Like 2018’s Becoming A Demon EP before it, Silver Talon’s first full-length album feels like the missing link between Sanctuary and Nevermore. The latter is especially felt with the sweeping layers of Jeff Loomis-style shred guitar, modern tones, and densely arranged vocal melodrama ala mid-era Warrel Dane. There is also an underlying Power Metal spirit throughout is perhaps most rooted in something like Refuge Denied or even classic Queensryche. The band has only doubled down on that spirit with Decadence And Decay (M-Theory Audio).
With the band having revamped their lineup, completely changing their rhythm section and bringing in a third guitarist, there is technical musicianship out the wazoo, throughout. It is certainly a lot to take in at first, but the arrangements are woven so that the instrumentalists rarely come into conflict with one another. It works similarly to Iron Maiden’s post-Brave New World material in that the extra guitars will incorporate more dynamic textures. Nothing else gets too overshadowed either as the bass and drum lines are often just as complex and the vocal layers take on an almost apocalyptic connotation.
And while this album technically features the same number of songs as the EP, the individual tracks are considerably better developed here. Those dynamic elements work especially well on ‘Next To The Sun,’ a Neoclassical exercise of climactic sweeps mixed in with the borderline balladry that gets even more prominent on ‘What Will Be.’ You also can’t go wrong with Andy LaRocque contributing leads on “Resistance 2029,’ the chorus on ‘As The World Burns’ is a soaring winner, and the Malmsteen-esque harpsichord on ‘Divine Fury’ and ‘Kill All Kings’ is worth digging into.
Overall, Silver Talon’s first album is a shining beacon of old-school spectacle in the world of Progressive/Power Metal. It seems tailor-made for those who feel the void of Nevermore’s absence and chomp at the bit for whatever Sanctuary is working on but manages to be strong on its own merits. The intensely theatrical instrumentation does a lot to capture one’s attention from the get-go and the songwriting reveals a volley of memorable hooks with further listens. Strongly recommended to those who like their Prog Metal with a little extra flourish.
Buy the album here: https://silvertalon.bandcamp.com/album/decadence-and-decay-2
8 / 10