"Towards the Silence" finds Garden Wall following and
reinforcing the psyche-metal trend that they have been
explicitly pursuing since their "Chimica" album, subtly
announced in their third effort "The Seduction of Madness".
Once again we meet this half sinister, half neurotic mixture
of prog metal, thrash, doom, contemporary King Crimson
inspired sonic power, jazz-rock with psychedelic tendencies
and experimental madness a-la Mr. Bungle-meets-RIO.
The obscure magic and abstruse tension that the album's
repertoire displays all along the way is preceded by a
beautiful brief acoustic guitar/stick duet
'Please Wait. Forgetting.', after which 'Caesura' emerges
as a storm of madness and schizophrenia: there are
some calm interludes that mostly serve as a slower
demonstration of the same inner discomfort.
Anger also rules supreme in 'Luna': this song is not as
bright as the moon, but dark as the veil of night that
spreads around it.
The alternation of explicit strong passages and calmer
ones is also used for good effect here.
The incandescent sounds that come from the dual guitars
and Saravalle's tortured singing shouldn't distract from
the fact that the rhythm section manages to provide a solid
foundation of precision among the constant mood shifts
and complex patterns.
'Oxymoron' starts very Crimsonian, but it won't be long
before a wildest thrash metallic "Sturm und Drang"
to bring some more of the band's reckless disturbing
The 10 ½ minute long 'Bottom' contains well-crafted
post rock-oriented passages with jazzy leanings
intertwined with the usual metal thing that ultimately
erupts and rises the temperature (again).
'4' pretty much offers a recapitulation of the ambiences
comprised in the previous 4 tracks, providing a more
pronounced Crimsonian flavor to the mix - for this
one, Saravalle's singing sounds like a hybrid
of Belew and Stratos.
The jazzy passages include some Metheny-like leads.
This track, together with tracks 2 and 3, fills the most
emblematic part of the album.
'Inadeguato' is the closest to funky that Garden Wall
can get under the artistic circumstances that frame
the album's line of work.
'Tome' (the original title is written in Greek script)
reiterates somewhat the funky ingredient, but again,
the metallic neurosis emerges to bring obscurity and
oppression, in communion with some eerie
post rock passages.
'Cursed Nature' brings some Holdsworth-inspired
energetic jazz-rock ornaments among
the metallic dementia.
'Der Stellen Entgegen' closes down the album with
a 3-minute soundscape on guitar-synth, seasoned
with soft piano flourishes: an unexpected breeze of
introspection after the long turmoil.
"Towards the Silence" is a very weird album, indeed, located in a limbo between the perpetual storm of radical metal and the complexity of avant-prog, difficult enough to challenge the criteria of metal and prog lovers. I love it and regard it as excellent: the guys in Garden Wall have made a clear statement about how they see themselves as creators and performers.
Review by Cesar Inca