Silenced Minstrel are a solo project from Malaysia that has been featured before in this zine and on this recording plays a satanic form of black metal and this is a review of his self released 2020 album ''Volume 5".
A very dark and heavy sound starts off the album while all of the drum beats are also programmed while the solos and leads are also done in a very melodic style . The vocals are done in a shouting style that is more rooted in the first wave era and when the music speeds up a great amount of blast beats can be heard.
Throughout the recording you can also hear a great mixture of slow, mid paced and fast parts while the tremolo picking also gives the songs more of a raw feeling. When guitar solos and leads are utilized they are also done in an old school style along with one track also introducing clean playing onto the recording.
The songs also add in a decent amount of second wave influences as well as being modern at the same time along with one track also adding in a brief use of whispered vocals, growls can also be heard at times and the album closes with an orchestra orientated instrumental. The production sounds very raw and old school while the lyrics cover Satanism, Occultism and Darkness themes.
In my opinion this is another great sounding album from Silenced Minstrel and if you are a fan of old school satanic black metal , you should check out this recording . RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "'Enlightened Beasts' ''Descend Into Madness'' ''Canto Diablo 4 - Ballad For Satan'' and ''Dirge Of The Eternal Winter''. 8 out of 10.
Silenced Minstrel (age 44 years, born Saiful Nizam Shukor, 28 th March 1976) was a full time singer, songwriter musician from Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Been playing music since 1991 he co-founded HALUN, a gothic black metal band back in 1996, produced several demos, one EP and one LP before the badly deformed monstrosity was laid to rest in 2015. Writing and producing mostly in his bedroom studio nicknamed “Sky Panacea Enterprise” he spent the entire 2016 gathering writing and recording materials for his debut album “Volume 1” choosing to name it as such as to not make it sounds too rockstar-ish.
“Volume 1” is a combination of melodic gothic stuff mixed with thrash, death and doom metal riffs and black metal atmosphere, utilizing the most basic of guitar effects, cheap keyboards/ synthesizers and MIDI orchestra throughout the entire album to produce something that he’d always wanted to do: anything that didn’t sound like his former band! The album is completed in September but it be long after the production of the second album was underway when that album graced the scene...
The second album “Volume 2” saw some maturity in his songwriting, the MIDI orchestra part ditched altogether and it also saw a fair amount of rough edges deliberately highlighted in the mix, and a lot more gothic atmosphere throughout than before especially in the lyrics department, where he wrote songs about the occult, immortality, vampirism and forbidden love between the mortal and the damned, also some cryptic poetic inclinations thrown to the mix just for the heck of it.
The third album “Volume 3” saw him moving ever closer towards a more melodic black metal sound than the old one, this time the long ditched MIDI orchestra element restored along with some double-layered bass guitar tracks and even gloomier atmosphere than before, reflecting the state of his mind, body, spirit and environment that he’s at during that period of time; with traces of anger, hatred, betrayal and vengeance gracing every song in the album (he fully recovered from his decade long clinical depression that same year).
The fourth album “Volume 4” saw him disposing of all the gothic melodic stuff and straight into just vocals guitars bass and drums, trying to go as dry and as harsh as he can, tackling on darker themes like deviant spirituality, Satanism, atheism, philosophy and dark fantasy. Fast tempo is the name of the game; the drums gained more prominence and absolutely no melodic stuff present on this album.
The fifth album “Volume 5” saw the further development of sound and direction from the previous album, adding also an orchestral style instrumental black metal song as the last track of the album, a song that hearkens back to his old days in HALUN.
The artist is currently occupied promoting his new album, gathering materials for the sixth album and also working on his other band “Shadowed Grace” playing New Age Scifi Fantasy Instrumental Synthesizer music. Silenced Minstrel is unsigned and is looking for exposure, a recording contract and developing fanbases all across the globe.
Volume 1 (2017)
1 Chaos, Revisited
2 I Remember…Insanity
3 Black Hearted Sufi
4 Twilight Catharsis
5 Misery, Revisited
6 Enemy Within Me…
7 Johnny Demonic
8 13 th May 69 (Instrumental)
Volume 2 (2018)
1 Into The Void
2 Morbid Endings I Wished For Them
3 I Shall Miss Quintessa
4 (Blood Red Flowers) Bleeding Moon
5 Entangled In Thorns
6 Another Black Year
7 Dark Deceptions
8 Another Black Year (Instrumental)
Volume 3 (2019)
1 Valedictory Sigh
2 Canto Diablo 1 – Demonic Epiphany
3 In Memoriam (Undertaker’s Lament)
4 In Memoriam (I Will Keep On Going)
5 Laying Down The Wreaths
6 Merentap Tirai Senja
7 Incantations In Tongues
8 Valedictory Sigh (Instrumental)
Volume 4 (2020)
1 The Black Journal Of Alkrun-Nar
2 The Dark Almighty
3 The Silenced Minstrel
4 Mortifications Of The Flesh
5 Godkiller (Forever Burning Me)
6 Dark Brotherhood Of The Mind-Benders
7 Laments From A Forgotten Age
8 The Final Journey
9 Canto Diablo 2 – Necrotic Mantras
10 Quod Damnum Omnis Spes
Volume 5 (2020)
1 Unenlightened Beasts
2 Twilight Of Religion
3 Hell On Earth
4 Descent Into Madness
5 Canto Diablo 3 – Plagued By The Future
6 Canto Diablo 4 – Ballad For Satan
7 Ex Lucis Tenebris
8 Night Hunt Of The Unseelie
9 Dirge Of The Eternal Winter
10 Regina Of The Blessed Moon (Instrumental)
Band: Silenced Minstrel
Band member (s):
Silenced Minstrel – All instruments, vocals, sound engineer, programmer, producer
Genre: Death/Black/Gothic Metal