(The End) Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1 "Acceleration" is the debut album of this super-group/side-project. If you are familiar with Winds, you already know most of the key players on this project, including Andy Winter and Hellhammer. Other members are from By Pale Light, and in the forefront you have Borknagar's Lars Nedland (Lazare) on vocals. If it isn't already obvious what this collective of musical genius results in, then I shall tell you.
Age of Silence is the apotheosis of smart-metal. The musicianship is top-notch, cohesively concocting stunningly vibrant melodies that are as complex as they are addictive. Though structured with verses and such, odd time signatures are common and somehow not distracting. The guitarwork is melodic and slightly dark, usually mid-tempo and occassionally accoustic. The true character of each of the songs is mostly defined by the keyboards, which play with a variety of pianic to orchestral to other-worldly sounds, and are always exciting and atypical. The production is smooth and polished, and not a moment sounds harsh or ugly.
On vocals you can expect Lazare's signature clean folkish style, occassionaly growled, spoken, or chanted,, often dual-layered, and always mesmerizing. It's truly a perfect fit for this project, having as much eccentricity as the music. In fact, this record is worth getting just for the unorthodox lyrics, or, "literary manifestations" as they are so appropriately referred to. Most (possibly all) of the songs are structured around a story or concept. The words are sometimes straightforward, more often cryptic, but always compelling, provoking the listener to evaluate the meaning amidst its poetic obscurity.
Age of Silence's exploration of musical boundaries and concepts is stimulating and enthralling. There's an artful beauty about it that's unmatched, as it forces you to attend to each detail and complexity. This is a must-own for anyone who appreciates musicianship, originality, and brilliant darkness.