Don’t look at me. I feel nothing but shame for the treason I am about to unveil, for though my words are true, they are most certainly not trve. I’ve been banging my head to power metal all week… and I liked it. It started with this band, Gods of Silence, and their debut assault Neverland. I kind of don’t want to talk about it, but let’s get this out of the way, I have about 666 showers to take if I ever want to be able to face myself in the mirror again1.

Known as KIRK in a previous incarnation, these bastards from Basel’s fairly efficient website labels them with the mostly useless tag of ‘melodic metal,’ but those familiar with the band’s past could (and should) have warned me: Gods of Silence are a power metal band, damn it. The namesake intro establishes this right out the gate, and vocalist Gilbi Meléndez and keyboardist Bruno Berger refuse to let that be forgotten for the remaining 10 tracks. Indeed, the Gods bestow blessings of cheese and digitized ivory on every song, with keyboards crafting symphonic landscapes reminiscent of Epica and Dragonforce, while Meléndez soars over everything, carried on dairy wings by the spirits of Geoff Tate and Warrel Dane. Ever wonder what it would sound like if Steel Panther’s Satchel sang from his childhood imagination instead of from his teenage boner? Me neither, but it’s a fair comparison, and it honestly isn’t terrible. The heavy burden of keeping things ‘metal enough’ falls on axe-slinger Sammy Lasagni and skin-pounder Philipp Eichenberger, and they clearly do not take this task lightly. Instead of turning Neverland into a LARP-themed wankfest, Lasagni keeps things moving with chugging rhythms and occasional melodic flair, often coupling nicely with the keyboard atmospheres from Hate Crew-era Children of Bodom. Eichenberger never steals the show, but his coordinated restraint and pacing keep the 51 minutes of magic and muenster moving and manageable.

I’m a man of wealth and taste, you see, and while I did not appreciate being dragged into a world known for its cheap cheese, I cannot profess to be anything other than pleased with this place known as Neverland. As I wander through this symphonic kingdom, I can try to hide a smile, but I simply cannot help but bang my head along to the national anthems of this deceptive world. Looking beyond such silliness as the lycanthroparmesan “Full Moon” or the made-for-anime anthem “Wonderful Years,” listeners will recognize they’re dealing with some genuinely talented musicians. Furthermore, while Neverland is ridiculously power metal at times (the ‘Ashes! To ashes!’ line in “The Phoenix” is forever burned into my nightmares), the music itself is always solid. “Against the Wall” alone will likely instill cognitive dissonance among the brutal and trve crowd as they fight to keep their necks still and their fists out of the air. It’s power metal, all right (ASHES! TO ASHES!!!) but it’s still metal metal, alright? We know you’re too kvlt for this, but you’ll be fine, just close your eyes and think of Dio.

What’s not particularly fine, though, is the sonic absence of bassist Daniel Pfister from the mix. If there’s any kind of punchy bass work going on here, it’s pummeled and knocked out by everything else. This is not to say that the mix itself is awful, as none of the other instrumentation is at war with itself. The keyboards are given a clear but appropriately subdued presence to maintain melodic atmospheres, and even the shrillest of power metal vocal tropes (ASHES! TO ASHES!!!) never stifle the surrounding sonic scenery. No, the mix seems fine, the bassist just seems gone, possibly off doing werewolf things. The music never feels lacking, however, and honestly there are far worse sins a fledgling power metal act could commit beyond banishing their bassist to the background.

Dreaded power metal it may be, but Neverland is a stellar debut and I can’t hate on it. The music is well composed and enjoyable, a listening experience on par with anything Gods’s more established peers and influences dish out. Where it causes disapproving head shaking in some, it will incite rapturous head banging in others, whether they want to or not. Gods of Silence have truly created something to be proud of, no matter how much it shames this particular Mvppet to revel in something so unkvlt.


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Rock of Angels Records
Websites: godsofsilence.bandcamp.com | godsofsilence.com | facebook.comgodsofsilence
Releases Worldwide: September 8th, 2017

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  1. The mirror (and needle) lies. – Steel Hazer
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  • Master of Muppets

    And thus, the wailing and gnashing of Muppet teeth subsided, and all was right with the world once again.

  • DubiousLee

    “lycanthroparmesan” cracked me up. Great write up MoM!

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      NOW AT OLIVE GARDEN™

  • Wes Allen

    I saw the video thumbnail, then put my phone down and laughed uncontrollably. Nice review, Muppet.

