Band – The Silver
Album – Ward of Roses
Country of Origin – USA
Genre – Experimental Black Metal
Release Date – October 15th, 2021
Label – Gilead Media
Author – Serena
Gilead Media consistently puts out things I am excited to write about and share my thoughts on. This time around, the debut of noisey black metal band The Silver has captured my attention. Their release Ward of Roses is a “haunting tableau of human frailty, a romantic and visceral exploration of the dark recesses of the soul,” as lovingly reported by the Gilead Media Bandcamp page.
Crackly chords pop out within seconds of this record playing – our introduction to the album, “…First Utterance,” flows out to a thinly distorted guitar that then wavers and falls into “Fallow.” An evil sounding repetition begins to build up until the first aching screams push upward into the mix. Several minutes in, clean vocals unexpectedly float in with perfected drama, sending its compliments to the rich distortion that circles around it, singing, “We’ll wear the crown of thorns.” Harsh vocals are brought back to the forefront as the song rushes toward its conclusion. “Breathe” starts with whispery shreds of vocals. A more potent clean singing slithers through pained yelps as the track gets its footing and sets itself into a much more explosive sound. The back and forth between two very different voices works all too well atop a shared heaviness. “Vapor” gets going as a slow, swaggering crawl forward with layered monotone vocals that seem to sound from far away. Harsh, gargled vocals break through as a thickly heavy string rings outs, and then thunderous applause of drums propel that tortured voice into overdrive. The bass on this track when thrumming beneath the clean vocals adds a musical lift to all the sorrow present in this piece. “Gatekeeper” cranks open with a slithering bassline and a crunchy, sharpened riff. The clean vocal delivery on this track often gives me hints of Carl McCoy from Fields of the Nephilim – deeply and darkly smooth. Oh, so goth. The clean transitions effortlessly into the harsh, and drums and guitars rupture into booming rumbles. Track six, “Behold, Five Judges,” starts with a thumping beat paired with skittering riffage that quickly dissolve into a bass-heavy passage. From the chaotic blending of sounds, a retching “…Like a kiss from the lips of death…” screeches out. The final minute of the track is a round of grungy oh’s. I can’t get enough of the riff that plays out near the end – it sounds like dragging your feet across the floor.
The titular track, “Ward of Roses,” begins with richly graphic words pieced together as the instrumentals come through in these heaving waves. Between the phenomenal vocals and the killer instrumentation, this track is almost too much to bear, and I truly cannot find the right words to explain how much I adore it. Final track, “Then Silence…,” starts with twinkling notes and a chunky bass tone that lift this track up just a bit. A howl of a voice screams out after the first set of lyrics are sung: “Take me home, Heaven knows, silence grows.” The album comes to its close with such an intensely powerful track. I would recommend anyone interested in this album to look up the lyrics.
Ward of Roses wraps so many different things neatly into its palm, and it maintains its level of interest and intrigue from front to back with how well all of these different elements mix together. The vocal performances from both singers are utterly superb, and the instrumental performances are so damn tight. The riffs, the bass tone, the frighteningly powerful drums – Ward of Roses rules. I am certainly heading into the new year with this album on repeat.