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Tystnaden - "In Our Eye" (CD)

Tystnaden - "In Our Eye" CD cover image

"In Our Eye" track listing:

1. Nevermore (5:01)
2. Subterranean Gates (4:15)
3. Letters From Silent Heaven (3:58)
4. Fragile (3:33)
5. Born From A Wish (4:00)
6. Greed (5:00)
7. Infected (5:37)
8. Hate (4:04)
9. Wrong With All The Feelings (4:32)
10. Sweet Thief (4:20)

Reviewed by on October 6, 2010

"'…while I could stretch and say if you're a Lacuna Coil fan you might really dig 'In Our Eye,' chances are that Tystnaden won’t become your new favorite female-fronted metal band.'"

Female-fronted symphonic metal bands generally stick to the same formula – pretty, almost classical sounding female vocals, backup male growls, variations between orchestral instruments and thrash-inspired guitars, and at least one ballad on each release. While Italy's Swedish named band Tystnaden does stick to this formula, the end result leaves much to be desired when weighed against other bands in the genre. The rift becomes even more apparent when compared to other melodic death metal bands, which Tystnaden claims to be – Arch Enemy they are not.

Though Tystnaden isn’t a new band, the reason some are just now hearing about them is that for the first ten years or so they never issued a release in the US. They issued two demos and a full release in 2006 in their home country. "In Our Eye" changed that though, and while I could stretch and say if you're a Lacuna Coil fan you might really dig "In Our Eye," chances are that Tystnaden won't become your new favorite female-fronted metal band.

It's not that there's anything particularly wrong with Laura DeLuca's vocals. It’' just that in this genre especially she has a lot of competition. And while her voice solidly covers the alto range with little breathiness or off key notes, the lack of high-end soprano notes makes her performance seem disappointing. Still, tracks like "Fragile" are perfectly acceptable, hypnotic tunes that calm the senses. Unfortunately, it's followed up by "Born With A Wish," which may be the best track on the album, but literally assaults the senses after such a mellow predecessor. Heard separately, these opposing tracks are the best "In Our Eyes" has to offer. Side by side they don't quite work.

"Infected" is also a good track, with some nice symphonic elements offset by a chugging guitar. This song offers more of what the average symphonic fan like me seeks. The same can be said for the closing track, "Sweet Thief," though as closing tracks go it's relatively weak. Then again there's not any track that I'd call stellar.

Instrumentally I don't really have any complaints with "In Our Eye," though there's about a 30 second span in the intro of "Subterranean Gates" that has a synth in the background doing something that resembles a low-battery cell phone beeping. Fortunately the breakdown, with its nice little Mediterranean sound, almost makes you forget about the synths.

Tystnaden may have enjoyed fame in their homeland over the last several years, but when held up against the world market that has many high quality bands in this niche, Tystnaden doesn't quite measure up "in our eye."

Highs: Backup male growls provide the best vocals on this album.

Lows: DeLuca's vocals are lackluster, and the tracks have a tendency to be formulaic.

Bottom line: Tystnaden is just another European female-fronted symphonic act that doesn't offer anything new or exciting to the genre.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls

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)