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Serenity's End - "Silence In Grey" (CD/EP)

Serenity's End - "Silence In Grey" CD/EP cover image

"Silence In Grey" track listing:

1. Failure's Crown
2. In Remembrance & Denial
3. Silence In Grey
4. Closure

Reviewed by on September 27, 2010

"Musically 'Silence In Grey' is fantastic and will appeal to a wide range of different people, but it’s hard not to take into account the several significant audio problems that especially hurt the first and last tracks."

Being a musician and dedicating your entire life to the art of depression and bleak realities must be a tough gig. It must be even harder to create such dark atmospheres and have enough passion and drive to do it well. Serenity’s End is a collective that combines influences from the gothic, doom, death, and progressive metal genres to create the foreboding anthems of despair and loss. Serenity’s End brings together the band’s strongest collection of dark compositions in the form of “Silence In Grey.” An album which musically is as strong as any from the genre's better known acts.

The appropriately titled “Failure’s Crown” gets things started with a soft and haunting intro. An intro that effectively creates a vibe that sticks with the entire EP. Soon after, the distorted guitars burst through and make themselves known. The song is effective at building a sorrowful mood and uses the tone of the instruments as a foundation. The singing from vocalist/guitarist Juha Simola is fantastic throughout the disc, but is especially strong during the chorus in “Failure’s Crown,” something the band utilizes perfectly. With the addition of subtle keyboard work in the background it brings to mind bands like Katatonia and My Dying Bride.

“In Remembrance & Denial” puts a stronger focus on the influence of pianos and melodic guitar work, while still maintaining a strong vocal presence. One weakness that hurts the overall impact of the EP is the variances in volume between the clean sections and the heavier moments. The first track suffers from this issue as well but it becomes more apparent with this track. Ironically it’s the heavier sections that could use a significant boost in volume while the soft passages are crisp, clear, and brilliant. The chorus is not as strong as the previous track but regardless, the song is well written and is a great progressive metal track.

The title track is a phenomenal song that combines the musical elements that craft the Serenity’s End sound so well. The heaviest track on the EP has a more drawn out growled vocal section that fits perfectly into the Dream Theater/Opeth hybrid feel of the song. The growls themselves sound mysteriously similar to that of Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt. Either way, this song is a great listen. Another strong chorus accents the main riff of the song as the vocal work is consistent and much better than what some of the genre’s other front men offer up. A sudden and short piano solo pops up near the end of the track and adds to the magic of the song.

The EP ends with “Closure.” A damnation-esque ballad with a more distorted approach added in between the picking movements of the verses. The longest song on the disc features yet another great chorus and the quality of the singing seems even better on this track. The placement of piano and synths into the background noise add a nice, cold atmosphere to the darkness of the song, but yet again there are still some audio problems affecting the track in a negative way. Besides the sparse moments of volume wavering, the song is again very strong and the seven minutes go by very quickly.

Musically “Silence In Grey” is fantastic and will appeal to a wide range of different people, but it’s hard not to take into account the several significant audio problems that especially hurt the first and last tracks. With a more consistent production quality and more focus put towards the band’s orchestral compositions and heavier side, Serenity’s End has the potential to release a top tier album. Regardless of the volume issues, “Silence In Grey” is an EP that features four strong tracks that fans of different genres from Gothic to progressive will enjoy.

Highs: Masters of conveying sadness through well written songs.

Lows: Volume tends to increase and decrease randomly a few times during the EP.

Bottom line: A prog-goth EP with strong song writing that brings out the darkness within.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)