It seems in recent times there has been a wave of strong and promising young UK hardcore/metal bands erupting on to the scene, bands like Envy The Fallen, Wolves, and Amongst Carrion to name three. Each one seeming to have a vibrancy of youth alongside an invention of ideas to their song writing skills which makes them stand out from the pack as something exciting. To this increasing list you can add Derbyshire based band With Silent Eyes. The band though not exactly newcomers to metal has worked with a determination and dedication to evolve into a formidable and very promising outfit, the evidence coming in the shape of their attention grabbing album “A Flood Upon Us”.
Formed in 2005, the band has moved through numerous changes in line-up and name to find themselves now at their strongest and most creative yet, the band all the time progressing and improving. The new release is the debut album from With Silent Eyes, following on from their self titled debut EP and its successor “The Calm” EP in 2010. That release drew a focus upon them as a band to keep an eye on and now with the album “A Flood Upon Us,” they have definitely moved into watch very closely territory. The release still shows a band working hard to find their full potential but also suggests they are only a few steps away from that target, the songs within it noticeably well crafted and impacting.
From the opening virtual instrumental ‘Floods’, with only sampled voices accompanying the inventive expressive music the band easily pull all attention their way. The piece leads one into the release with menace channelling riffs and an acute melodic beckoning offering a welcome yet ominous feel. The track evolves into ‘The Clearing’ and the band’s manipulation of the senses truly begins. The guitars of Matt Johnson and Sam Spering strip the ear’s flesh with scything determined strokes and acidic piercing stabs whilst drummer Dan Whitfield takes a stranglehold with rhythms that are formidable and demanding without using brutality. Vocalist Joe Lau growls and spews his words with spite dripping from every syllable, whilst the bass of Ben White prowls throughout, lurking as a heavy presence from within the song’s shadows.
The band is a tight and disciplined unit, the remaining songs like the excellent ‘To The Depths’ are lean and mean with no excess to get in the way of the incisive and intense invention at play. On this track the band shuffle their pack, treating the senses to persistent and wearing riffs, unpredictable pace switches, and intriguing offshoots of guitar which at first wrong foot before nestling perfectly within the mass of the constant bruising going on.
Another emotive melodic display opens up ‘Storms’ and again the band show they have a confidence and skill in all aspects of good songwriting. The short song erupts into a tempestuous yet controlled representation of the track name, the vocals barracking the listener sternly over the less demanding music.
The remainder of the release is just as well thought out and presented with the crunching ‘Acceptance’ and the closing ‘Tides’ further notable moments on what is a fine release from a definite upcoming force if they continue to progress their mighty sound. The last of these two songs includes clean vocals for the only time on the release and though they probably do not work quite as well as they might have it is an avenue the band should also explore, the song an engaging and satisfying testing treat for the ear.
With Silent Eyes still have a way to go to make a indelible mark on UK metal but “A Flood Upon Us” suggests it is coming and maybe sooner than later.