SILENT MEMORIAL - Retrospective

Silent Memorial - Retrospective

7 songs
52:10 minutes
***** ***


Progressive metal from Switzerland is rather uncommon, making Silent Memorial one of the few exceptions who raise the bar quite highly on their second album Retrospective. Actually it might as well be considered a new debut, as their debut Cosmic Handball had been released only in Asia ten years ago. The new vocalist Mike Anderson is from Sweden and might be known from Cloudscape.

With only seven tracks featured, you might initially get the impression that this will be something of a short experience album. All the songs have a playing time between five and six minutes except for the title track that stands out with a majestic twenty-two and a half minutes. Especially there, but also elsewhere Silent Memorial manage without a problem to display the different facets of progressive rock and metal. The title track contains tons of breaks that lead seamlessly and nearly imperceptibly into the following parts. Many pieces come with a great retro keyboard sound, with the band naming Kansas as their big inspiration. The most dynamic and aggressive song on the CD is Differences whose magnificent structure makes for an unrelenting listening experience. It’s here where the Dream Theater influence is strongest, although this shouldn’t means that the Swiss are just a mere copy of the prog icons. The Darkest Hour and TV World are two further examples of the band’s heavier side, whereas Fear and Lost sees them flirting with more classical hard rock patterns.

The only reproach might be the band’s lack of original ideas. The songwriting is appealing enough, but you get the feeling to have encountered the same patterns already elsewhere. It’s still nice to hear that not every Swiss band has to sound as conservative as Gotthard or Krokus.

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