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Silver Tears: Dirt Beyond Beauty

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

For those not in the know, Silver Tears is a Prog-metal outfit from Guwahati. Dirt Beyond Beauty is the band’s debut E.p, which they’re presently giving away free. If you ever need an instance of how rather sub-par vocals can disrupt an album then I recommend you put this one on your download list. It is a point I’ve seen raised in many facebook/orkut forums, and I cannot help but agree.

Agreed, vocalist Johny Karan Marak isn’t in possession of the nastiest pipes ever, and his style does fit a track or two, but for the most parts they spoil what is otherwise a rather extremely solid album. If you like stuff like Dream Theater, Textures and Symphony X then you’ll surely value what these guys are doing on “Dirt Beyond Beauty”, as the album rocks and thrashes along the same progressive/experimental vein, with crunchy, groovy riffs and shrewd drum beats fitting in nicely to bring to mind albums like “Silhouettes” and “Divine wings of tragedy”. It’s an extremely guitar-oriented album, something the throbbing production job also clearly highlights. Duo Ishan Das and Brittanta Das Mahanta churn out some wicked grooves when need be (“Drifter”) and are also not above hammering away wildly in numbers like “Euphonious Odyssey” and “Dirt Beyond Beauty” and the accompanying wild-dynamics presents what is by far the most impressive aspect of the album. The bass-work is also highly eventful once in a while.Their brand of Modern/Experimental Prog-metal sounds so similar to Dream Theater on these tracks that you’d be forgiven for expecting James LaBrie’s distinctive drone to come blaring through your headphones. But alas, you’ll have to settle for Marak. He isn’t a bad vocalist- mind you, as he certainly shows a lot of range and emotion on “Deep Within” but for the most part his otherwise high-flying vocal lines don’t synch up with what the guitars are doing. He has range but in my modest opinion he doesn’t always use it well. Apart from this moan, the album is packed with enough cool riffs and multi-faceted arrangements to provide a very enjoyable listen.   
However, according to Marak ST’s debut contains the most motivated music they’ve ever made. “Brothers Amitabh and Siddharth Barooa- from Lucid Recess Studios helped us open up our perception of what our music could be” explains Marak. “We realized that we were entering a new domain with our E.p. Now, we exactly know what we sound like- and how we want to sound like in the future. Our MO has been- to just brainstorm and work towards a sound that sets itself apart from anything in the scene today- yeah that might sound end up sounding eerie- but I’m sure listeners will eventually understand” he adds.

We do agree with what Marak says to an extent. From the awesome guitar tone and high-register dynamics, to the heart-touching synth-work, “Dirt Beyond Beauty” sounds extremely authentic in a scene where bands are steadily sounding manufactured by the day. Add to that the driving, immediate song-craft and a few more catchy hooks, and Silver Tears will have a solid formula for success.

Here’s hoping that a tighter and better produced full length is in the making.


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