23 Nov 2016

In Silent: "Potepienie"

Polish genre-veterans that do their job, but sometimes only with unambitious adequacy
Having formed in 1996, 2016 celebrates the 20th anniversary of Polish death mongers In Silent. Most original members are long gone from In Silent's lineup, and over the course of two decades the band had, until 2013, only a few demos to show for their long engagement in the genre.

The two guitarists, Mal and Buba, are the only remaining original members to have hung on during the band's years of seeming inactivity. The debut album, Potepienie, features all the elements that form the nucleus of the death metal genre; Searing guitar riffs, scorching vocals and ferocious rhythms. In Silent's incarnation is ripe with that familiar sound of classic death metal technique, lending some credibility to the involvement of some who witnessed the rise of death metal first hand.

"The two guitarists twist and wrangle their stringed instruments into submission,"

In Silent's album exudes a heavy, oppressive atmosphere, and devoutly follows the stipulations of death with grooving riffs and a meaty sound engineering. The heavier guitars that make up the majority of the Polish band's sound are featured prominently at the very forefront of their soundscape. The two guitarists twist and wrangle their stringed instruments into submission, accompanied by a powerful torrent of merciless drumming, the raw and articulate screams efficiently tying the whole thing into one 22 minute opus.

This quartet are definitely about no frills and all thrills, and the straightforward nature of their musical craftsmanship portrays a group very certain of their comfort zone. There is, however, no ebb and flow, no variations in sound, leading to a dense soundscape that is perhaps a bit too uniform and uneventful. True, their efficiency is precise and deadly, but this is to the point where the band's internal mechanics are so robotic and routinely that there is little soul left.

Mal, Buba and company waste no effort, even on their more pseudo-technical adventures into the higher ranges of their guitars. Where these forays should soar, they come off as choppy and over-simplified. Their groovy parts work well in their protected environment, but only so long as they fit within In Silent's neat little boxes. Simplicity works well when paired with amazing songwriting, but on Potepienie their classic approach works against the group by dulling their compositions.


Released in 2013 independently

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