SILVER CYPHER – Cryptic Characters

  • 5/10
    SILVER CYPHER - Cryptic Characters - 5/10


Release Date: March 6, 2009

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Silver Cypher is all about dark, Melodic Power Metal. Formed in 2005, they come from Cincinnati, Ohio USA. Since getting together, they’ve played more than 100 shows, released two demos and two full lengths. Cryptic Characters is the second of their two LPs. It features six songs, which last for a total of about 43 minutes.

The band intends to stay the busy course they’ve created for themselves by releasing another album in 2010. However, a little label support is something they’re hoping to secure for the next release. Question is, are Silver Cypher really worthy of the attention they so eagerly seek?

The album starts with “The Knights Templar”. It shouldn’t be difficult to figure out what this song is about. The verses are sung in an ominous manner, and the chorus is unfortunately pretty repetitive. Many a Metal head that’s well versed in Power Metal will be reminded of Grave Digger’s Knights of the Cross when listening to this one. The comparison however, is unjust. Silver Cypher is definitely not Grave Digger.

“The Knight’s Templar” is a fitting example of what’s to come. You get songs that average out to a little over seven minutes. They’re drawn out by lengthy instrumental passages and guitar solos that fail to impress. It’s obvious that the guys are trying to show that they’ve some technical aptitude, but they simply come up short in making a real and lasting impact in the musical department.

The next track, “Old Blood and Guts”, which is the longest one on the album, is about the infamous General Patton. With this one, it becomes clear that John Krech, the band’s vocalist, has a significant flaw: when he reaches for the high notes, he manages to sound robotic. This is a problem throughout the entire album. There’s something about Krech’s tone that just doesn’t work. He shifts from evil and gloomy to Mr. Roboto at the flip of a switch, which just doesn’t lend to a sense of cohesiveness.

The band isn’t without a strong point. Lyrically, more than a few of these songs are thought provoking and well structured. It’s obvious that care was taken when considering what to sing about and what messages to address. “Ignorance” is probably the best example of this: “We cannot ensure our survival through misuse of force / It has never worked and it never will / Now we must learn from the past / Before it again repeats and stop embracing ignorance.” Certainly, this is an oft-heard message, but a relevant one nonetheless.

If Cryptic Characters is any indication of what Silver Cypher’s got, they’ll need to up their game. Much of the subject matter they tackle is of interest, but they need to make more of an impact musically. When they shed the excess instrumental stuff and try for a more uniform sound, these guys might just get it right.

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