It’s always been a pleasure to sit down with a new Cadaveria album and listen to what the inventive Italian’s have come up with next.

Self branded as ‘horror metal’ has never really done them justice but short of a rambling genre description it’s close enough.

Formed by the front-woman whose band takes her name and drummer Marcelo Santos back in 2001 it took just one short year for them to add three more musicians (Guitarist Frank Booth keyboardist Baron Harkonnen and Killer Bob on bass) and release their first album.  Even back then it was clear this was a group who looked at things from a different perspective.  Early works might have been a little patchy but fast forward thirteen years and with Dick Laurent replacing Harkonnen it has proved to be a fruitful and pretty stable line up.  The sharp eyed among you will see that other than Cadaveria and Santos the band members names are pseudonyms taken from characters in David Lynch films.  In fact Cadaveria was born Raffaella Rivarolo.

This latest album takes Cadaveria’s sense of theatre much further than on previous outings with the gothic undertones that were merely hinted at before coming much more to the fore.  The style that Italians are famous for is clearly felt here with some beautiful writing and exquisite production.  Taking a black metal framework and moulding big gothic mood swings onto it makes Silence quite heavy listening in places, heavy that is like an H G Wells novel, it’s a given the music will pummel you.

While it takes a time for some songs to really work others including opener Velo (The Other Side Of Hate) are more immediate.  With a great hook and thumping rhythm it’s a great way to kick things off and get people interested.  The more complex stuff is wisely saved for later on.  There’s more than just one facet to Cadaveria’s voice too.  All too often before we’ve heard just how good she is at impersonating a vexed Beelzebub but here we also get to hear a softer side.  On Existence she sings clean vocals in a slightly odd girl next door kind of way, whereas she is full of passion and angst during Almost Ghostly.  It is the latter song that she sounds most at home in outside of her quite breathtaking death metal vox.

You could be forgiven for thinking that Silence flatters to deceive, it does take a while for it to fully grow on you but making the effort to play it a few times is worth it.  When you do it’s easy to become immersed in an album that plays in your mind like an old gothic horror movie.  With the face paint and musical imagery it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say that Cadaveria stacks up quite well as a latter-day King Diamond.  There’s certainly enough similarities in terms of their lateral thinking when it comes to writing an album.

This is a time when you could say that Silence might not be golden but it does have the polished sheen of good quality silver.

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