vrijdag 22 oktober 2010

A.C.T. - 2006 - Silence


01. Truth Is Pain (4:09)
02. Puppeteers (4:13)
03. This Wonderful World (4:20)
04. Out Of Ideas (4:47)
05. Hope (4:29)
06. Into The Unknown (3:55)
07. No Longer Touching Ground (4:11)
08. Useless Argument (4:49)
09. The Voice Within (3:55)
10. Polish, Reduce, And Enlarge (3:55)
11. Call In Dead (2:51)
12. Consequences:
- a. Silent Screams (1:58)
- b. Introduction (0:51)
- c. The Millionaire (2:10)
- d. Joanna (3:09)
- e. A Father's Love (2:32)
- f. Memory to Fight (2:43)
- g. The Diary (3:10)
- h. A Wound that Won't Heal (4:32)
- i. The Final Silence (1:36)

- Jerry Sahlin / synthesizers, lead and backing vocals, vocoder and deck of cards
- Ola Andersson / electric and acoustic guitars, lead and backing vocals
- Peter Asp / bass guitar, synthesizer bass and bass pedals
- Herman Saming / lead and backing vocals
- Thomas Lejon / drums and percussion

The Acting Orchestra:
- Tomas Ebrelius / violin
- Hanna Hajslund Hansen / violin
- Catharina Holm / viola
- John Löfgren / cello

Acting Actors:
- Kenny Sahlin / additional lead vocals (2)
- Martin Hedin / angry customer (11)

Swedish Band A.C.T's 2006 release, Silence, is an enjoyable listen, if rarely rising beyond that description.The songs are, for the most part, short (around 4 minutes), except for the epic, "Consequences". They follow the basic pop-rock song structure, with chorus', verses, etc. The band sings in English, which is nice for us English speakers, but some of the lyrics are a little forced. This can be charming on the first time through, but when the awkward phrasing's make it into the chorus, they tend to start getting annoying. ("For all sake, but he's fake, I won't break, now it's time for the speech").
The instruments rarely take the foreground, but that doesn't stop them from shining. They are played playfully, and it's clear that the band enjoys what they are doing. One thing I appreciate is that the instruments rarely settle on anything, moving through various riffs and ideas to support the vocals, so as not to get boring.
In a way, this album reminds me of Frost*, just in the overall sound - it has a sense of "mainstream" sound to it, much like Frost*, but is still undeniably prog. That being said, I feel that Frost* is a bit more successful at achieving this.
The epic is a nice track, held together by the concept and some musical themes. The most prominent of which you will hear in Silent Screams played on the piano, and Herman sings along with the theme at various points. What always throws me for a loop, is that the theme sounds a fair amount like Air Supply's "All Out of Love" (specifically, it pretty much exactly matches the part where the band sings, "I'm all out of love, I'm so lost without you"). Which, given the theme of the song, is appropriate, I suppose. It's not particularly mind-blowing in execution, but it has lots of good parts, and feel cohesive. It ranges from pretty to heavy at various points, and the instruments are given a bit more space here than on the rest of the album.

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