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Silentrain - Wrong way to salvation 4/5

Reviewed: 2-6-09


1. Until you break
2. No more
3. Fear of the unknown
4. Broken
5. Ride with the Devil
6. Eternity
7. Sick of
8. Wrong way to salvation
9. Slayer
10. With pain and sorrow
11. The road to destiny

From out of Finland comes an interesting metal band called Silentrain. Previously known as The Sanitarium when the band was formed back in 1999, they changed their name to Dunces before releasing any material. As Dunces, they released 2 traditional heavy metal CD’s; ‘Waiting for’ in 2001, and ‘Kingdom of darkness’ in 2003. The 2nd name change to Silentrain was in 2008.

In September of 2008, the band released their first CD since the name change, entitled ‘Wrong way to salvation’. Now, what’s so interesting about this band is their chameleon musical style. Silentrain really cannot be put into any single genre as they have adapted a style which ranges from gothic metal, to melodic metal and to power metal; and a few others in between.

It is not everyday that you come across a metal band with such a vast array of styles, and they play each style as good as any other. Eliminating the old saying “same old thing”, Silentrain captures your interest; but more importantly, keeps your interest the whole way through. Trying to find similarities from other bands was somewhat difficult, but a few times I could hear similarities ranging from Brainstorm (with the melodic power metal songs) to Charon (gothic metal songs).

The biggest factor throughout the CD is that every track bar one is primarily guitar and keyboard driven. The songwriting would suggest that the vocals, drums and bass are secondary elements after the driving force of the guitars and keyboards. Vocalist/guitarist Marko Kamarainen is a decent singer, whose vocals are perfect for a gothic metal band. Kamarainen has plenty of range and emotion; but can also be a tad inconsistent with his strength of delivery. As a guitarist, he and Juha Lehtinen are great. There are many chunky riffs, melodic hooks, solos, a touch of groove and even a tiny smidgen of thrash within the CD.

During the slower gothic metal tracks, the keyboards and bass take center stage, emphasizing the style they are creating. Overall, ‘Wrong way to salvation’ has a nice blend of double-bass fast tracks whether it be melodic metal or power metal, to mid-paced traditional metal tracks and the gothic sounding slow to mid-paced tracks. Rounding off the CD is an emotional keyboard/acoustic ballad, which really completes what has been a smorgasbord of metal genres.

Although every track on ‘Wrong way to salvation’ is great, and I’d love to plug them all; there are 4 exceptionally great tracks worthy to be mentioned in this review. They include “No more”, “Fear of the unknown”, “Wrong way to salvation” and “Until you break”.

“No more” is the first of 2 gothic metal tracks, and one of the best tracks on the CD. With deep bass and guitars, Marko Kamarainen delivers a memorable emotional performance on par with the beautiful melodies coming from the keyboards. “Fear of the unknown” is a melodic metal track with excellent riffs throughout and a catchy chorus. Once again the addition of the keyboards and heavy bass completes this song.

“Wrong way to salvation” is a mix of melodic metal crossed with gothic metal. Starting out gentle and somber, the chunky guitar riffs soon take over and the song takes off. Another top chorus ensures that this track kicks ass. Finally, the CD opener “Until you break” starts things out with a bang. With a fast tempo and sounding like melodic power metal, the fast guitars and bombastic drumming really makes this track stand out.

Overall, I am quite impressed with the enormous variety Silentrain has done musically on this release; and it certainly makes for an entertaining listening experience. Being a fan of all those genres mentioned throughout this review, I couldn’t ask for anything more, except for the fact that the CD only went for 42 minutes, which is a tad short for a full-length release. That being said, ‘Wrong way to salvation’ is definitely recommended to any melodic, gothic and power metal fan.




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