Turin-based industrialists The Silverblack don’t quite seem to know who they want to be. There are so many styles crammed in to their newly reissued 2015 album, that it’s title, The Grand Turmoil, seems to represent the band’s lack of ability to focus on one thing rather than some other grander design.
At their most accessible (on Retaliation, say) the band sound like Laibach deconstructing Depeche Mode, whilst the synthpop-tinged Make it Worth the Grime has a bit going for it in the hummablity stakes, especially when the pounding Eurobeat-style electronic percussion drives the song forward.
And you could see them making a go of these more ear-friendly styles; but for every radio-friendly hiccup there’s a hulking, strangulated heavy metal belch lurking around the corner. King Sized Vandalism is frantic and allows mainman NeroArgento to show off his not inconsiderable lead guitar acumen, whilst superb closer Might Get Worse Before It Gets Better is as bleak as it’s slightly unwieldy title would suggest.
At the root of all of this is that The Silverblack are actually pretty good at everything they turn their hand to; Even Mansonesque late-nineties nu goth gets the Silverblack treatment on As Good as Dead, and it too comes up smelling of (dead) roses. It’s just it’s hard to see anyone but the most dedicated Silverblack acolyte enjoying everything on this album – parts will either be too poppy or too grating, according to taste – and as a casual listener you’re left wishing that, on the next album at least they might just tilt one way or the other and commit themselves fully to developing one side of their musical personality or the other more fully.
Standout cut Attic Hime comes closest to uniting the various facets of The Silverblack’s sound, and for that reason alone it seems to succeed more than most. This album is definitely worth a listen if you’re a fan of /goth/industrial/EDM-tinged metal, but it might just be a bit too much if those particular genres don’t set your musical taste buds twitching.