Silverline's newest project, Voices In The Night, follows a strange new trend that Vertical Shift Recordings has been employing: releasing major "albums" that contain the track listing size of an EP. VSR rock act Echoes The Fall had eight tracks on their first project (Bloodline), not counting a cover and an acoustic version of a song already on the project. Ember's seven track release was tagged as their big debut, and recent VSR signee Esteryn's worship project only features eight tunes in all. Voices In The Night, which follows the band's first seven song EP, Start To Believe, is touted as the sophomore album from the group even, despite it only having eight tracks.
Last year, new bands Philmont and Abandon released their full-length debut projects which included songs from previously released EPs which appeared to stand on their own. It seemed that fans got a bit shortchanged by the groups because, without the artist's past material, their albums would have been little more than EPs. Enter Silverline, a modest pop/rock quintet from Brainerd, MN, whose latest project, Voices In The Night, is being hailed as the band's major sophomore project. The problem is that Silverline's "debut album" consisted of seven songs and their second only eight tracks. These short ventures from VSR makes me wonder if carry-over songs from EPs would in fact make for better releases.
While Voices In The Night doesn't offer anything too earth-shattering, there are brief moments when the band sounds as good as Philmont and Stellar Kart. In fact, Silverline's first pop/rock song, "Last One Standing," has enough punk and synth added to sound like something from Phimont's album, Attention. The next song, "Turn It Up," has a rockier sound thanks to some aggressive guitars and an intense beat. However, both softer pop/rock tunes, "Broken Glass" and "Shine A Light," sound like a forced change of pace. "Life Ever After" is similar to Stellar Kart's new worship-centered music. The project ends with two rock songs; the first one, "Creation," is a very electric guitar-driven song that falls a bit lackluster because Ryan Edberg's voice has too much of the punk/pop flair. But, Edberg actually pulls off the title track well, which proves to be the album's best song.
Because of the amount of anthems on Voices In The Night, there really isn't much in the way of lyrical depth here. Although I like Silverline's enthusiasm and encouragement to all believers to make a difference on the title track, the song "Turn It Up," which follows a similar vein, ends up sounding a bit cliché ("we're fighting for our freedom and for our lives"). The insight from "More Than A Whisper" is broken down to "tell me/tell me that you love me/tell me that you believe me" and "Life Everafter" also has a chorus that consists of "Jesus/Jesus/your name brings life everafter." However, "Creation" is a more thoughtful song as it looks forward with anticipation to Christ's return.
It's unfortunate that Silverline's flaws don't all originate from the fact that they don't bring novelty to the genre. To their credit, the band does flaunt some potential, but much of Voices In The Night is weighed down by some average pop/rock tunes and mediocre lyrics. Add the short track listing and you are left with an album that fails to be Silverline's breakout record.- Review date: 7/23/10, written by Nathaniel Schexnayder of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: VSR
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