singer, Nedland's performance sticks to the words on paper and draws within the lines, almost uncomfortably so. In truth, his vocals here are wonderful, with great vibrato and some complicated vocal harmonies running throughout the album. It does sound like he is singing with a gun to his back however, and not all listeners are going to like that.

The lyrics are at-times puzzling, but there is a very concrete theme that runs through the album. As is reflected in the artwork, 'Acceleration' is a largely nihilistic perspective of modern life, its fast-paced workings, and the general sense that humans are becoming more like machines, and less like real people. The song titles do offer this concept up a bit too readily, but the lyrics tackle it well enough, throwing in a dash of surrealism to satisfy the avant-fans. The production is often cold and disparate, but it works well like that. Besides a warm respite with the acoustic 'I No Longer Know If I Am Mad', the music relies on cold, gloomy guitars, incredibly varied keyboards, and many other surprises- like electronic beats- that sometimes only ever appear once throughout the entire album. This is an eerie and strange album, and won't fail to alienate plenty of the fans of the bands for which these musicians are otherwise best known for. It is pretty jarring at first to hear avant-garde metal with such melodic vocals, but underneath the aloof impression I first got from 'Acceleration', there is something oddly beautiful here.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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