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Age Of Silence - Complications - Trilogy Of Intricacy CD (album) cover


Age Of Silence

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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4 stars

Most people are familiar with Hellhammer (Jan Axel Blomberg) from the infamous Mayhem. However, he has involved himself with quite a few progressive metal acts, including Arcturus, the classical-music inspired Winds and this, Age of Silence. There are no "screamin' Norwegian" vocals, no rapid, Voivod-ish guitar riffs and no flying pig skulls ko'ing the headbanging followers here. And Hellhammer has surrounded himself with a group of very talented and able musicians to make this excellent project.

With songs that sound more like titles of Dali paintings, Andy Winter and Lars A. Nedland (aka Lazare) create a concept ep about a shopping mall in Hell, with some very evilly humorous lyrics, with lots of cleverly used satanic references (my favorite is the license plate of the Lamourghini Diablo blocking the only exit and the name of the coffee and bun kiosk-Beezlebuns). The best way to describe the sound is that it is reminiscent of Yes on harmony, but with a more agressive sound. Helge K. Haugen (Kobbergaard) and Joacim Solheim (Extant) provide expert guitarwork that brings alot of energy to the songs and complements the lyrics beautifully and Hellhammer proves to be a wonderful progressive metal drummer yet again.

This album is worth a spin or two, even by folks normally turned off by prog-metal, as there are no "cookie monster" vocals or over the top narrations that normally tend to deter people from the genre.

Report this review (#89047)
Posted Tuesday, September 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Age of Silence is a Norwegian project group, consisting of more or less famous musicians from different black metal bands. "Complications" is an EP released in 2005, to satisfy fans awaiting their second full length album.

Musically the band members background from (modern) black metal isn't very noticeable. Although several details and nuances in the soundscape are recognizeable from this genre of music - synths barely heard fleshing out the soundscape, slight nuances when changing tempo, melodic overlays from guitars tuned way down to create a very subtle effect - the music on this record has more similarities with doom metal than with black metal. The guitars are the main instrument here, but played mostly with long, drawn-out chords rather than the fast-paced aggressive riffing you'll find in black metal. The second most noticeable element here are the vocals, actual singing with clean vocals, most often harmonic and at times layered vocals as well. The overall soundscape is dark and gritty though, with the vocals bringing light and beauty into a rather grim and dark - but epic - soundscape.

As for the songs on this release, they are all good - especially if nuances and details are to your liking. The songs are too monotonus and repetetive though; at least for me. The first and last of these three songs have most variation, and due to that are better than the one in the middle for me.

Report this review (#139151)
Posted Wednesday, September 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Considering the abysmal effort of the band on its one and only album, Acceleration, I wasn't hoping for much from the follow up EP, Complications: Trilogy of Intricacy, and was expecting even less. So you can imagine my surprise on playing this EP and finding 3 songs of fairly high quality, certainly far ahead of where the ban had been only a year before hand.

The one real strength of the bands first album, Andy Winters excellent keyboard playing, remains intact for this album but the major areas of my discontent have been addressed. Namely, production is now top notch with a sharp, punchy sound from the drums and feeling of depth to the guitars, composition is far better than before, with memorable melodies being supplied in full and the singer, Lazare, is more tuneful than before, though he's no Daniel Gildenlow. I knew the band had it in them as they've proved it in Winds but this is the only recording from Age of Silence that demonstrates these abilities. Pick of the (small) bunch here is the opening track, The Idea of Independence and the Reason Why It's Austere (almost as much of a mouthful as a Red Sparrows song title), for it contains the above mentioned elements at their best. In the end, though, there is only 15 minutes of music and the uncomfortable resemblance to Winds remains strong so 3 stars.

Report this review (#208947)
Posted Friday, March 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars 'Meh'.

I bought this CD in a shop in Germany for 50 cents or something equally daft. I'd never heard of Age of Silence (and apparently, neither had anyone else, since they were in the literal bargain bin), but it was a metal CD, so why not?

Labelled as avant-garde metal... whatever the hell that means... this sounds a lot like something Devin Townsend would do, complete with obscure, gloomy cover art and unusual song titles. Age of Silence have a big sound, with multiple-layered guitars overproduced to give each of the three tracks a huge feeling about them. But otherwise, these songs are fairly dull. The overbearing 'big' guitar chords are heard through each track, leaving me feel like there's been an ongoing chord played throughout the entire EP.

But it doesn't stop there. It starts to overshadow the vocals, any lead parts, the drums... the whole lot. I don't 'get' this kind of music. I understand it's based more on ambience and what-have-you, but for the most part this is just pretty boring and repetitive. There's one or two moments where something might sound catchy or interesting, but as a whole, considering this is only a three-song EP, it's not really anything I'd come back to.

The shop I'd bought it from was probably relieved to be rid of it.

Report this review (#1978362)
Posted Friday, August 17, 2018 | Review Permalink

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