Age Of Silence - Complications: Trilogy Of Intricacy EP - The End Records 2005
Running Time: 16:03
Age Of Silence's debut release Acceleration set the metal world on its collective ear in 2004, being a twisted hybrid of avant-prog and the cold textures of black metal, albeit filtered through the hearts of Winds mastermind Andy Winter and Lazare (Borknagar, Solefald). In preparation for (hopefully) a new full-length in 2006, Age Of Silence returns to guide us on a shopping trip through a mall where "Hell opened a new wing".
Less tied to futuristic "fantasy" than was Acceleration, Complications... is more realistic in subject matter, and therefore a good bit more terrifying, when actually dissected and laid bare. I'll spare you the spoiler, and not go into the parable the lyrics provide for your listening pleasure (or displeasure, ultimately), but suffice it to say that neither the bears nor bulls on Wall Street will be too happy with Age Of Silence for letting out the proverbial Devil in the details. Musically, 'The Idea Of Independence, And The Reason Why It's Austere' is ominous in it's delivery. Imagine, if you will, a shopping mall, made of glittering glass and jewelled stone rising from the ash of your desires, offering everything you ever wanted for easy purchase. Lazare's lyrics still follow the same stream-of-consciousness as with Acceleration, floating this time over the imposing keys and quality riffwork by the rest of the band. To be honest, I was never much the fan of Hellhammer's drumming (sure, shoot me now) prior to his work in The Kovenant, but it's Age Of Silence that's singularly responsible for making me want to revisit his Mayhem output, and given me a new respect for his skill. Half of virtuosity is knowing when not to play, and the guitars of Extant and Kobbergaard are masters of the open spaces, unleashing both fluid leads and memorable riffs, held aloft by the impressive bass of Eikind (formerly of the much-underrated Khold). Metal is at this point in dire need of bands that spend as much care on their craft as Age Of Silence. Closing - literally - with 'Vouchers, Coupons, And The End Of A Shopping Session', the urgency of supply and demand colours this disc, and leaves the words "Thanks for visiting. Come again." knocking around in your head, never to be thought of in the same way again.
The prefect amalgam of Hawkwind, Alan Parsons Project, and the Devin Townsend Band. A great metal album at worst, and awe-inspiring at best. Unless I talk myself out of it due to the abbreviated length of this disc, look for Complications somewhere in my top releases of the year.