MTM Music
Release date: September 26, 2005

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Silver is the collaborative force of vocalist Gary Barden (MSG, Statetrooper, Praying Mantis) and guitarist Michael Voss (Demon Drive, Casanova, Mad Max, ex-Bonfire). When Silver put out their debut, the self-titled Silver in 2001, most people probably assumed that this was a one-off studio collaboration. Well, four years later and the duo are releasing their fifth CD, entitled Gold. Seems it was only a matter of time before a band named Silver would put out a release named Gold. Just the thought may bring back memories of Yukon Cornelius, the miner in search of riches (i.e., Silver & Gold), from the 1964 Rankin-Bass Pop icon classic, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Michael Voss states, “The album entitled Gold reflects the 5th coming, and, of course, Gary’s birthday August 27th, 2005, which is his 50th. So it is a bit of a celebration.” Ironically, the title opens itself to a whole plethora of plays on words … a reviewer’s dream. For example, will Gold lead to rags or riches?

One thing is certain, Gary Barden has one of the most distinct voices in Rock, and even at the age of 50, this guy can still sing. On the opening, rocking track, “Creep,” Gary sounds as strong as he did during his MSG days, which leads to the second highlight, the release’s mix and production. The sound is crisp, clear, undistorted, and all recorded instrumental and voice tracks have a nice distinct separation to them. The production on this album ranks up there with some of the best of music’s Pop icons (e.g., David Bowie, U2, Madonna, Dave Matthews Band, etc.). Don’t get scared off by the mention of some of those bands! The Production is as top notch as the aforementioned bands and not necessarily the same type of music. This CD’s music is best categorized as Mature Rock with more of a back beat and “groove” than most traditional AOR releases.

Highlights include the opening track “Creep,” which is one of the hardest and catchiest tracks on the release. It has a nice rhythm section to it with a heavy stomp beat, a clear bouncing bass line, and some nice guitar riffing by Michael Voss. “Joshua” is the other clear-cut winner, with its massive groove and some nice sequencing/programming by Mike Bar that is reminiscent of Paul Raymond’s work with MSG. Tommy Denander also lays down a tasty lead track on this cut as well. “China Girl,” on the other hand, is a cover of the classic David Bowie song that seems to work here for the most part. The band put down a nice overall Hard Rock rendition of this song. Unfortunately, what’s missing is the lower, deep vocal styling that Bowie was capable of, versus the more mid-range styling of Barden. Even so, this cover track is still enjoyable.

In-between these three “glittering” tracks lies seven slower, more sophisticated tracks. Even though these tracks aren’t as heavy as most Metal Express Radio listeners would like, they are still delivered with a certain artistic panache that is lost in a lot of today’s newer music. From the enchanting backing vocals of Michaela Schober, to the Acoustic Guitar opening and multi-tracked chorus of “Wouldn’t You Agree,” to the Denander guitar-driven “Daydream Believers,” all are delivered with style and class. For whatever reasons, the stern, crisp, dead-on drumming on this release, if indeed it is drumming, was not credited. If it’s programmed drums, then Mike Bar has worked a miracle because the “drumming” provides a very solid groove throughout the album.

In the end, the release doesn’t sway far from Silver’s previous release, Addiction. The enclosed music is stylish, mature AOR with a smattering of Hard Rock here and there. While most Barden fans are yearning for something heavier, that is no reason to immediately displace this release as the “sparkling” AOR gem that it is.


Gary Barden – Lead Vocals
Michael Voss – Guitars, Bass, Backing Vocals
Tommy Denander – Lead Guitar on 3 Tracks
Mike Bar – Sequencing, Programming, Special FX, Power Editing
Michaela Schober – Backing Vocals


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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