Written By: Swordborn

No Remorse records 2017

France’s Silver Wind seems to be a pretty low-profile act, despite having formed (according to the label’s press release) in 2005. Legion Of The Exiled is the band’s first full-length, and an evident stepping stone from 2013’s Fight For Glory EP – which is regurgitated in its entirety (three songs) here. Comparisons of the band’s inceptive sound to Hammerfall and Enforcer incited some mild interest in me, but clones of this style are not exactly hard to find, and in my experience, the doppelgangers are almost invariably somewhat sloppy and/or without much novelty to them. The band’s logo is appropriately 80’s derived, and the cover artwork is kind of nifty…if you’re into poorly defensible island fortresses and shoddy road planning. All right, so maybe there’s not a lot going for Silver Wind on the way in, but I’ve been stunned before.

The title track really reminds me much more of a budget Running Wild imitation than anything else, and that comparison continues repeatedly throughout the album, to be heard most frequently in the guitar leads and very simplistically syllabic, Germanic-sounding choruses. However, the songs are paced more like Hammerfall’s earlier works, but without the anthemic choruses and considerably better chops (here’s something you don’t hear me say very often) of Joacim Cans. There are a few refrains here that, were the lyrics and attitude less ridiculous, might be downright shout-worthy (“Legion of the Exiled,” “Lord of the Last Rampart”), but it’s with ample frustration that I announce the close of my even pseudo-positive comments about this recording, and move onto my numerous points of irritation.

First of all, while to a certain extent this is slap-em’-on-the-back 80’s style heavy metal of the variety where one expects no innovation, studio shine, or even virtuosity, the execution is bland, bland, bland. The band leans heavily on layered vocals for choruses, which works fine, but when lead singer Antoine Volat reaches into his high range, he sounds like a terribly-accented, inexpert version of Mikael Dahl (Crystal Eyes) in a way that is not at all endearing. Secondly, the guitars, which occasionally offer some redeeming leads, are very distant and seemingly unimportant to the sound as a whole – buried in the background to an extent which utterly confounds me. Finally, there are a couple songs here which are downright embarrassing. “Steel Against Steel,” for example, is an absolutely cringe-worthy affair, from its sterile lyricism to the slipshod vocal delivery which concludes every chorus in a bizarrely grotesque breathy grunt.

In spite of the comparisons that both I and the label have made to established metal acts, there’s really very little on Legion of the Exiled to justify any favorable analogy. Virtually every element here is insipid almost to the point of being offensive. Riffs are virtually nonexistent, and even Silver Wind’s strongest work (which, if you ask me, is definitively “Lord of the Last Rampart”) is a hollow attempt to ape the band’s heroes. If you’re going to carry out metal of this sort, you’re really marketing nostalgia and rough-cut charm via pure energy and fundamentals performed so well that they appeal to the grizzled veterans of the scene. Silver Wind performs questionably on the latter point, but certainly doesn’t have the former.

Unless you’re a big traditional heavy metal buff and seeker of all things new within the niche, a single listen should be enough to convince you to give this one a skip. While I’d have dismissed this as dull at first blush, numerous listens have led to excruciating levels of boredom and thoughts of “seriously, I could be listening to literally anything else.” Leave this one on the shelf, it’s a dreadful snore.


Rating: 1.5 /5.0
Label: No Remorse Records
Websites: facebook.com/silverwind.groupemetal
Releases Worldwide: November 13th, 2017

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  • Monsterth Goatom

    Nice dress.

  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    Fashion Faux Pas:
    sleeveless tunic with maxi-dress after Labor Day.

  • Norpal Nordickson

    The embedded track didn’t sound THAT bad…. until the vocalist piped up. Jesus K. Rist, that pronounciation. Had to turn it off after a few lines.

  • PotaD0s

    I think we’ve sat through enough power metal for awhile guys. It seems like every 3rd release over the last few months is some fairy castle, rainbow unicorn journey to Mordor.

    Good review Swordborn. The embedded track is boring and derivative, but hey, at least you didn’t land on Year Zero Blueprint.

    • Eldritch Elitist

      I can confirm between my upcoming full reviews and “Things You Might Have Missed” reviews that there are at least four more power metal write-ups coming before the end of the year. Abandon all hope etc.

      • Thatguy

        I can’t be held responsible if I take the bait and howl to the wind.

      • WhamBamSam

        A power metal TYMHM eh? Well color me excited. I’ve yet to really love a power metal record this year besides In Forgotten Sleep. UtA and Witherfall were both pretty good and Vhaldemar’s album that came out last week seems decent, but it’s been a weaker crop overall than the past few years.

        • GardensTale

          Cellador was pretty good too.

    • More power and rainbow castles inbound!

      • Thatguy

        Oh, no.

    • Swordborn

      More power metal all the time.

      Unfortunately the stock for the rest of the year looks like absolute tosh.

      • Eldritch Elitist

        You came in at a really fortunate time where we had a lot of power metal stuff coming in. That’s usually very much not the case, I’m afraid.

        • Swordborn

          There’s a fair amount of power metal coming out/on the horizon at any given time, actually. AMG just doesn’t get some of it. I sniffed out half the stuff I’ve reviewed here myself.

      • WhamBamSam

        I’d count power metal among my favorite subgenres, but among those favorites it definitely has the highest shit to not shit ratio.

  • Mollusc

    One assumes Silver Wind = OAP fart.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Includes Lord of the Last Loudfart.

      • Mollusc

        Parp

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    With a pen name like Swordborn I wouldn’t be surprised if AMG hired (and by hired I mean abducted) you only to write Power Metal reviews.

    • Swordborn

      Well, that’s MY goal in this scenario. ;)

      • Unfortunately, the consequences of such an arrangement can be seen in the review above. Yikes!

        • Swordborn

          I calls ’em like I sees’ em.

          • What I meant is, the arrangement has led to you being stuck with this crap!

          • Swordborn

            Ah, well…better me than you? :P

            Also, I think the jury’s out on my AMG status at present. We’ll see if I’m doomed to an eternity of poopy power metal!

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    PM Hunger Games 2018 is going to be killer.

  • hallowed

    I guess we can’t have Pink Floyd every day.

  • Peter Rabbit

    I like to imagine there’s some kind of factory in Heavy Metal Land where legions of underpaid and overworked dwarven smiths pump generic power metal albums like this one. Seriously, when you said this was so insipid it was offensive you were spot on.
    And, by the way, It’s nice seeing AMG hiring new staff like you and the one in the Opium Warlords review. Hope you’re here to stay.

  • It’s interesting to me to read people say the problem is that AMG is reviewing power metal. This is not the problem at all. Was Opium Warlord power metal? How about Until the Sky Dies? Lustre? There has been a lot of trash of all kinds lately.

    • GardensTale

      We’re nearing the cesspits of December, and it’s getting noticeable.

  • Iain Gleasure

    I think the castle is meant to emulate Mont St. Michel in Normandy

  • savafreak

    you are loosing your taste/ear for Traditional Metal, give me this sound any day and dont give me the atmospheric/depressing/ultra boring/pretentious/phony/misguided/illfocused/post-metal crap and its derivatives!

  • Thatguy

    Yes, this is bad. But not much worse than the rest of the genre.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    I wonder what they’re looking at.

  • The Akerstache
  • Nukenado

    Although the music is a bore, I laughed at the horrible pronounciation a lot. French accents are amazing.

  • Matthew Christensen

    Blazon Stone these guys are not.

  • sir_c

    Silver wind, would that translate to metal fart?