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Violent Silence - A Broken Truce CD (album) cover


Violent Silence

Crossover Prog

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4 stars Third recording from the Uppsala group, which has three keyboardists to his credit and has no need of the guitar, an instrument that is not missing the conception of the music of the Swedes. Do not expect anything like ELP or some other group with prominence of keyboards. We cannot, or in this case we mustn't look for references in the music of this wonderful group, because the epic of his compositions doesn't seek anyone else. Possibly, we are facing one of the best progressive groups throughout the history of the genre in the Scandinavian country. Nor will we find extensive environmental spaces generated by the keyboards, as we will find a dynamic exercise of a bunch of musisicians as absolute protagonists of all music produced by this group In my opinion, they retrieve all the spirit that was missing in terms of musical exposure. And it is that we find powerful arrangements that do not disdain the possibility, at any time, to amaze the listener with elements of jazz, Canterbury, most progressive electronic music ... in short, a music made by and for the mind. To all this it must be added two key elements in the band's musical resolution. On the one hand, a powerful, professional and heartfelt rhythm section able to navigate the intricate progressive models that abound in the music of this new work, giving heart and soul to compositions, already monumental, exciting and fascinating. On the other, we must not fail to mention their singer, a spiritual guide and an effective common thread that serves the entire musical fabric of this Swedish combo. I couldn't certainty define this group, but what I'm pretty sure is that we have some true captivating creators magnetizing us from the first moment when listening this new production and they put a powerful seductive and addictive spell on the listener: two features that few groups can just come together and not only in this recording, but in a whole production over the years. In fact, I also strongly recommend their previous two recordings. Extensive songs, a varied musical spectrum, immense arrangements with an intricate character, melody, sensitivity and efficiency are inherent characteristics that define the intentions of an act that exudes imagination in abundance and show no symptoms of complacency, since they don't try to demonstrate, despite its technical and too obvious possibilities, that they are the best musicians, but the creators of a musical broad powers world. As musicians ten ... as artists they exceed any scale. Creators of a vintage flavor and fascinating personality, Violent Silence are the talent, the will, the consistency and imagination that, for a long, long time seemed to be forgotten and neglected.
Report this review (#1054352)
Posted Saturday, October 5, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars Violent Silence is a Swedish prog band from Uppsala, our fourth city. They have been releasing three record since 2003. Now ten years after they have released their third record "A broken truce" which is a quite rich record with a lot of symphonic tunes.

What's special with Violent Silence is that they don't use guitar. Insted they have a lot of keyboards in different varieties. On this record they show some fantastic ingredients to occupy your mind with. The keyboardists of this record explore the world of melodies and do it very well. I prefer the instrumental parts of it, even if the singer is worth praising for his inputs. The singer though perhaps should be more varied and I had wanted some more variation even from the melodies. I don't miss guitar, the keyboards do a perfect job.

I rate the songs: 7,6,7,6 and the best one is according to me the first one "Prism Path" but I also recommend "The Kingdom Below" which is wonderful in its own way. On "Prism Path" I think the singer sounds almost like Moon Safari and the music feels honest and free. They surely have their own style. "The Kingdom Below" contains an interesting part with drums and keyboards playing like shocks of power.

The keyboardists Johan Hedman, Hannes Ljunghall and Björn Westin, the drummer Johan Hedman, the bassist Anders Lindskog and the vocalist Martin Ahlquist shall deserve credit and the final review will be: "A good record". Three stars!

Report this review (#1068141)
Posted Monday, October 28, 2013 | Review Permalink
Second Life Syndrome
4 stars "Those keys! Oh, those keys!" That is what I say every time I listen to this album. Violent Silence is a band from Sweden with a penchant for unique and proggy music. "A Broken Truce" is their third album, and it actually took about eight years to get it made. That is understandable as the members have been busy in other endeavors. Both Bjorn Westen and Hannes Ljunghall, the primary keyboardists, had been busy with another group called Hidden Lands (if you get a chance to hear them, be sure you do!). So, the band is back together again, and they have come out swinging.

"A Broken Truce" is made up of only four tracks, all of them over ten minutes in length. These "epics", if you will, are lush, full, and never pointless. Indeed, there is no filler here at all. The band's promo sheet says that their music is "detailed", and for once I agree with a promo sheet. This music is layered, meaningful, and always moving, There are so many fragile subtleties that require keen attention in order to appreciate this album fully. Yes, I think headphones are required.

The band has a sound that few share. Active, cymbal-laden drumming meets with deep bass and amazing keys. There are no guitars here as far as I can tell. And you know what? They don't need any. The dual keyboardists sound amazing together, especially since they have such unique synth settings. They sound somewhat spacey, but lush and organic, too. It's a special sound that I just love, and "A Broken Truce" hands down contains some of the best keyboard work of 2013.

The vocalist has an interesting voice that never seems to sound the same. It is somewhat high-pitched, but he manages his voice expertly. He phrases his lines in strangely beautiful fashions, especially on my favorite track "Rim of Clouds". His voice is playful, yet focused; humble, yet confident. It's a voice that grows on you more and more with each listen.

Violent Silence's long-awaited album is no disappointment. It meshes amazing elements with mature ideas and performances to craft one of the most interesting albums of the year. Any serious prog fan should give this a listen.

Report this review (#1089125)
Posted Thursday, December 12, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars Violent Silence was a bit of a surprise, one of those bands that takes me a couple of listens to get into, not because of music that is not accessible (their tunes are very approachable), but for some reason I didn't appreciate it as much the first time. Once I got into it though, I found Violent Silence to be a group with a familiar yet interesting compositional direction that emphasizes the use of simple themes and melodies and moves the tracks along with clear and powerful vocals. Being an album of just four songs, I couldn't help but love the format of lengthy pieces that really let the ideas breathe and develop on their own without being in a rush to squeeze in a formulaic number of verses and choruses. The opener, "Prism Path" is a great example of this, particularly as you start to reach the last few minutes of the piece where the band makes use of subtle repetition, growing dynamics, striking vocals, and the reintroduction of an earlier theme to round off the song. Fans of neo-prog or 90′s revival ala' Morse or TFK should dig this.
Report this review (#1287635)
Posted Saturday, October 4, 2014 | Review Permalink

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