Simonz, Kelly - Silent Scream


Year of Release: 2002
Label: Lion Music
Catalog Number: LMC 2207 2
Format: CD
Total Time: 62:16:00

Here's an album that doesn't quite know what it wants to be, and thus comes across as a collection of favored styles, going from classically influenced, guitar centric metal to middle-of-road balladry so out of place, you wonder just what Kelly Simonz was thinking. Not that the divergence is so very awful in and of itself, but it very much out of place.

Really though, only two pieces fall squarely in either camp, that being the "Silent Scream" that opens the album (metal/prog metal) and "Girl?I Give My Life For You" (pop balladry). Everything else pretty much falls between the two, some leaning a little more one way or another. In the middle we get a Kelly Simonz that sounds a lot like Enchant, and specifically with the tracks "Angel Eyes" and parts of "Forever." Simonz even sounds a bit like Ted Leonard here in the vocal department. Though, if it were Enchant, neither would be one of their strongest tracks? either. "Forever" truly bridges the two styles with its metal guitar intro and mid-tempo rhythm. It also at times sounds like an 80s-styled hard rocker, though we also get some strings and tinkling piano-like elements to complete the package.

The speedier "Fly Away" and "Aftermath" both bring Stratovarious and Angra to mind with fiery guitar solos, lots of tinkling piano, and lots of throbbing bass that you can almost feel as well as hear. "Paradise Lost" is a little more epic, slower paced with a dramatic intro leading into something reminiscent of Pain Of Salvation. It's arty with nice piano-like elements. "Tears In Your Eyes," which takes on elements from the instrumental "Lies" that precedes it ? a quite nice, acoustic-sounding, arpeggio-filled piece -- is a not too shabby ballad, with some nice guitar elements. It's another piece that bridges Simonz dual nature.

That other nature is heard in full with "Girl?I Give My Life For You." It begins really with the a cappella piece "One And Only Love" which reminded me of N*Sync (or the like). But then, as "Girl?" starts, it becomes the sort of piece that one might hear from Richard Marx or Bryan Adams, with guest soprano sax from Kenny G. Or, in other words, sandwiched in between Justin and Clay (and I don't mean our own Mr. Walnum). It's all in the soft vocal delivery, the piano accents, the romantic sweep to the piece. "Without You" is a lush piece that wouldn't seem out of place on a smooth jazz station veering into jazz pop. The piece itself is quite warm, and sits comfortably next to the ears. It makes me think just a little bit of Sting at his most romantic and soft-spoken ("Fragile" or "Shape Of My Heart" say) though Simonz' vocals are a tad warmer.

"Time" brings in a modern, techno-dance beat of electronic drums (though electronic, or programmed, drums are used throughout), and the sound of horns all playing over a funky, bass-heavy rhythm -- Michael Jackson's "Bad" and James Brown's "Living In America" kept echoing in my head in some strange alchemy of the two. It's the kind of piece that'd end up on the soundtrack to some teen-flick, playing over the end credits.

There are weaknesses to Silent Scream, some parts that I would have pumped up a little bit, with stronger vocal performances. In fact, is that vocals are often buried in the mix. Simonz plays everything here on the album and I feel he would have benefited from some outside assistance, as on "Paradise Lost" for instance the elements seem put together a little clumsily and out of sync. And after a while, this epic feel seems to make the piece plod along, despite the fiery guitar runs. The guitars are the singly solid element throughout, however, suggesting that he should yield the other positions (maybe even vocals) to others and concentrate on the guitar solely.

The second instrumental, the bluesy, emotionally-charged "Blue Monday" is truly the best track here. While the tone contains distortion, Simonz' playing is fluid, and while not entirely inspired in terms of uniqueness, there is a sense that he's letting the guitar lead rather than leading the guitar. It's the sort of piece that guitar heroes are made of.

Though Silent Scream isn't an awful album, it is flawed, and those flaws make it just only a slightly above average album. A remastering might help matters, a remix might help a bit more? but then what Simonz is offering here isn't so unique enough that I think even with that, it wouldn't gain but a quarter point.

[Apparantly it was remixed for this very edition ? oops. Guess I should have said re-remixed then]

Also released by Faith Music (1999)


Tracklisting:
Silent Scream (5:24) / Time (5:14) / One And Only Love (1:58) / Girl... I Give My Life For You (4:47) / Angel Eyes (5:45) / Fly Away (4:31) / Paradise Lost (9:01) / Forever (4:36) / Lies (1:36) / Tears In Your Eyes (5:50) / Aftermath (5:24) / Blue Monday (6:06) / Without You (4:44)

Musicians:
Kelly Simonz ? guitars and everything else

Discography:
Sign Of The Times (1998/2002)
Silent Scream (1999/2002)
The Rule Of Right (2002)

Genre: Melodic Metal

Origin JP

Added: January 27th 2004
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Score:
Artist website: www.kellysimonz.com
Hits: 732
Language: english

  

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