Finnish goth-metal outfit Silentium have come a long way since it was formed in 1995 from the remnants of death metal band Funeral. Band members have come and gone – most notably the original female lead vocalist Tiina Lehvonen who was replaced by Riina Rinkinen before their fourth release.
On this their fifth release, Amortean, these guys and girls serve up nine tracks of common and garden variety goth-metal in the vein of Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation, The Gathering and the like. Most of their compositions are quite good and manage to conjure up the kind of atmosphere that one is used to encountering when listening to this genre: dark, melancholy, dramatic and slightly theatrical.
The female vocals that play an important part in this kind of music are certainly Silentium’s biggest challenge – a definite weak spot. Rinkinen’s voice does have a certain gruffness to it that serve the music well at times, and in the quieter passages she manages a rather pleasing, velvety delivery. The heavier passages, however, do not serve her well – when she sings with power, it sounds overly dramatic and pompous, slightly off pitch and gets rather tiring and annoying after a few tracks.
Tracks like A Knife in the Back, The Fallen Ones (with a very good middle part) and My Broken Angel with its calm opening and catchy chorus all serve to showcase the best sides of this band. On the other hand, The Cradle of Nameless is just too much with its dramatic choir, violins and operatic passages. And taking into consideration the shortcomings of Mrs Rinkinen, it probably wasn’t a very good idea to have her sing unaccompanied through the opening of the final track, La Fin du Monde.
Amortean is not a poor album, but there are so many other bands out there doing same thing ... but better. If you're a fan of the genre, check out this album. If not, you might as well wait until Silentium finds another lead singer before you give them a try.