Without looking it up, my first thought was that Within Silence was likely a Swedish band given the strength of the performances and overall style but after looking around, it appears they are actually from Kosice, Slovakia. Their first album in 2015 was released on Ulterium records and Gallery of Life was strong enough to get them slots in festivals across Europe and as support for Theocracy. For Return from the Shadows, the band had used some well known talent to the power metal scene with Roland Grapow (Masterplan, Helloween) for mixing and mastering and artwork from Jan Yrlund (Delain, Apocalyptica, Korpiklaani).
Sometimes the opening song can not only make or break an album but also allows the listener to know whether or not the rest of the album will be worthy of a listen. Such is the case with Return from the Shadows. “We are the Ones” just explodes into a driving rhythm with some good layered guitar over the top and quickly gets into the verse section showcasing Martin Klein’s smooth, somewhat dark vocals. Fast, European power metal with a driving low end, cool riffs and vocals that alternate from quieter to soaring, channeling aspects of Bruce Dickinson at times. Add in some guitar solos that fit well within the structure of the song and the album is off to a great start. At this point, it is very clear this album was very well done both in production and performances and songwriting…and that’s after the first song.
The album’s first video “Heroes Must Return” slows things down a bit and makes use of a solid drum beat to carry much of the verse sections and then some great gang vocals to signal transitions within the song. The sense of melody plays well with the metal riffs and again both the lead and backing vocals simply are prime examples for the genre. In both “Heroes Must Remain” and “Children of the Light” what I really appreciate is the rhythm guitar parts within the song as those are some catchy riffs and really jumped out to my ears.
“Calling from the Darkness” has one of the heavier opening riffs and is a song that reminds me a bit of Iron Maiden at times. Martin Klein’s voice does share some tones and inflections similar to Bruce Dickinson’s but largely is unique in its own right. The song itself is very catchy and I think I even hear some older Dokken-like chorus vocal parts. The songs “The Final Victory”, “You and I”, and “Master” all travel along the same general path as the previously described songs on the album and are simply great metal songs.
For an album that is near 60 minutes in length with only nine songs, one does expect a certain amount of longer songs, but Within Silence has managed to change that up a bit with the songs “In the Darkness” and “Return from the Shadows” together being close to 30 minutes. Strategically placed at the middle and end of the album, these two songs do help to break up the melodic power metal that can make it difficult to tell songs apart even when they are very well done. “In the Darkness” starts with a lone guitar playing a slower, sorrowful riff before the rest of the band comes in and then the speed picks up a bit and Viktor Varga on bass and Peter Gacik on drums really contribute a solid backing section driving things along. Some choir-like vocals come in before everything breaks down and clean guitars accompany Martin Klein’s vocals that have a bit of a Steve Perry (Journey) characteristic to them. Given that the song is over 17 minute long, one would expect many transitions and this is definitely the case but they are done in such a way that they flow smoothly and the group vocals that are almost choir-like add some good variety. Guitar solos seem to have a bit more edge and grit to them in this song compared to the others. “Return from the Shadows” starts out in a completely opposite manner , with clean guitars and subdued bass that serves only to complement Klein’s vocals. The general peace doesn’t last long and the distortion and galloping riffs from the guitars soon come in. The brighter tone of the group vocals conveys a sense of triumph in this song and others on the album, contrasting nicely with the power in the riffs.
From the first few seconds of Return from the Shadows, Within Silence pull out all the stops in a blazing collection of power metal tracks. Fortunately for the listener, the band also branches out in some longer tracks bringing in some symphonic and orchestral elements that serve to keep the listener interested.
Written by John Jackson
01. We Are The Ones
02. Heroes Must Return
03. Children Of Light
04. Calling From The Other Side
05. In the Darkness
06. The Final Victory
07. You & I
09. Return From The Shadows
Martin Cico – Rhythm guitars
Martin Klein – Vocals
Richard Germanus – Guitars
Viktor Varga – Bass
Peter Gacik – Drums
“Gallery of Life” (2015) review
Record Label: Ulterium Records, Oct. 2017
Nov 03: Brainstorm Festival – Apeldoorn, NL
Mar 24: Lindenkeller [with Brainstorm & Signum Regis] – Freising, DE
Video for ‘Heroes Must Return’