SILENCE – City Nights (2012)

SILENCE - City Nights (2012)


French musician Bruno Levesque is not much known outside Melodic Rock / AOR music circles, but he has been working in his project / band SILENCE since the late nineties.
It started as an instrumental affair (2 CD’s), but during the last decade Levesque has delivered a very good triad of full-band albums.

Now, Silence is ready to release not 1, but 2 albums simultaneously; “City Nights” and “City Days”.
While Levesque had been recording with a variety of vocalists in the previous discs, a new chapter opened with the arrival of Benjamin Venet (from the Belgian band Jayhawkers) in 2008’s last album ‘Open Road’.
Now firmly established as stable member in Silence, Venet has noticeably evolved on this new recording. Not only did he co-write most the songs on offer, he performs them with an enviable ease and freshness.
His vocals range from a sweet timbre to a slightly raspy tone resembling a young Jon Bon Jovi, which perfectly fit Levesque’s sonic universe. The chemistry between them jumps to the speakers and sparks on every song, on both CD’s.
“City Nights” comprises the most rockin’ tracks of the new material, while “City Days” (which will be presented here on these pages soon) waters on a more melodic and light stuff.

“City Nights” rocks, but in the melodic sense of the word. This a pure Melodic Rock album, with a sound and style that reminds you the best Stage Dolls, Strangeways and why not, the melodious late eighties Bon Jovi.
Opener “Drifting Away” is a lovely sweet melodic rocker with a great guitar riff, an effective dubbed octave vocalization during the verses and a chorus to die for. Add to this a fantastic and tuneful guitar solo and you have one of the songs of the year. Awesome track!
Next, “Ghosts” really surprises me. I’ve been following Silence’s discography since the beginning, and this track visits a new territory for this fine band. The song is a marching rockin’ tune with a modern approach, with electronics and hi-techie mix, much in the way of recent Stage Dolls or Swedes’ Aquila.

I am a sucker for songs as follower “Taste Of The Past”, a smooth, adorable midtempo AOR tune not heard since the best years of Strangeways. Love it.
High quality melodies continue on the keyboard drenched “Crashing Down”, the Terra Nova-like “Memory Of Blue Eyes” and the breathtaking waves of “Promised Land”.
“Someday” is a perfect breezy poppy semi-ballad with carefully crafted vocal parts and pristine guitars. Venet sounds particularly great here. What a great song.
And there’s more. The uptempo “Insomnia” rocks with a sensational atmosphere and clever guitars, a track with an inventive structure and electronics (the good ones) which adds even more distinctiveness to this, at this point, superb Melodic Rock album.
The rest of the songs display high doses of quality as well. The modern day Bon Jovi-like ballad “Promised Land” sounds thousands better and emotive than anything released by the New Jersey’s recently.
The melodic rocker “Just One Kiss” – composed by Frédéric Slama (AOR project) – carries a contagious chorus, “Out Of The Dream” has a ‘Swedish’ melodic line in the vein of the good Bad Habit, while the lights in the air acoustic ballad “(Goodbye To) The Good Old Days” ends the CD complete with strings, pianos and clean electric guitars.

I think it’s enough.
I am completely in love with “City Nights”, one of the most organic, sweet, harmonic, pure Melodic Rock albums in many, many years.
With this album, Silence has marked a clear difference with rest of bands in this genre: Emotion. All the songs on “City Nights” will lodge in you blue collar Melodic Rock heart, meticulously arranged and handmade produced with love.
Great songs, great musical melodies, great vocal harmonies: all are here.
I’m sold.
Highly, Highly Recommended.

You’ve seen it first here, at zerodayrock

01 – Drifting Away
02 – Ghosts
03 – Taste Of The Past
04 – Crashing Down
05 – Memory Of Blue Eyes
06 – Someday
07 – Insomnia
08 – Promised Land
09 – Just One Kiss *
10 – Out Of The Dream
11 – (Goodbye To) The Good Old Days

Ben Venet: Lead & Backing Vocals, Guitar
Bruno Levesque: Guitars, Keyboards, Bass, Drums
Tommy Denander: add. Guitar, Keyboards
Frédéric Slama (AOR): Songwriting* on 9


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