Last year, Sylent Storm undoubtedly released one of the best traditional metal albums which far too many people haven’t checked out yet. Otherwise, The Fire Never Dies would have been included in a lot of »Best of 2020« lists. When I first looked at the cover artwork, I expected a kind of Judas Priest-like type of straightforward heavy metal. But Sylent Storm definitely have more to offer, their first full-length can’t be classified as one of a bunch of quite similar sounding NWOTHM records. Stylistically, the quartet from Medford, Oregon, can’t easily be categorized due to their extremely varied compositions.
It’s obvious that despite the fact that they recorded their debut album these musicians are definitely no greenhorns at all: Both the songwriting and the execution are really top-notch. The vocals have the potential to polarize because Jym Harris is no air raid siren or vigorously screaming frontman who is inevitably at the centre of attention. His performance is laid back, unobtrusive so to say, and constantly song-serving – I like his voice colour which is, in my opinion, somewhat unusual on a tradional metal record. Well, if you’re looking for bands with a unique feature, you should simply listen to Sylent Storm, they won’t disappoint you in this regard. Their mainly mid-paced song material stands out by numerous rhythm and tempo changes. You get nearly everything: Classic metal, hardrock and rock tunes, acoustic melancholic tracks (listen to »Sleeping in the Rain«!), solid well-placed instrumentals, but foremost a cornucopia of 80s vibes which really light up my day – every time I listen to compositions like »Wrath of the Blade«, »Eye of the Storm« or the potential monster hit »The Blood Moon«, three of many highlights. In other words: The Fire Never Dies never ever gets boring, there’s a lot to discover. The same goes for the guitar work on this record: Michael Ian Brisbane doesn’t act like a typical metal shredder, he provides memorable riffs and wonderful sounding leads which are the cherry on the cake. I suppose, you won’t be surprised when I tell you that the rhythm section – Mike Pugh (bass) and Rich Psonak (drums, meanwhile replaced by Ray Kilmon) – does a great job as well. By the way, I’m glad that the bass guitar is always audible – thumbs up for the mixing, there are many established top acts who should ask these Americans for advice on this matter.
In summary, Sylent Storm deserve much more attention. I’m quite sure that they will satisfy almost every fan who goes for traditional metal. Sometimes they remind me of NWOBHM outfits like Satan, but there are a lot of other major influences. Probably, you’ll need more than two or three spins in order to appreciate The Fire Never Dies in all regards. Well-crafted music like this must be celebrated at home, in peace, you must take time – and switch off your smartphone. An exciting journey awaits you…