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Silent Voices

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Silent Voices is a rather ironic name for the Finnish band profiled here; truth be told, their music is far from quiet, subtle, or understated. Aggression and forcefulness -- not silence or reserve -- are among the main ingredients of Silent Voices, who are part of the power metal revival movement that has enjoyed an enthusiastic cult following in Western Europe in the '90s and 2000s. Silent Voices thrive on the hard and the heavy, which isn't to say that they favor noise for the sake of noise or brutality for the sake of brutality (as is often the case in metalcore, death metal/black metal and grindcore). For all their loudness, Silent Voices are actually quite melodic and musical -- certainly in the way that headbangers like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Ronnie James Dio were melodic and musical back in the '70s and '80s. And Silent Voices, like other European power metal revival acts that emerged in the '90s, are a stylistic throwback to metal's pre-'90s, pre-Nevermind era; they are retro and totally unapologetic about it. But while power metal is Silent Voices' primary direction, the Scandinavians have also been influenced by '80s thrash metal as well as progressive rock -- and they bring an interesting variety of influences to the table. Silent Voices have been greatly influenced by Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Queensrÿche -- bands that are considered essential listening in the power metal revival movement -- but they have also been affected by Rush, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and Kansas on the progressive rock side and Metallica, Megadeth, and Venom on the thrash side. (Some metal historians have argued that if Motörhead were the first thrash metal/speed metal band, Venom were the second.) Like the vast majority of Scandinavian metal bands, Silent Voices have opted to write in English exclusively despite coming from a country in which English is not the primary or official language. Silent Voices was formed in Kokkola, Finland in 1995, when guitarist Timo Kauppinen and bassist Pasi Kauppinen formed an alliance with keyboardist Henrik Klingenberg and drummer Jukka-Pekka Koivisto; a few years later (after Silent Voices had recorded and circulated some demos), Michael Henneken was hired as the band's full-time lead vocalist. Silent Voices' first official release after Henneken's arrival was an EP titled Memory and the Frame, which they recorded in 1998 and released themselves. The next thing they put out was the single "You Got It/Human Cradle Grave," which Low Frequency Records (a Finnish metal label based in Vantaa) ended up being included on a few compilations. In 2001, Silent Voices signed with Low Frequency, which has a licensing deal with the Phoenix, AZ-based Crash Music and released the band's first full-length album, Chapters of Tragedy, in 2002. The following year, Silent Voices recorded their second full-length album, Infernal, in Helsinki; the album was released by Low Frequency in Europe in June 2004 before being released by Crash Music in the United States in September 2004. ~ Alex Henderson

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