Age of Silence - Complications - Trilogy of Intricacy
The End Records
Avantgarde Metal
3 songs (16'03")
Release year: 2005
The End Records
Reviewed by Alex

I try to follow just about everything Andy Winter does. Winds, his solo piano project, his to be announced mysterious new project and, the band in question, Age of Silence. I simply think that the man is one hell of a talent, both in terms of his keyboards/synth ability and music writing. Winds is one of my favorite bands, perfectly fusing progressive metal and classical music. Age of Silence, with their debut Acceleration, has pleased me as well, but it is a beast of a different ilk. To me, Winds, while putting many ideas into one song, always manage to sort it out in the end. There is a line of clarity in Winds, and it is also one of considerable beauty. Age of Silence piles things on and on, leaving it to the listener to find a way out of this avant-garde Bizarro Metal.

Although rumored to have enough music for a full album, Age of Silence decided to release an EP Complications – Trilogy of Intricacy instead. One reason could be the lyrical concept was completely fitting a trilogy format, thus 3-song EP resulted. And if you know Age of Silence you realize that lyrical concept is of equal importance to the music.

One of my clients has a saying “let’s continue to unpeel the onion” when encountered with a complex and difficult problem. I will borrow this phrase from him in describing Complications. This is some of the most voluminous multilayered sound probably ever created in metal. Forget it trying to understand it with a one quick on-the-run listen. Chugging riffs, intricate solos (do I hear flamenco guitar on The Idea of Independence and the Reason Why It’s Austere?), synthesizers slipping in and out of consonance, umpteen layers of vocals and a bunch of other psychedelia are threaded onto the rhythmic drumming axis provided by none other than Hellhammer (the man is everywhere). Percussive or double bass (Mr. M, Man of Muzak), he never loses control and provides the funky groove point of reference to the whole affair.

Vocals are again handled by Lazare (Borknagar, Solefald), and just like it was with Acceleration, they are an acquired taste, and I seem to be missing it. The man is a genius when it comes to the lyrical and concept ideas, but his voice still puts me off as the only way I can characterize it is a high-pitched whine. Using backing vocals and choirs on Complications softens the blow.

Andy does not put himself in the spotlight on Complications. The number of piano passages are greatly reduced (string music is also missing). The EP is much darker and guitar oriented than Acceleration, so keyboards mostly come in the form of synthetic sounds, some of them weird, spacey and distorted (Vouchers, Coupons and the End of a Shopping Session).

The concept behind the Trilogy is Hell opening up a shopping mall the size of Canada. The deals are great, but there is one catch. No one leaves … with the mall to re-open in the nearest future for another session. Think about whether you want to attend. There is still room in the parking lot and the shelves are stoked.

Late Arcturus and Solefald are the only bands I can compare Age of Silence to. See for yourself if A) you are willing to unpeel this onion; B) there is a golden nugget inside of it waiting for you.

Killing Songs :
I think it will be all hit or miss for many people
Alex quoted 72 / 100
Other albums by Age of Silence that we have reviewed:
Age of Silence - Acceleration reviewed by Alex and quoted 82 / 100
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