Album Reviews

Silver Tears – Dirt Beyond Beauty

  • Review by: Vilasini Muralidhar

I’ve always known that there’s a lot of talent, and a lot of metal in the North Eastern regions of India, but apart from single songs on MySpace and a couple of rock albums by a handful of bands like Dark Horizon or Digital Suicide, I’ve never had the opportunity to get a holistic feel of a metal band from there, and unfortunately haven’t watched any of them live either. That probably was one of the reasons the Silver Tears album made me pretty darn curious, and I had to see what the band had to offer.

The EP ‘Dirt Beyond Beauty’ starts with the title track, which opens with a very slow melody, gradually progressing into being slightly heavier. The clean vocals kick in, and much to my surprise, sound exactly like the vocals on the Lucid Recess album, both in terms of pattern and character. The lead guitar makes its presence felt quite emphatically towards the latter half of the song, making quite a good first impression for the album.

“Euphonious Odyssey” has a grand rock opening, paving the way for a riff that is soon distracted by the yearning vocals and a keyboard that sounds strangely like a metronome. The chorus brings the song back on track, but the seconds could do with a little more tuning, and I mean this in the literal sense. The song has a great riff though, which keeps you hanging on till you’re suddenly caught in the middle of a jazz mess. Why I harshly say “mess” is because the jazz-influenced segment in the middle of the track doesn’t blend very well with the rest of it, and the abrupt stops and silences, which were probably meant to sound “jazzy” just don’t click. But the last minute and a half is steeped in a melodic duel of guitar and keyboard which I honestly hoped had continued, without it being made to fade out.

“Deep within” is a lighter track, instrumentally good, but whose singing bits can be brushed up a little. The jazz makes a re-entry here, but in a more subtle manner. What I noticed with this song was that just like the other tracks on the album, the first half was unsure and experimental, while the latter half is when it picks up and becomes the tune it was supposed to grow into right at the beginning. Maybe that’s how the guys wanted it to be, but for me, I’d like the impact to be made at the start itself, and not three or four minutes later.

The last track on the EP is “Drifter”, the song I distinctly remember from the sampler that was circulating before the album released. It’s shorter and crisper than the other songs, and wraps up ‘Dirt Beyond Beauty’ fairly well.

To sum up, the Silver Tears EP is not fantastic. It could’ve been, if the band hadn’t made a mash of multiple styles. They shine through in the rock/power metal portions, but the multiple genre mix only creates an ambiguity that in no sense translates to being “experimental”. The prog-feel doesn’t come through either, and in parts, the unconventional time signatures coupled with the pauses and the abrupt riffing aren’t sharp enough. Vocals could do with a lot more variation too.

But it is a debut EP, and I wouldn’t want to write the band off because of this one release. In fact, I hope they work on their strong points and come out with a follow-up that capitalizes on their classic heavy metal sound with a lot more screaming guitars and screaming vocals as well (the guy’s got great range by the way). ‘Dirt Beyond Beauty’ is a fair first release, and surely worth a download. But they can do a lot lot better, and hopefully, they’ll prove me right quite soon.