A Fair Dream Gone Mad (Sensory)
By Mike Delano
In The Silence is a band that wholeheartedly embraces its Katatonia worship, and that’s a good thing. There aren’t nearly enough bands doing what the Swedish masters do in terms of epic, melancholy metal that’s dire enough for a black night but way too catchy and melodic to be confused with some of the drearier doom offerings that lurch lugubriously in no direction in particular.
The debut album from this Sacramento crew doesn’t have the same expert level of balance and polish as those from their obvious inspiration, but it has what’s important – the know-how of building a great song. The eight songs on A Fair Dream Gone Mad are cohesive and strong. It’s funny that the album title- seemingly a none-too-hidden reference to the classic Katatonia album Last Fair Deal Gone Down – actually sounds a lot more like another pair of Katatonia albums: Viva Emptiness and The Great Cold Distance. Those albums saw the Swedes at their most forceful and immediate, and that’s exactly where In The Silence is at on Fair Dream, especially on tracks like “Serenity” and “All the Pieces.” Sometimes the band is a little too immediate – the wanky guitar solo during the second half of “Beneath These Falling Leaves” is a little over the top, and it’s hard to believe it is nestled right beside the gorgeous, delicate instrumental “Close to Me.” Overall, though, an impressive debut that inspires great curiosity as to where the band’s sound is headed next.