Silver Talon – Decadence and Decay Review

It’s amazing to me the camps formed from a single band. And I’m not even talking about a popular arena band. I’m talking about Oregon’s laid-to-rest Spellcaster. First, there was Idle Hands—now known as Unto Others—a band that shocked many-o’ peep around these parts. A name that showed up on lists and haunted many a comment section. Where they’ll go from here, no one quite knows. But, I know we can expect big things. Another outfit that launched from the ashes of Spellcaster is Silver Talon.1 While Idle Hands/Unto Others took the Spellcaster sound and tore into it with gothic, doomy ferocity, Silver Talon hardened the riffs and set a Rob Halford/Warrel Dane twenty-something at the mic. Since releasing the exciting debut EP, Becoming the Demon, the band is back with their first LP. This is Decadence and Decay.

It didn’t take me long to realize one important difference between the EP and this new full-length. The mix and delivery of the vocals are much better on Decadence and Decay. The band also went full Brave New World Maiden and added a third guitarist. Like the riffs and solos on Decadence and Decay weren’t impressively technical as it was. This new release is also a little more focused and fluid than the EP. This probably sounds like a silly problem for an EP, but Becoming the Demon is one of the biggest EPs I’ve ever seen. I mean, both albums have the same number of songs. Regardless, what you’re reading is good news for this new release.

Of all the massive riffs and drum work that comes out of the hands and feet of Silver Talon, opener “Deceiver, I Am” is the biggest. It fires up the album and pushes out a fuck-ton of energy. With subtle melodics consuming it, the chorus is even harder than it appears. The chorus of voices punches out “Deceiver!” to match the pounding riffs, making this is my favorite track. “Divine Fury” has a like mind—tearing the place up with more impressive, high-energy guitar work. But, unlike the opener, “Divine Fury” lets its Iron Maiden love shine brightly. As far as ripping fretwork is concerned, “Kill All Kings” would give Jeff Loomis a woody. But the song’s not all about the wank and stroke, it also sees vocalist Wyatt Howell dig deep and diversify.

But the band isn’t all about wailing choruses and old-school soloing. They can slay the slower stuff just as well. Case in point, “As the World Burns” and “What Will Be.” The first is a mid-paced piece filled with melody, with a chorus as smooth as soft-serve. It’s one of those songs with a round-about transition that you know will swing back around and make the final chorus bigger and better than all before. “What Will Be” goes even further down the path of passionate pieces. But not quite into ballad territory. And, yet again, it shows a different side to Howell’s voice. This time, he goes low, with a reverberating distance that feels gothic and doomy. He takes a similar approach to the gargantuan closer, “Touch the Void.” But on “What Will Be,” his voice flows along smoothly, intensifying as we’re led to the goosebump-inducing chorus.

Other than the distracting sound clips in the impressive and emotional closer, Silver Talon‘s Decadence and Decay is one of my favorite albums of the year. The unknown youngin’ Howell has an impressive voice. Comparing his performance three years ago to now is kinda mind-blowing. And I can’t imagine what it’s like to have three guitarists in a band, much less get King Diamond‘s Andy LaRocque to contribute to “Resistance 2029.” And, they make it work. Like I said initially, I can’t believe the skill and creativity that comes from the ashes of one band. Spellcaster, Idle Hands/Unto Others, and now Silver Talon are nothing like each other. Yet, they compliment each other. If you’re a fan of the other outfits, you’ll need to check this out.


Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kb/s mp3
Label: M-Theory Audio
Websites: silvertalon.bandcamp.com | silver-talon.com | facebook.com/silvertalonband
Releases Worldwide: May 28th, 2021

Show 1 footnote

  1. Seriously, how many stupid band names can one group of PNWesterns come up with?
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