SILENT KNIGHT – The Angel Reborn
SILENT KNIGHT Line Up:
Jesse Onur Oz | Vocals
Stu McGill | Rhythm Guitar
Cameron Nicholas | Lead Guitar
Cameron Daw | Bass
2016 as a year was peppered with killer metal, and judging by the sheer quality of releases from bands such as Anthrax, Testament, Elm Street and Metallica, I’ve been wondering what 2017 could do to quench the unrelenting thirst for more. Drink up people, Silent Knight have served up a seven shot EP of metal goodness.
Formed in 2009, the West Australian power metal supremos have a small but impressive catalogue of releases, including two full length albums (‘Masterplan’, ‘Conquer & Command’) and this, their second EP ‘The Angel Reborn’ – though at just under 40 minutes this EP is almost in album territory. One thing for sure is you get plenty of bang for your buck, in both quantity and quality.
Kicking off in true power metal tradition with new single ‘When The Fallen Angel Flies’, it’s a big track in every way. Coming in at well over six minutes of galloping guitars and machine gun drums, the Perth natives once again show the rest of the world that they can do power metal as good as any traditional European band. Jesse Onur Oz’s vocals on this track take on a harsher edge than previously, but still soar well into the stratosphere of his register. Add to that more hyperactive shredding from Cameron Nicholas and this first release for 2017 hits all the right notes.
Acoustic treatments of metal songs have never really been this reviewer’s cup of bourbon – so many times it’s just a case of the band unplugging and playing the songs sans amplification. Not so with ‘The Ravens Return’. The noisy metalheads of Silent Knight have stripped the song right back, giving it an interesting and unique arrangement. Thundering drumsticks are replaced by delicate brush work and the nylon stringed guitar gives the song an almost flamenco feel. The sonic vocal powerhouse of Onur Oz shows rarely heard restrained side. For me this just works.
There endeth the unpluggedness, for the rest of the EP is full power metal played at a hundred miles an hour. With his trademark scream, Onur Oz kicks off the quartet of live tracks by launching into Conquer and Command’ followed immediately by ‘Empty Threat’. This is Silent Knight at their best, live and loud. ‘The Ravens Return’ is next, returning to all its electrified glory. ‘Power Metal Supreme’ rounds out the live portion of the EP. Live tracks can sometimes come off as just a bit of filler, but that’s not the case this time. The addition of the live tracks give those who don’t get a chance to see Silent Knight play on a semi-regular basis a taste of just how good these guys are IRL.
The final track on this EP was going to be the one to make or break it. There are really only two ways to do a cover song: either wrench it so far out of its comfort zone and place your individual stamp all over it thereby making it your own, or sticking so close to the original one could think it pretty much was the original version. Both ways are fraught with danger. With their take on Megadeth’s ‘Holy Wars … The Punishment Due, Silent Knight have done the latter. Shredding machines Cameron Nicholas and Stu McGill take on Marty Friedman’s and Dave Mustaine’s guitar work, recreating it almost note for note. The other Cameron (Daw) grabs Dave Ellefson’s driving basslines and more than does them justice. Not to be outdone, Jesse Onur Oz reaches deep inside himself, finds his inner Dave Mustaine and drags him out in all his snarling glory. This is as good as any cover you will hear, and full credit to the guys.
I’m giving The Angel Reborn 9 commanding performances out of 10
The Angel Reborn track listing:
- When The Fallen Angel Flies
- The Ravens Return (Acoustic)
- Conquer & Command (Live)
- Empty Threat (Live)
- The Ravens Return (Live)
- Power Metal Supreme (Live)
- Holy Wars… The Punishment Due (Megadeth cover)
Reviewed by Gareth Williams (@notgareth)
Check out the single When The Fallen Angel Flies below: