Grim Observations: The Silverblack – The Grand Turmoil (2015)

A project from Alessio NeroArgento (of the band NeroArgento) and vocalist Claudio Ravinale (he’s the harsh vocalist for Disarmonia Mundi) along with some other people that the press release didn’t think were important enough to mention, this surprisingly interesting industrial band reminds me of acts like Celldweller, MSI, Blood Stain Child and even a little bit of The Deathstars (one of the vocalists sounds just like their frontman, Whiplasher Bernadotte) which is definitely a good thing in my book. Nevertheless, it wasn’t an entirely fulfilling listen as you’ll discover in this observation. The record starts out with the unsettling dub-step meets Euro-trance mixed with djent that would be considered the title track (3:35) goes through the familiar rock/electronics of Celldweller on “Anymore” (3:16) which is catchy and sounds well enough until it becomes a bit of an annoyance. Then there’s the hardcore/electronica of “King Size Vandalism” (3:30) which almost goes into a punk-like amount of protest. “Retaliation” (4:17) however is the song that actually caught my attention, as it has that deep vocal crone ala Deathstars and feels very much like one of their early numbers. Oddly, it has a lighter vocal on the chorus, which seems to be a bit of a duet, but it seems to be a tad unmixed, leaving the section to not come off as prominent as it could be. It’s still a very strong song though and I’d consider it a major standout. They try this same Deathstars influence again with “Make It Worth The Grime” (3:01) even though I’ll add that it’s a bit brighter than anything we’d hear from the aforementioned, though it doesn’t really seem to go anywhere and gets lost completely in the chorus. Damn, and I wanted to like this one. Fortunately, “As Good As Dead” (3:06) seems to come off a little better and throws in a little bit of voice clips before the chorus really gets going. It actually sounds like there’s three vocalists on the duet here, one of them being the female who provides a powerful harmony and is most noticeable on the next track “Attic Hime” (2:59). It’s actually a bit upsetting that she’s not heard so much on the other tracks, but she’s not really considered a full member of the band either. In any case, her contribution is noted and it culminates into a fairly memorable piece. “Pyromanservant” (3:37) manages to hit middle ground with it’s mix of hard-edged rock, deep Deathstars style vocals and awkward screams which lead into a bit of chorus. It seems like it needs a bit of work though, personally. As we near closer to the end of the disc, we get into the more melodic death/electronic nature of “Great Expectations” (3:59) which throws in a few coreisms while coupled with a pretty decent chorus. “Might Get Worse Before It Gets Better” (3:19) seems to hit a little harder, but the vocals feel like a bit of a jumble. I like that they’re experimenting, it’s just very tough to discern on the vocal effort. The last piece here is “Fragmentary Blue” (2:52) which ends us out on an little bit of a somber note, with a female vocal chorus that sounds like it’s been chopped and screwed around. This is a definite experiment in any case, which sounds like an expectable end to what really is a science experiment in the realms of industrial. That’s not entirely a bad thing, as the disc still has several things that I find I like, and I got into “Retaliation” so much that I’m going to add it to my personal playlist. This sophomore effort from The Silverblack is certainly an obscurity that isn’t meant for everyone and more modern listeners would probably enjoy it a bit more than myself. Even so, it’s still worth a listen if you like modern industrial music and I’ve definitely played it more than a few times. It just has a very hard time sticking and seems to go in and out (with a few exceptions) which isn’t the best approach that you would want for your music. But everyone’s ears are different, so maybe it will stick a little better to your brain, than it did to mine.

(11 Tracks, 37:00)


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