Deafening Silence - Backlash 3.5/5

Reviewed: 3-28-08


1. Dawn of the deaf
2. The straight line
3. Hellbitch
4. Too young to die
5. Backlash
6. The seal of the damned
7. Judgement day
8. When will the black day end
9. Nothing remains
10. Groundbreaker
11. Metallic meltdown
12. Promised land

While French band Deafening Silence may be unfamiliar to many of you, they're very familiar to me, as I reviewed their debut 'Edge of life' back in 2005. Although the debut was predictable, unoriginal, and could possibly be labeled a Hammerfall clone, it's a fun and enjoyable CD that I still listen to on occasion.

'Backlash' is the band's 2nd CD, and it's also in the heavy/power metal style of Hammerfall, so new bands like Halor and Hellowed should also be mentioned. Deafening Silence has a traditional metal side to them though, and other band comparisons would be Made of Iron, Wolf, Twisted Tower Dire, Iron Fire, Running Wild, Destillery, Gods of Fire, and the list could surely go on and on.

The band has gone through numerous line-up changes since the debut though, and most notable is that vocalist Nicolas Griette has replaced Julien Milbach. While Julien had a typical, smooth and fairly high-pitched voice, Nicolas has a stronger and more unique voice. They're both solid vocalists, but I personally prefer Julien (from the debut), though this is certainly a matter of taste and many of you will find Nicolas to be better.

One of things I noticed right away with 'Backlash' is that it has a stronger production than 'Edge of life' does. The guitars are a bit heavier, the sound is clearer, and although it's not a major difference, it is something worth mentioning. I also think the band has more of their own identity now, and while they're easily comparable to the bands already mentioned, they don't sound as close to a clone as they did on the debut.

The one obvious thing that the band has kept similar between 'Edge of life' and 'Backlash' is consistency. Even though the debut has a few average songs, most are at least good, if not great, and the same applies with this 2nd CD. There aren't any truly spectacular songs on 'Backlash' unfortunately, but this is a more than solid CD and fans of the many mentioned bands should be pleased. I personally have found the guitar work, both regarding rhythm/lead guitar and the many creative solos, to be my favorite aspect. With 2 terrific guitarists (Guillaume Corsale and Michael Magagna), and the CD being keyboard free, it's no wonder why this aspect has stood out the most.

In the end, 'Backlash' is a CD that shares a few similarities with 'Edge of life', but there are differences too, and becuase of the numerous line-up changes, it's almost like the band is starting over. Regardless, both of the band's CDs are recommended to fans of heavy/power metal with a traditional side, and for a direct quality comparison for 'Backlash', I would place it at the level of the Halor debut 'Welcome to hell'.




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