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Album Reviews : Silent Knight – Power Metal Supreme

By on December 19, 2014

Silent Knight - Power Metal Supreme cover artFrom the opening moments of “Prisoner of Your World”, I knew I was in for something a bit special here from Perth-based power metal act Silent Knight. “Prisoner of Your World” will be one of the featured tracks on Silent Knight’s forthcoming – as yet untitled – second album (due out early next year). By all accounts, this one song alone has me pumped for the new album! It manages to succeed the band’s previous effort (their 2013 debut album ‘Masterplan’) at almost every turn. With new vocalist Jesse Onur Oz leading the charge, his vocal approach comes across as a combination between former Angra vocalist Eduardo Falaschi and Timo Kotipelto of Stratovarius. The riffs and solos are tighter and the additional threads of speed metal are a welcomed insertion.

Though wonderfully produced, the four live tracks featured on ‘Power Metal Supreme’ that comprise most of the EP seem to suffer to a degree the same fate that every live track does: which is an inherent difficulty in displaying the songs being performed live to their full glory. This is not the fault of the EP itself, but is rather a problem in the production of live tracks in general.

While the merit behind releasing live tracks is often backed with good reason, due to the fluctuating nature of sound within venues, it can be difficult with live tracks to single out the various instruments used in the production (as would usually occur in a regular studio setting). Whilst this is where mixing and mastering is used to best effect, live tracks can become a muddle of noise at most points with certain instruments (here, the drums) drowning out vocals or others at points where they shouldn’t, or vice versa.

Taken from the ‘Stormrider Heavy Metal Festival’ in Perth this year, what can be said of ‘Power Metal Supreme’s’ four live tracks – “The Curse of the Black Rose”, “Masterplan”, “Silent Apparitions (In the Night)”, and “Evil Is Thy Name” – however is that they do manage to shine at unexpected moments, and perhaps most surprisingly, even outdo their studio counterparts at others, too. An example where this is the case is the solo on the live version of “Masterplan”, which, following its exaggerated cues and further melodic approach compared to its predecessor, sets the track on a more grandiose scale that is all too welcome when it comes to power metal music.

Rounding out ‘Power Metal Supreme’ is Silent Knight’s excellent cover of Helloween’s magnum opus, “Keeper of the Seven Keys”. Of the many wonderful power metal bands cropping up across Australia at the moment, Silent Knight in my mind feel the greatest choice to cover a song such as this. Not only can Helloween’s presence and influence already be felt strongly in Silent Knight’s music as it is, but Silent Knight possess a voracious attitude about them that seems all too befitting. They are hungry for the next step, the next piece of their ever-evolving puzzle; just as Helloween were when that band found their footing in the mid-to-late 80s. And hey, at certain angles, guitarist Stu McGill even looks a little like Kai Hansen, so that’s a bonus!

Whilst fairly uptempo compared to the original, this benefits Silent Knight greatly. Jesse does a wonderful job channeling the power of Michael Kiske, with the extra touch of symphony given to Silent Knight’s version serving to broaden the scope of the original and bring it to a new height that both pays tribute to the original, yet still feels distinctly like Silent Knight also. A real strength about this particular cover is the focus given to the guitars.  Due to the nature of Jesse’s vocal approach, the guitars – as they did on the original – run hand-in-hand with the vocals; adding another dimension to the music and story as it is playing out. Each of these two elements complement each other perfectly. Ultimately, this cover plays it safe by remaining quite faithful to the original, but in this instance, it isn’t soured either by a mediocre representation as you sometimes find with covers.

All in all, a neat little EP with a few unexpected gems hidden throughout!

Band: Silent Knight
EP: Power Metal Supreme
Genre: Power Metal
Label: Independent
Origin: Perth, WA

  1. Prisoner of Your World [from the forthcoming 2015 album]
  2. The Curse of the Black Rose [Live at Stormrider Festival 2014]
  3. Masterplan [Live at Stormrider Festival 2014]
  4. Silent Apparitions (In the Night) [Live at Stormrider Festival 2014]
  5. Evil Is Thy Name [Live at Stormrider Festival 2014]
  6. Keeper of the Seven Keys [Helloween cover]

 

About

Jonathon is an aspiring fantasy/sci-fi novelist and music journalist. Thanks to the influence of the music he grew up with, he has always possessed a keen interest in metal and rock. He is also a huge fan of mythology, legend, and folklore from all across the world. You should follow him on Twitter.