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Garden Wall - Towards The Silence CD (album) cover


Garden Wall

Progressive Metal

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1 stars This time they named it "Towards The Silence", and I would just add "the sooner they get there the better". I mean to keep silence for a while would suite them better. I would have thought their last opus "Forget the colors" was a kind of mistake and hoped GW will return to their normal selfs musically and will give us some joy again with their new album. But obviously it was my mistake, and now I realise that Forget the colors was rather a point of complete change of direction. Towards the silence is direct continuation of Forget the colors, and the kind of music they play has nothing to do with neither art rock (the genre they listed under in these archives) nor symphonic prog with touch of metal (they used to do), nor progressive music at all. The music they play now is rather techno tresh on the verge of hardly accessible avantgarde. I have to stress that first four albums by Garden Wall are very very good, but last two are just not my cup of tea to say the least. I used to like this band a lot, and they were one my favorites, but now after Forget the colors and Towards the silence I lost my interest in them completely. I am giving it one star here just because I have no option to give it any less, however in my own ratings these two last albums deserve nothing. One star means "only for completionists", and I am a kind of completionist myself, but I would not want to have these cd's in my collection even for free, therefore i definitely cannot recommend it to anyone who likes first three garden wall's albums (and this sort of music generally) as much as i do. I do not mean to offend fans of techno tresh or inaccesible avantgarde, but to me this music is just unlistenable to. As my interest in garden wall's activity reached it's end I would rather put a short summary as follows 1. 1993- Principium - very good - solid four stars plus half star for briliant debut 2. 1994 - Path Of Dreams - excellent - masterpiece - 5 stars by all means 3. 1995 - Seduction Of Madness - very good - 4.5 stars - just a tick weaker than Path 4. 1997 - Chimica - 3 stars - mediocre - transitional, much heavier than previous, much more metal in it, but still not bad 5. 2002 - Forget The Colors - complete change of musical style and direction into heavy inaccessible avantgardish metal - 1 star in respect to previous works 6. 2004 - Towards The Silence - same as no.5 - not a kind of music I like
Report this review (#35121)
Posted Monday, May 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is difficult music, for few people with "trained" ears. SOME musicians evolve, u cannot expect the same album everytime because u like it THAT way : this is not a PROGRESSIVE vision ! Garden Wall are more progressive than most of tha band because of this ! I liked Chimica more than other albums, for example, but the last 2 albums made me understand there are still artists that can write something UNHEARD , while sometimes i was thinking i ve listened to everything is possible to do in rock. Wrong.
Report this review (#67934)
Posted Thursday, February 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Towards the Silence" finds Garden Wall following and reinforcing the psyche-metal trend that they have been explicitly pursuing since their "Chimica" album, subtly announced in their third effort "The Seduction of Madness". Once again we meet this half sinister, half neurotic mixture of prog metal, thrash, doom, contemporary King Crimson inspired sonic power, jazz-rock with psychedelic tendencies and experimental madness a-la Mr. Bungle-meets-RIO. The obscure magic and abstruse tension that the album's repertoire displays all along the way is preceded by a beautiful brief acoustic guitar/stick duet 'Please Wait. Forgetting.', after which 'Caesura' emerges as a storm of madness and schizophrenia: there are some calm interludes that mostly serve as a slower demonstration of the same inner discomfort. Anger also rules supreme in 'Luna': this song is not as bright as the moon, but dark as the veil of night that spreads around it. The alternation of explicit strong passages and calmer ones is also used for good effect here. The incandescent sounds that come from the dual guitars and Saravalle's tortured singing shouldn't distract from the fact that the rhythm section manages to provide a solid foundation of precision among the constant mood shifts and complex patterns. 'Oxymoron' starts very Crimsonian, but it won't be long before a wildest thrash metallic "Sturm und Drang" to bring some more of the band's reckless disturbing musical vision. The 10 minute long 'Bottom' contains well-crafted post rock-oriented passages with jazzy leanings intertwined with the usual metal thing that ultimately erupts and rises the temperature (again.). '4' pretty much offers a recapitulation of the ambiences comprised in the previous 4 tracks, providing a more pronounced Crimsonian flavor to the mix - for this one, Saravalle's singing sounds like a hybrid of Belew and Stratos. The jazzy passages include some Metheny-like leads. This track, together with tracks 2 and 3, fills the most emblematic part of the album. 'Inadeguato' is the closest to funky that Garden Wall can get under the artistic circumstances that frame the album's line of work. 'Tome' (the original title is written in Greek script) reiterates somewhat the funky ingredient, but again, the metallic neurosis emerges to bring obscurity and oppression, in communion with some eerie post rock passages. 'Cursed Nature' brings some Holdsworth-inspired energetic jazz-rock ornaments among the metallic dementia. 'Der Stellen Entgegen' closes down the album with a 3-minute soundscape on guitar-synth, seasoned with soft piano flourishes: an unexpected breeze of introspection after the long turmoil. "Towards the Silence" is a very weird album, indeed, located in a limbo between the perpetual storm of radical metal and the complexity of avant-prog, difficult enough to challenge the criteria of metal and prog lovers. I love it and regard it as excellent: the guys in Garden Wall have made a clear statement about how they see themselves as creators and performers.
Report this review (#87773)
Posted Sunday, August 20, 2006 | Review Permalink

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