Scandinavia is a fertile land for Melodic Death Metal. As a dignified representative of the style, despite they’re only born in 2013, Haunted By Silhouettes released this year Shortcut To Dead Ends, their very first full-length.
After a first EP in 2014, the band remains silent until 2017, with another EP. Composed of Ola Nilsen Kjøren (bass), Håvard Bustad (drums), Per Kristian Grimsland (guitar), Stian Hoel Fossen (guitar) et Mathias Jamtli Rye (vocals), the band just enters my playlist, and logged themselves as one of this year’s crush. Enough words, now let’s listen to the music!
The record begins with Exhumer and some keyboard notes as an introduction, that fastly leads us to a massive Melodic Death Metal that focuses on a jerky rhythm track and a mesmerizing lead guitar. Mathias’ voice is supported by some screaming choirs, but the track quickly ends. Vindicta takes over, and I would like to highlight the mix’s quality that makes sure every lead part has its own place without erasing the rhythmic. The diverse harmonics gave this song a particular flavour, that registers the band on the huge list of talented Melodic Death Metal bands. The Norwegians attack again with Shadowless, with Deathcore singer Ragnar “Ragnis” Tessem (Aphzelia) who gives another shot of raw power to violent riffs, without neglecting the melodic side that made me get into their music at the beginning.
I won’t say that Only You Know is a ballad because of (or thanks to) the singer’s screams, but this track is undoubtedly quieter and more atmospheric than the previous ones, that makes a huge contrast with A Plea Of Silence and its chaotic universe. The band allows more sound to the bass in the mixing for a faster track that would stimulate a too quiet crowd. This track is at a crossroad between Melodic Death Metal and Metalcore, but still catchy. Another ambiance change for The Age Of Narcissus that comes back to an Old School sounds that perfectly fits to the band’s energy, while including sharp riffs. Another speed increase for Ubasute, an enigmatic track that doesn’t let us think about its meaning to release an acerbic break after an as atmospheric as powerful chorus.
If you don’t understand Norwegian, there’s many chances that you won’t understand the track named Iskalde Blikk (“ice-cold eyes” or « ice-cold sight »), but the impressive rhythm part honors once again bass sound. Fanning The Flames is another angry composition that melts fast and jerky riffs with an atmospheric lead guitar for a flood of notes that falls on us like a snowstorm. The band takes advantage of a clean sounded break to jump-start an epic solo before throwing us into another storm named The Clearing. We feel assaulted by every single side thanks to the lead guitar, but also nailed to the ground by blast beat and vocals. The last track, Into The Abyss, allows us to catch our breath thanks to an outro composed of many guitar parts.
Some bands are lucky enough to make themselves a name at the very first release, and even if their first EP was composed in 2014, it’s definitively with Shortcuts To Dead Ends that Haunted By Silhouettes prove their talent. Melting modern sounds and Old School rhythm parts, the band mold themselves a very distinct sound that will follow them really far. Advisable to the firsts In Flames and At The Gates nostalgic fans.