  • IamRipper

    Satchel isn’t the singer of Steel Panther, he plays guitar. Michael Star is the singer.

    • Master of Muppets

      Damn it damn it damn it

      • ToddRob64

        It’s better for the metal cred you want back that you got this wrong

        • Master of Muppets

          I like the way you think.

  • Serjien

    Nice review, sir! A very entertaining piece to start my day! And since I am not lactose intolerant, I will check this out.

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Hair optional band photo.
    Nice write up Drew.

  • Nice to see Howie Mandel getting new opportunities.

    • Master of Muppets

      Satchel too, apparently, since I accidentally promoted him to frontman… It’s ok, I’ll flog myself.

      • 20 demerits to House Muppet.

        • Master of Muppets

          My Angry Metal Merits are all I have!

          • Now you have less.

          • Master of Muppets

            For my next trick: a 5.5 for an ambient djent-core triple album of Amaranthe covers, written entirely in slang!
            If I go down, we all go down.

          • Nukenado

            Yo dawg, whatcha sayin bout mah homie Steely here? Don’t be talking out yo ass jus cuz mah homie’s a gorilla.

            … …
            … … … …

            (Grabs tanto) I dedicate my death to the sky… May it wash away my guilt and dishonor! (plunges)

          • Master of Muppets

            Word.

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        I don’t think Steel Panther care who’s on top.

  • Michael Saurette

    Getting some pagan’s mind vibes, nice

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Do you have a minute, my friend? I’d like to talk to you about…. Gloryhammer.

    • Master of Muppets

      I do not.
      Also, lip shrapnell-less David Draiman looks like he’s just about to finish being constipated, Cool Biker Grampa and Shavo Odadjian Lite might have been in dire peril in that picture. Perhaps we should take a minute to discuss that.

    • basenjibrian

      I see you have experience in door-to-door evangelism?
      I wonder if there is such a thing as Jehovah’s Witnesses Metal?

      • Monsterth Goatom

        How about I come in for a minute? I have some literature here.

        • basenjibrian

          Speaking of which-they are EVERYWHERE now. I thought they were already well-past the magic 144,000-saved number. Why are they trying to dilute their chances?

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Is this the album where they sing about ashes on one of the tracks?

    • Master of Muppets

      I don’t wanna talk about it.

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Nice call Drew.
    This is great in my books!
    Good songwriting can redeem any genre no matter the fromage factor.

    • Master of Muppets

      That was the most important factor to me, the sheer strength of just about every song. I am no fan of power metal, even the bands many would call the greats of the genre, but even now that I don’t “have” to listen to it I still find myself making return trips to Neverland, which speaks volumes to me. They did a killer job, even though I expected and hoped that they wouldn’t.

      • Nukenado

        Say, Drew, have you tried Galneryus?

        • Master of Muppets

          I have not, and I’m somewhat hesitant to learn any new bands this week where I can’t buy any tunes with this check.
          They better suck, damn it.

          • Nukenado

            They make Sonata Arctica look like a dark ambient band.

  • ssorg

    Gotta say I enjoyed the one-handed keyboard solo. But where is the other hand? My guess: it’s on its way to NEEEEEVERLAAAAAAAAAAD!

    • WhamBamSam

      The singer does keep telling everyone to take his hand, maybe the keyboardist listened.

    • Bryan Stroup

      It’s called keyboard wankery for a reason.

  • Planex

    Are you saying we can listen to cheesey power metal where the guitarist is actually lasagna?

    • Master of Muppets

      You always could.

  • Eldritch Elitist

    Dammit, this is pretty good. You’re getting way too lucky with your assignments, rookie!

    • Master of Muppets

      They know. I’m working on one now that I may or may not have lucked out on once again, but I’ve been warned that the one after that – the one that should signal the end of my time on probation – will be “…extra special, hahahahahaha. Sorry.”
      I hope you’re all as excited as I am, I ain’t scurred.

  • Mollusc

    I know a place where dreams are born and time is never planned… Is this a concept album about Michael Jackson’s ranch?

    • Master of Muppets

      You’re thinking of where dreams die and time is never remembered.

      • Mollusc

        Don’t make me go back there, Bubbles.

        • Master of Muppets

          Don’t worry, next time I’ll be taking you to a whole new world.

          • Mollusc

            Dollywood?

          • Master of Muppets

            Patience, good mollusc.

  • Ferrous Beuller

    I like this review – I do not like this album. Conflicting stuff.

