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4.26 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2012

Filed under Doom Metal


1. The Serpent's Tongue (11:33)
2. After... (2:58)
3. Nightwinds (9:26)
4. Gentle Notice of A Final Breath (11:32)
5. ...before (2:28)
6. A Way of Silence (14:22)

Total time 52:19


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About this release

Released May 14, 2012, on Code666.

Thanks to Time Signature for the addition


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Silence is the second full-length album from Netherlands duo Nachtvorst, following the release of Stills (2009). Although described as an experimental black metal act, Silence is primarily a doom metal release where black metal is really only used for flavour. Call it black doom metal if you will.

Silence features six tracks, with three of them passing the ten minute barrier, and one following just short. The other two tracks are short instrumental pieces. The album kicks off with The Serpent's Tongue, an eleven and a half minute piece that does a good job at showcasing just what Silence is all about. The riffs are slow and crushing, and very heavy for it, which creates a strong doom atmosphere that is only enhanced by the harsh growling vocals which are the track most obvious black metal element. Nachtvorst also quickly prove in this track that there is a soft side to their music which some drawn out sections of lighter music. The best thing about this is that it doesn’t lose any of the quite evil sounding doom of the metal parts in the process.

Silence is also a rare case where interlude style instrumental tracks are used to the best possible effect. That’s because it’s clear that some effort has been invested in them to make them stand on their own merits. The first one, entitled After... works exceptionally well between the first pair of longer tracks, lulling you into a false sense of security after the doom of The Serpent's Tongue so that when Nightwinds suddenly bursts out of your speakers with a much more prominent black metal assault than had been evident thus far in the album, it knocks you for six. It a good way of course.

For an album that on one hand seems to be all about sounding as dark and evil as possible, there’s actually a lot going on within the music. Nachtvorst draws on much more than doom and black metal here. There’s sludge, post rock and drone influences creeping in there, all welded together into a cohesive effort. There is a level of repetition in the sound as well but fortunately the band uses it to effect within their doom atmosphere, so there isn’t an issue with boredom. Silence is one of those albums that will draw you in and not let go until its final and frantic conclusion with its longest track, A Way of Silence.

For its style I found that Silence was a surprisingly easy album to get into. It’s very immediate and multiple listens do not lessen its appeal in any way. If anything it just keeps opening up until it’s hard not to hold the album in very high regard. An exceptional rating is more than deserved.


(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (
Time Signature

Genre: sludge doom

Dutch Nachtvorst may well originate from the black metal scene, but on Silence black metal only features as an ingredient in the overall sound, which is much more directed towards the bleakness and oppression of doom and sludge metal than towards the chaos and evil of black metal.

The first track 'The Serpent's Tongue' opens with a crushingly heavy doom-laden riff, and for the next six and a half minutes, the listener is treated to heavy, chucking, doomy riffs accompanied by growled and screechy vocals. This is followed by a nice atmospheric section with piano effects and clean guitars, before the chucking doom riffs kick in again. The song is concluded with another atmospheric section which transitions into the dark and melancholic quasi-symphonic instrumental 'After...'. 'Nightwinds' adds a sludgy touch with its aggressive opening riff and slightly hardcore-ish edge, but after three minutes the tempo is lowered and things slowly build up towards a heavy black-doom section. The atmospheric and 'Gentle Notice of a Final Breath' has an almost post-metal feel to it. '...Before' is another atmospheric instrumental piece, and 'A Way of Silence' concludes the album majestically in a shroud of introvert darkness and shoegazing doom.

Apart from screechy vocals and dissonant harmonies every now and then, the most prevalent black metal feature on Silence is Nacthvorst's use of repetition, and, while repetition can end up generating boredom-inspiring monotony, Nachtvorst have mastered the power of repetition. They use it very efficiently, generating a sense of bleakness and oppression, but at no point do the tunes on this album get boring (which is quite a feat since the songs are actually quite long).

The production is actually quite good, and there really is a lot of bottom on the bass and guitars, giving the album an extra punch towards heaviness, while the drums have a well-defined sound allowing you to hear every single beat.

Fans of doom metal and depressive black metal are likely to find this work of darkness and oppression to be a very enjoyable album, and perhaps fans of atmospheric black metal, sludge metal and post-metal will take a liking to Silence as well because of the many elements deriving from those genres.

(review originally posted on

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