As if to prove that good music transcends every boundary, Break the Silence comes from the remote Northern Territory desert.
With their first widely-distributed album, Southeast Desert Metal will shatter any pre-conceived ideas about what music by four Aboriginal men from the remotest place you’ve never heard of should sound like. Opening with the warm, clean strumming of the title track, Break the Silence is a straight-up heavy metal album full of good songs, catchy riffs and sharp playing.
Lyrically, tracks like “Rainmaker”, “Healer” and “Spirit Woman” explore the spiritually and culturally meaningful; elsewhere the likes of “Angel Eyes”, “Send Me An Angel” and the radio-ready melodic almost-power ballad “Don’t Walk Away” touch on the universal topics of love, loss, despair and hardship. Musically SDM barely put a foot wrong – solid, catchy metal with choruses that stick and pointed, effective guitar solos from Gavin Hayes.
Only on the politically-charged “Raise Our Flag” does the band falter a little – the arrangement feels off-kilter and forced, which is a shame as the lyrics are, as one would expect, potent and resolute. Singer Chris Mitchell can carry a tune but he’s not the greatest vocalist either, lacking a really powerful delivery that some of the heavier songs like “Rising Storm” and “Road Through Hell” demand, and yet the songs and the messages are so strong that can just about be overlooked. Break the Silence is, in virtually every respect, a very impressive release.
- Break the Silence
- Spirit Woman
- Don’t Walk Away
- Raise Our Flag
- Road Through Hell
- Send Me An Angel
- Rising Storm
- Angel Eyes