  • sir_c

    So we gonna call you Steel Ghrater now?

    • Master of Muppets

      Only if “Sir” seems too formal, I suppose.

  • Nahuel Benvenuto

    Jeez they really need to get someone who truly likes the genre for power metal reviews

    • Master of Muppets

      Where it’s a probational review, this was assigned to me rather than chosen by myself. Don’t worry, I’ll keep my hands off of your cheese in the future.

  • Nukenado

    The video thumbnail does not scream 3.5.
    By the way, Drew… have you heard Æether Realm’s Tarot?

    • Master of Muppets

      I hadn’t seen the video (thankfully) but the overall album is still strong musically. Maybe a 3.0 at worst, but where I don’t typically enjoy power metal I figured that has to count for something.

      • Nukenado

        I’m a huge cheese metal consumer so this is probably right up my alley. However I’m not clicking that video unless I have a Hazmat suit.

        • Master of Muppets

          I think you’ll like this. Also, Æther Realm can do no wrong, Tarot slays.

          • Nukenado

            Yes! Give in to the cheesy but also kickass folky melodies! Give in to the stupidly happy but headbangable King of Cups! Give in and you will be transformed by the cheese!

          • Master of Muppets

            I shan’t!

          • Nukenado

            That’s what they all said…

          • Nukenado

            Oh yeah, I love this. The keyboard-guitar integration is great. Neither overpowers the other.

            The video, on the other hand, is a car crash. You don’t look away, and after it finishes, you’re transformed.

          • Master of Muppets

            I still haven’t seen it, and the sales pitch hasn’t exactly been strong.

  • Tofu muncher

    I’m getting this album thanks to this very funny and entertaining review.

    • Master of Muppets

      Happy to help, and if that’s how this works I apologize in advance for the impending war I plan on waging with y’all’s wallets.

      • Tofu muncher

        It’s a nice enough album. I sense this one’s going to be on heavy rotation till the end of the year at least. Sometimes quite heavy, sometimes proggy.

        • Master of Muppets

          I personally hope to see the black light once more and disavow this album down the road after a few new black metal gems find me, but I’d be lying if I said I thought that was happening any time soon.
          That is the main reason for the rating: if I’m not a power metal fan and this is still striking me as a really good album, it seems fair to assume, then, that this is a really good power metal album and that fans of the genre will find even more to appreciate here than my lactose sensitive lobes are able to. Quality is quality, and I’ll be damned if that ain’t some goodass cheese.
          Honestly, it’s kind of frustrating in a sense to get this many decent albums in a row while I toil and suffer in the Angry Metal Pits of Probation. I don’t inherently love all metal and don’t desire to come across as ratings-happy, and now the ratings I’ve already damned a few bands with are making me nervous to assign one to the review I’m currently working on. This review alone was a big exercise in maintaining objectivity for me, I kind of hope that it’s able to speak for itself but I just know these people are gonna gnash they teeth and wail like mahfuckas when I drop this next one on they asses…. Oh well. Raters gotta rate rate rate rate rate.

  • Tofu muncher

    Of the bandphoto: That dude on the right showing the world his good side. Oh my.

  • Shocking lyrics, but I have to admit that the chorus in the embedded track is up there with the best of the year. Shocking lyrics though.

    And metal bands need to stop doing video clips unless it’s just live footage. And just to go slightly off topic, everyone needs to stop with the lyric videos too. They’re embarrassing.

    • Master of Muppets

      Agree with the latter, unsure as to what you mean by the former. Sarcasm? Autocorrect? Something has to be to blame for the disconnect here, as I just can’t see anything shocking about the lyrics.

      • Shocking as in terrible. Maybe it’s an Australian thing.

        • Master of Muppets

          Oh cool, we’re in perfect agreement then.

  • I’m amazed when power metal can manage to bury the guitars in the mix…

    • Master of Muppets

      Eh, I felt like they were using them more for atmospheric blending with the keyboards.

      • I’m not a metal purist when it comes to guitars. It just seems weird in the embedded song.

        • Master of Muppets

          Lots seems weird in the embedded song.

  • Zrinko Maloseja

    Freefonts ftw.
    The song rules.

  • ElephantsMarching

    This review was hilarious. I’m going to have to check this whole album out. What is with AMG making me listen to power metal more than anything else lately. Although I’m skipping between this and the new BIG|BRAVE right now. Like a fine bordeaux with some emmenthal.

  • ssorg

    That bandcamp link is dead FYI