Silence In The Snow – Levitation Chamber

No metal band is complete without an inane photo shot. Usually, this features several hairy blokes standing in a quarry, forest, graveyard or branch of FarmFoods (Editor’s note: unless you are Morrissey). They will be tilting their heads at an angle, their useless arms hanging at the side like flaccid eels, or folded in a sort of passive-aggressive way. Their t-shirts will not be tucked in. They will all be staring at you like you’re in a carpet warehouse and they want you to pick a shagpile. Apparently, this makes you want to buy the album.

Californian goth metal band, Silence In The Snow, slightly subvert this formula. Firstly, there are only two of them. And one of them is a woman. Most radical of all, they pose in front of pretty and bijou scenes, like covered bridges or pyramid themed crypts, or even salt flats. Don’t worry, though! The male guitarist is always standing on the left, his arms are still floppy. Like their new album, Levitation Chamber (Prophecy Productions), it’s not too much of a departure. More’s the pity.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with sounding a bit like Siouxsie & The Banshees or peddling that style of lyrics. Everyone’s got a copy of Tinderbox (Polydor) stashed in the lower depths of their porn sheds, and we’re not going to judge you. Instead, let’s dwell on the strong, almost military-style drumming, the deft electronics, and the heavy, imposing bass sound.

Time and again, we are presented with a slow, almost funereal pace that, nonetheless, has a certain hypnotic catchiness. This alternates with the odd rise in tempo from time to time, with little issue. The high treble riffs are both inevitable, given the genre, but well done too. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, like those band photos, it’s all a bit too formulaic. The band channels goth metal and rock, but to the point that it sounds a little too predictable. Worst still, the formula is too limited. The album runs out of things to say quite early on but still keeps trying to say them. Soon enough, it all sounds a bit bland, as a familiar formula once again leads to a familiar song.

In summary, while what’s there is, at times, either good or a reasonable pastiche of other bands, there isn’t much of anything else. At least there’s a nice view, I guess.

6 / 10

ALEXANDER HAY