Moaning Silence – A Waltz Into Darkness

Moaning Silence is kind of an oxymoron, but also a pretty good hint at what a band such as this from Greece is going to hit their listeners with. “A Waltz Into Darkness” is their second full length album after five years, and the time gap between seems to have paid off. This 5 piece gothic doom group seem to have aimed more to go for the gothic route this time versus doom, sounding like the perfect hybrid of Draconian meets My Dying Bride for their fluidity of tone and vocal use. The production is crisp and clear so every instrument can be heard, though one thing that listeners might be surprised to hear is that the female vocals- which sound a lot like Lindsay Schoolcraft of Cradle Of Filth fame- seem to take the lead on the tracks, with the male vocals switching between harsh and clean moments and sounding more like a take towards Aaron Stainthorpe of My Dying Bride here and there across the album. Usually these are reversed in a lot of doom metal/gothic metal bands, so it is nice to see Moaning Silence go against the traditional grain to showcase the more melodic side of their music.

Tracks like ‘Rite Of Decay’ and ‘Songs For Winter’ are more your traditional doom/gothic metal structure. The guitars are heavy but not too distorted with the keyboards/ piano in the background. The drums tend to just plod along without much change in variation but there are other tracks where they are more prominent. The vocals are what really carry the music, be it the beautiful voice of Eleftheria contrasting the snarled or haunting spoken verses of Christos while they support the guitar and the bass by Antonis or the keyboards by Harry. The result is some of the better gothic metal performed these days as the group tries to show various aspects of the genre through their melodic passages. Then there are the more ‘spoken word’ tracks with ‘The Silence Of The Gods’ which feels more like a trade off narration while the music just swirls in the background.

Many tracks are very piano/keyboard heavy such as the title track or ‘Songs For Winter’ or ‘I Am The Sorrow.’ Here the guitars and heavier tones are cut back quite a lot and suddenly the drumming from Vaggelis sounds much clearer. On the other hand, those who enjoy the darker, thicker aspects of doom may be a little turned away from the more melancholic softer tone, but those who like the cleaner, dreary depressive sound of a group like Swallow The Sun might find this right up their alley. The title track of the album features almost all piano with no vocals and very limited guitar with a change in a more percussive drumming style that serves as a good interlude between the heavier tracks. The closing ‘The Light Of Alexandria’ is perhaps the one track that lets the male vocals take the lead versus the female vocals, but their tone is a little cleaner and clearer compared to other tracks, and it serves as a great finish to the album with the female vocals supporting it along with the thunderous drumming.

While Moaning Silence don’t really do anything new or revolutionary with the genre, their push to have the female vocals be more of a front instrument versus background does make “A Waltz Into Darkness” a rather unique album. It doesn’t crush like Draconian does who tend to really rely on thick guitar riffs to get the sorrow and depressive feel across, but the more subtle melancholic approach with the keyboards- especially going the organic, clean route versus the more electronic, funeral organ one- will make many fans of doom or gothic metal quite happy. Basically, take Draconian’s “Sovran” and mash it up with “Songs of Darkness, Words of Light” by My Dying Bride, and one gets the end result that is the impressive “A Waltz Into Darkness”. Highly recommended for those who like the juxtaposition of male and female vocals in metal but not quite in the traditional sense.

4.5 / 5 STARS 

Reviewer: Colin McNamara

Sep 30, 2020

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Moaning Silence – A Waltz Into Darkness

review Moaning Silence - A Waltz Into Darkness

1. Rite Of Decay
2. The Silence Of The Gods
3. Towards The Sun
4. A Waltz Into Darkness
5. Songs For Winter
6. Stormbirds
7. I Am The Sorrow
8. The Light Of Alexandria

4.5

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