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Silent Memorial - Retrospective 4/5

Reviewed: 8-7-09


1. Human mind
2. Differences
3. Fear
4. Retrospective
5. The darkest hour
6. TV world
7. Lost

Silent Memorial is a melodic/progressive metal band from Switzerland and they released their debut 'Cosmic handball' 10 years ago (1999). I should mention that while that CD is now out of print and very hard to find, it's going to be re-released by Limb Music Products and will certainly be much easier to grab. 'Retrospective' is their 2nd (also released by Limb Music Products), so nothing has filled the gap of the last decade.

As for the band, 2 of the members of 10 years ago are still part of the band today, and they are guitarist Chris Baertschi and keyboardist Chris Haenggi. Diego Rapacchietti is the new drummer (replacing Jurg Friedli) and Mike Andersson is the new vocalist (replacing Thomas Vikstrom, of Candlemass and Stormwind fame). Diego is also the drummer for the band Venturia, and Mike is of course also the vocalist of the all-star band Planet Alliance and the spectacular band Cloudscape (currently one of my favorite bands). Unlike with their debut, Silent Memorial has grabbed a bassist for 'Retrospective' (Sugar Burns).

What we get with this CD is some crunchy melodic/progressive metal not too far from Cloudscape, though I will mention right away that Silent Memorial is more of a progressive metal band and Cloudscape is more of a melodic metal band. However, as far as heaviness, I think they're equal, and they also both contain some light symphonic highlights. Actually, it's nearly impossible to listen to this CD and not think of Cloudscape, which is definitely a good thing. I'm also reminded of Evergrey at times, so fans of that popular band should show some interest in this too.

The CD only has 7 songs, but track 4 "Retrospective" (with 6 parts) is over 22 minutes, so the CD is actually 54 minutes long, which is a perfect length for a CD (at least for me personally). The 22-minute song has a great beginning, but I must admit that it does drag a bit for me in the middle, as there is nearly 10 minutes of music only. It really comes together at the end when the vocals return though, and the song as a whole is a success. Besides that song, the remainder are all catchy and all of high quality. I can't pick a favorite, but that's only because I like them all.

So what we have is an excellent CD that's highly recommended to fans of melodic/progressive metal, and especially fans of Cloudscape and/or Mike Andersson's fantastic vocals. It's always great to see forgotten bands jump back into releasing CDs, and in this case, I think the band has surely made the right decision.




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