By Dr. Abner Mality

Italy's Cadaveria are a plucky band. I'm not sure if they'll ever rise much higher than where they're at now, but that won't stop them from trying. They do seem to make progress with each album and "Silence" is their most listenable and coherent yet, though it is far from a classic.

Led by their curvaceous namesake, Cadaveria play a kind of pounding modern metal with plenty of groove that mixes with touches of the Gothic. The guitars are downtuned and super heavy in the way of most modern bands and Cadaveria's voice switches from acid-gargling growls ala Arch Enemy to rather average melodic female tones. She's better with the rough stuff, that's for sure. In fact, Arch Enemy is not a bad comparison for Cadaveria, but the band lacks the shredding guitar acumen of that iconic band.

The force and heaviness of "Silence" hits right from the attack of first song "Velo (The Other Side of Hate)". This is already a marked improvement over their last album "Horror Metal", which was uneven to say the least. "Carnival of Doom" drops the pace and tosses in a smidgen more melody but is still very heavy. But the song that sticks in my head the most is "Free Spirit"...that opening riff is an absolute monster. One of the best and catchiest I've heard all year. A whole album like these first three would have put Cadaveria on the path to a great album, but they can't quite sustain it. The more Gothic side of the band rises on the second half of "Silence", with "Almost Ghostly" and "Loneliness" feature more of the flat clean vocals and piano. Plus those tunes tend to be too long. And the album in total drags somewhat as well. But the heaviness is never far away and on "Death, Again", they band even experiments with some thick and dragging doom.

Despite some flaws, "Silence" shows Cadaveria on an upward trajectory. I wish them nothing but luck.