Occasionally an album comes along that demands repeated listens, that as soon as it’s finished you must press that all important play button over and over again. “Silent Leges Inter Arma” is not one of those records.
Maybe it’s meant to sound like it was recorded in a tin can at the turn of 1990. Maybe the band is stuck in some kind of time loop and they’re all convinced they’re a significant part of the much-lauded second wave of black metal. Whatever the reasons that this mid-paced melodic black metal ever saw the light of day, one thing is for sure – it’s bloody awful. On a superficial level, Silent Leges Inter Arma have it all going on. They’ve got a cool logo, they like a bit of corpse paint, and they’re German – so far so good. But “Silent Leges Inter Arma” has very little going on beyond the surface of its black metal sound, expect maybe the odd sprinkling of death metal at the edges.
The drums sound tinny and weak and the flourishes often flare up with no warning and derail the entire track. ‘Falcon-Headed One’ might have been a good track if it wasn’t for the flattened sound of the drum and the weird little riff that keeps rearing its bizarre tone throughout. The production does the record absolutely no favours and ‘I Will Hunt You Down’ comes across as weak whereas it could possibly have been a catchy highlight of the album.
Songs don’t feel cohesive, and moments that should have force and power are left to fall to the wayside, the strength never quite making it through the muddy mix. Fast forward and the same problems keep coming up. There’s obvious passion here but Silent Leges Inter Arma have a long way to go before they can be considered in the same realm as their peers. If you can make it to the end, then you’re a better woman than I.