Silent Stream Of Godless Elegy - Relic Dances review


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Band: Silent Stream Of Godless Elegy
Album: Relic Dances
Release date: 2004

01. Look
02. To Face The End
03. I Would Dance
04. Together
05. You Loved The Only Blood
06. Lonely
07. Gigula
08. Trinity

In the world of folk metal there are essentially two basic subgenres: bands which use a folk instrument as sort of a gimmick (like Finntroll, Korpiklaani or Eluveitie*) and bands that directly imbue traditional instruments directly into their music using them just like any other instrument. Silent Stream Of Godless Elegy falls directly into this second category and their album Relic Dances is a wonderful exhibition of this genre.

Most of the songs on this album have fairly simple rhythm guitar riffs and surprisingly prominent bass lines as well. However, neither are complicated for neither instrument plays the lead. Most of the time the lead instrument is either vocals or the violin as well as the occasional piano interjections. The latter are much more skilfully employed compared to the guitar and bass. Try to keep in mind that the piano and violin are used differently than in most Western and Northern European folk bands; instead of being generally upbeat they are often more melancholic.

"I Would Dance", my personal favourite, is probably the catchiest song on the album offering a very good glimpse at what the rest of the release has to offer (the video is on their profile page). Unfortunately this song suffers a similar fate as the rest of the album, it doesn't really go anywhere. It has the same riffs, more or less, from beginning to end and few songs really seem to evolve which is an extremely unfortunate regarding this album.

There are not many flaws about Relic Dances but there is just something missing to pull this album from good to great. Each song is well done and they all vary well from one to another but the repetition within each song as well as the general lack of catchier elements sometimes makes the album boring. Nonetheless, Relic Dances is still a good album and musically much better than most releases from the first category of folk metal bands while being somewhat inferior to its peers in the second category like Kauan or Uaral.

*I don't mean to infer that these bands are necessarily bad; instead I only use this comparison to show that these bands tend to use their folk instruments as catchier elements in their songs rather than adding further dimensions.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 9
Production: 9

Written by Marcus | 13.05.2010


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This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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