Sylent Storm, from Medford, Oregon, have been knocking around since 2013, biding their time waiting to be snapped up by a record company willing to show a little faith in the band.
It took until 2018 before they signed to Stormspell Records, a label proudly “stuck in the 80’s”.
After listening to Sylent Storm’s self-titled debut EP, it is clearly a match made in heaven.
Sylent Storm is a record chock full of all the things we know and love from 80’s metal. It’s got pace, power, melody and no shortage of skill. There are choruses to get your teeth into and solos to get lost in.
The band comprises of James Lind (guitar), Matt Foster (bass), and Jym Harris (drums and vocals) but when they go out touring there will be additional members to share the workload. Harris is also the band’s manager and does plenty of Sylent Storm’s promo stuff too. To me, that says plenty about the character of the band and Harris himself, willing to put everything into a cause they have lots of belief in.
So, back to the EP itself. We get off to a rip-roaring start with “Eye of the Storm”. Opening with the catchiest of riffs in a Celtic style reminiscent of later era Thin Lizzy and containing great solos, this is an absolute beast of a track. That 4 minutes 31 flew by in a flash.
It’s back to more traditional 80’s metal riff to open “Patriots of Metal” and the title tells you everything you need to know about the track. It’s a straight up call to arms for metal fans and it worked for me. James Lind’s guitar work is once again top notch and the track could easily have been plucked from a high-end original New Wave of British Heavy Metal album.
“Witches Blood” slows the pace a touch, but not the heaviness. There’s a slight hint of doom in here with Jym Harris’ drums very much to the fore but not to be outdone Lind is at it again, weaving great sounds on guitar.
It’s cover version time now with “The Axeman”, originally performed by Omen in 1984. It’s a fairly faithful reproduction albeit with sharper riffs this time around. You can see why Sylent Storm chose this track, it’s well matched to their style.
The overall sound is more modern on the 6-minute “Betrayal” and early on feels more akin to power metal than the NWoBHM but it then settles down to a more 1980’s feel. The rhythm section of Harris and Matt Foster drives this track superbly and keeps the differing constituent parts together. The pace changes are numerous but you never lose track of the song at all.
The finisher, “Gaelic Storm” is basically an instrumental version of opener “Eye of the Storm” but don’t turn your nose up so hurriedly. It is a great showcase of Sylent Storm’s musical prowess and in my opinion, they’ve earned the right to do what they want.
Clocking in at 29 minutes, it may be a bit harsh to call it an EP. After all, there are some 30-minute classics out there called full albums which themselves contain fillers. Van Halen and Diver Down for a start. “Big Bad Bill” and “HappyTrails”? I mean, c’mon….
But that’s getting away from the point. Sylent Storm is an absolute killer of a release and as the band hopes to record a lengthier album, I for one will be at the front of the queue.