Melancholy, the most intriguing of emotions. Tap into it and make a fountain of creation that never dies out. Overuse it and morph that ever breathing entity into mind shattering apathy. In the Silence stands trial with charges severe. Are they wallowing in lethargy or will they take that brave step over the edge and create something fresh and new? May the hearing commence.

Everything about A Fair Dream Gone Mad reeks of melancholy. The instrumentations, the vocals, the cover arts. The mood is oppressive, yet seldom breathers are offered as the band embraces its musicianship with style. Itís truly heartwarming to hear tight playing and good grooves combined. Kudos to Niko Panagopulos, the drummer. Delivering fury and serenity at the same time is by no means an easy task. Josh Burkes vocal output also sounds great and his voice is pleasant with just the right amount of roughness.

Quite a few nods are made in the direction of Tool and neo-prog outfits, mainly Porcupine Tree, but the most important factor is that the band stands on its own. Every member knows their role in the band and the progressive part of the music really is progressive, not just instrument masturbation. The guitar solos on Beneath These Falling Leaves may fall into that category, yes, but in this case it works. Namely, this little overkill offers clear cracks in the polished surface of the overall sound of the record and that leads us to the main point of this review; variation.

The lack of variety in moods can be disheartening. Eating ice cream is great, but having it four times a day will lead to severe anemia and a painful death. The band could just let go now and then, forget those old grudges with ex-lovers and just enjoy life for a while. After all, things have a tendency to work out in the end. Darkness feels darker with light as contrast and turning it around, a flickering flame of the candle is sometimes all you need to light your way in a world of darkness.

The band manages to sound very gray and depressing most of the time, which is of course the very essence of In the Silence, but tracks like Endless Sea and Ever Closer bring some welcomed change to the atmosphere, the first mentioned having awesome hooks and the latter a great groove. The earlier mentioned Beneath These Falling Leaves is a strong contender for the top track of this album with its surprising power metal infusion.

Verdict: The album is good, but something is still missing. Perhaps the crack mentioned earlier could grow and engulf the band in strange territory, allowing it to make some honest mistakes. Something that makes the outfit a living, breathing entity, instead of clock on the school wall, watching over a test you must pass with best scores. Let loose. Take chances. Surprise us. Break the law!

7Ĺ / 10