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Silvercast - Chaos engines 4/5

Reviewed: 3-1-13


1. The steps of perfect silence
2. Mechanical heart
3. In the maze
4. The name of chaos
5. Alexandrite
6. Glass flowers
7. Untitled
8. Old tune for the flute
9. In our core
10. Prayer
11. Echo of salvation
12. Last flight

Silvercast is a melodic power metal band from Russian and this is their debut CD. With a few exceptions, the songs are busy, bombastic and percussive, with an emphasis on rocking power metal or traditional metal rhythms and riffs, with the melodies being provided by the vocals. Nearly every song features an extended instrumental, usually a heavy, crunchy guitar-driven often lightly progressive interlude; these give ‘Chaos engines’ a nice sense of variety and diversity throughout. Some songs include symphonic or acoustic keys but these are usually just for atmosphere. There are a couple of very pretty acoustic instrumentals as well, featuring a prominent flute.

Although there are sparse backing death vocals in a few songs, the vocals are predominantly female, courtesy of Veronica "Alternica" Moguilev-Volskaya. She has a festive yet earnest alto style with poppy touches, very similar to Ksenia Markevich of the Russian folk metal band Kalevala. As mentioned before, Veronica provides nearly all the melody over and against the rocking bombast of the rhythmic arrangements; her melodies are interesting and engaging although there are very few conventionally catchy choruses. A little more than half of the songs are sung in English, and rest are sung in Russian (which have been translated).

Rather than pursuing the well-known and well-worn power metal traditions of Epica, Nightwish or After Forever, Silvercast seem to be following what appears to me to be a burgeoning new French tradition of extremely percussive gothic metal overlaid with interesting to quite ambitious female vocal melodies. The top bands in this genre that I know of are Whyzdom, Elyose, Kells and Eths, though Kells and Eths are often closer to nu-metal than gothic metal in their song structures and musical approach. Silvercast provide a dynamic power metal take on this new tradition while avoiding an overly ambitious female vocal performance. If you are a fan of this intriguing new style of female vocal metal then ‘Chaos engines’ is an essential CD.




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