Band: Silver Talon
Title: Becoming a Demon (EP)
Release Date: 12th October, 2018
Format reviewed: Digital
Fear not! Heavy Metal is in safe hands. All those punters questioning the continuing longevity of the scene in the face the result of father time and retirements of the old guard can rest easy. Silver Talon is here to right your quizzical mind. Not that they are the sole saviours – but if you want any convincing that Heavy Metal will continue to thrive under the guise of a new school of metal bands, then by christ is Silver Talon one massive candidate to carry the torch!
From the outset, it must be stated that if you are a fan of classic 80’s old school traditional US Heavy/Speed/Power Metal then you cannot let Silver Talon slip past you. Let me throw up some like- minded luminaries for you to contemplate – Savatage? Jag Panzer? Helloween? Queensryche? Sanctuary? If any of that killer list of Metal genius is remotely in your wheelhouse, then you are going to adore Silver Talon. To be fair, such a list of 80’s classic metal band might have you questioning the ‘nostalgic’ path that Silver Talon choose to tread on this new 8 track mini-album – and you’d be right in pondering such thoughts. Of course, Silver Talon do absolutely nothing new in the genre – but why is that even necessary here? Silver Talon’s music isn’t here to offer up any new direction or redefine the style. It isn’t the point! This band exists to celebrate all that has gone before them, to continue to fly the flag of Heavy Metal, loud and proud for all to witness! With that all said and done, Silver Talon are a force to be reckoned with and ‘Becoming a Demon’ is a magnificently infectious Metal beast!
Silver Talon is a new name – formed in 2017. However, the line-up has history. Trad Metal fans may recall ‘Spellcaster’ who released three albums on the Prosthetic Records label. Man, that 2016 ‘Night Hides the World’ album was a beauty. Well, when vocalist Tyler Lonely split from the group – the remaining core – Bryce VanHoosen (guitar), Gabriel Franco (bass), and Sebastian Silva (guitar) decided to change their name and were then joined by vocalist Wyatt Howell from fellow Oregon metallers Sanctifyre! If you are familiar with the material Spellcaster produced, then imagine Silver Talon giving that template a kick in the ass and pretty much amped up all facets of their sound times ten-fold! Everything captured here is more over the top – backed by a heavy vibrant production ‘Becoming a Demon’ just bristles with energy throughout. The songs are more complex in structure, the hooks, the melody, the powerful rhythmic riffage and some simply stellar virtuoso lead work from Bryce VanHoosen and Sebastian Silva enables their compositions to march Spellcaster’s ass into oblivion!
Musically, Silver Talon are irresistible. They have some massive weapons in their dual guitarists – Jesus, they can play! However, their greatest strength – the one element that gives this band massive kudos – is vocalist Wyatt Howell. My god, pipes of fucking gold! His tone is at first very familiar, but then at the same time so hard to pin down given the distinctive phrasing and inflections he employs throughout this eight tack affair. For me Wyatt reminds me of early Geoff Tate (lower register) combined with the mid-range power of Warrel Dane and the epic dramatic tones of Harry Conklin (Jag Panzer). Fair company you would agree? Interestingly enough, Silver Talon do a ripping version of Sanctuary’s ‘Battle Angels’ on this EP (*Jeff Loomis guest spot also), yet Wyatt pays massive respect to the upper register screams of the late Warrel Dane by not even attempting to emulate it. Huge props to Wyatt for that move – he recognised that that is a stratospheric vocal level you just don’t fuck with.
Book ended with a couple of dark and moody keyboard intro/outro instrumentals (which will serve them well in the live setting), ‘Becoming a Demon’ is a 31 minutes classic/US Power metal fan’s delight. 5 superb originals and a stirring Sanctuary cover fly by in no time, leaving the listening salivating at the prospect of future material to come. Highly addictive with their thunderously epic compositions, Silver Talon are the real deal – they have a killer image to match their sound and if this mini-album is anything to judge by, they are primed to explode! 8.5/10 KMaN
8.5/10 To Greatness and Glory
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