S * I
* L * V * E * R
Showcase Album for October 2002
1. Silver Dream Machines
2. Hand or Heart
4. Never Again
7. Far Below Zero
8. Loving You
9. Found Me Another
10. She Came
AOR Heaven 2002
|More Releases by
Silver - Silver (2001)
MSG - MSG [Barden] (1981)
MSG - Built to Destroy [Barden] (1984)
Ten - Babylon [Airey] (1999)
Gillian - Future Shock [Torme] (1981)
|If you just simply cannot get over
those opening words "Love me in silver...love me with angel's eyes...", then are
you ever in luck, because Silver is back and perhaps just a little better than before. The
self titled disc was so drop dead wonderful that it was nearly album of the year. Dark and
delighting AOR that took the road less traveled away from the generic sappiness that
plagues the genre, instead opting to jazz up the soundscape with cutting edge electronica
effects not widely used in metal settings thus far. Typical light strumming electric
guitar begone, its a whole new world in the land of Silver with axeslinging that roams on
the heavy side, suffocatingly crushing but always flying hand in hand with the easy going
nature of melody. With Gary Barden bounced out of temporary retirement, for an appearance
that is no less than stunning with his time weathered vocals and powerfully melodic
performances, the resulting product was a piece of pure musical bliss. "Silver"
was *the* groundbreaking disc of 2001, underrated by many, but outstanding nontheless, and
anyone that came in contact with its greatness eagerly anticipated the announced sequel.
Gary Barden (MSG, Praying Mantis), Michael Voss (Casanova, Mad Max), Don Airey (Rainbow, Whitesnake), Bernie Torme (Ozzy), good Lord is this a freakin' supergroup or what? Airey is the undisputed mastermind of the keyboards, Torme absolutely rips it on guitar with a satiny dark side that is instantly likeable, Voss the driving force of AOR underground gods Casanova, and Barden... his time with MSG led to some material that is now considered classic. Throw in Marco Minnemann on drums and you've got Silver, the *it* band of last year that came from nowhere and stunned us all.
A little over a year later, and "Dream Machines" is finally here, after a wait that was agonizing. Right off the bat, it can be said that "Dream" is everything the first disc was and more. Some parts are more tuned down while others are kicked up a notch. Unfortunately the stylistic decisions are sometimes not for the disc's benefit, the main beefs being the guitars which are not as aggressive and the strange yet wonderful sounds of electronica studio bits once used to such breathtaking effect and wild abundance are not so widespread or startling. The music is kept simpler this time which does admittedly detract from the novelty that is Silver. Personally I prefered all the warped strangeness and pounding rhythms that dazzled the senses, but even with them still fluttering in the background, yet in a more subdued form, the new album still impresses perhaps even as much as the old. For the songs are so well written that they are hard to ignore. Some extra fawned love could have been distributed amongst the eager subjects but even as they stand, the tunes are deceptively addictive and undeniably well composed. "Dream" flows more evenly than the debut with an overall better pacing. Every song might not knock your socks off like "Chains" does, but there's still plenty to like among the black sheep of the cd's ten track running family.
"Silver Dream Machines"
So is "Dream Machines" stacking up to the much loved debut disc? Yes and...no. Only a couple of songs come close to flirting with the greatness of the first half of that album. "Silver", "Pretender", "Sweet Sister", "Marianne", "Christine"... it was just top heavy packed. But the new material holds its own, believe me that. "Chains" has the stuff to be everlasting, as does "Hand Or Heart", "Forever", and "Far Below Zero". So all in all, you can say they have atleast equalled the first outing, with my main two beefs being: number one, their decisions to overkill the choruses. Silver will have this just superb chorus and then just destroy it by overdosing on it. After the twentieth go-round in a song, it begins to lose that magical luster it could retain if they restrained themselves and repeated it only half that. The other major problem is the lack of uptempo killers. "Hand Or Heart" is excellent yes, and their melacholy darker midtempo ditties are to die for, but we need more danceable tunage such as "Silver" and "Pretender". If they keep these two things in mind for next time, the third incarnation of Silver should be so honed to perfection it will blow our minds...