CD Reviews

Embassy Of Silence - 'Antler Velvet' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 17, 2012    
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A high quality female fronted metal record.

Embassy Of Silence is a Finnish gothic/atmospheric metal band whose origins lie in 2007 when Ines Lukkanen appeared as a guest with Tero Kalliomaki’s band Saattue. Following years of writing and putting together a demo and EP they released their debut album ‘Euphorialight’ in 2010. The band has gone through some line up changes since then but have now returned with their follow up ‘Antler Velvet’.

This is one that’s a little different from those generally found in the female fronted genre. ‘Trickster Queen’ has a huge gothic riff chugging away before the vocals arrive where the guitar takes a more melodic direction. Lukkanen’s vocals have a soft echoed effect which floats nicely with the soaring fret work.The thundering opening progression returns to form the core of the chorus. ‘The Gemini Ascendant’ is a mixed velocity track with soft wails from Lukkanen and chiming notes giving way to another colossal twin composition from the axe men. If you want atmospheric there is ‘Harbour Of Narton’ which is also the only song to include male vocals.

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Waves crash and the thunder rolls as reverb rings out from the guitar. Things build by the minute as the rest of the band joins in with the storm increases in ferocity up to the gothic climax. But from the first listen one song sticks in the mind and that is ‘Unconverted’. This full power track is an absolute ripper. It has a bit of a harsh opening with vocals using a voice box in verse one but this quickly flows into the most fantastically infectious and groovy chorus. The punchy lyrics are much cleaner except for a bit of an echo and the riff roaring out of the two six strings just begs to be moshed to! This bombastic beast is one that will run riot round your head for days.

Despite its intensity and alternative slants, this is an enjoyable and interesting album. It’s beautifully crafted as well as expertly performed. But due to its experimental components it is guaranteed to polarise opinion. Some will find it a rich album full of varying compositions but others may find it too noisy and straying too far from established sounds. Whichever camp you fall into this takes plenty of spins to fully appreciate everything. It’s tough to offer a genuine comparison given they include so many influences but at a push think Midnattsol meets The Man Eating Tree. Lukkanen isn’t the strongest vocalist in the female fronted fraternity but she makes expert use of her talents with some expressive singing. Tero Kallimaki and Jarno Suodenjoki create a constant maelstrom of sound throughout and these two can seriously play. The production is highly polished adding to the classy texture of the music. Overall this is a high quality female fronted metal record but it will not be everyone’s taste. If you find joy in unusual journeys, grab this by the horns and see if this Finnish groove is to your liking.

Dave Scott

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