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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

In the Silence

A Fair Dream Gone Mad (Sensory Records)

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Some progressive-metal bands tend to emphasize either the “progressive” or the “metal.” But California’s In the Silence—a quartet that self-released A Fair Dream Gone Mad before leading prog-metal label Sensory Records recently picked it up—delivers both in equal doses. Beautiful, moody melodies swirl around dark sonic landscapes that are alternately spacious and dense. Think Porcupine Tree with more of an edge. Or Opeth with less grit.

Singer Josh Burke effortlessly delivers deep lyrics in a soothing voice sometimes overwhelmed by a claustrophobic mix, as aggression crescendos out of gentle acoustic passages. Guitarist Nathan Higgins emerges as the band’s fulcrum, with searing solos throughout the album. Halfway through, In the Silence quiets down with “Close to Me,” an atmospheric instrumental that suggests these talented guys are just getting started.