Silent Force: Rising From Ashes (AFM Records)
Some bands enjoy a certain amount of success and then just disappear. That’s what happened with Silent Force, a metal outfit led by German guitarist Alex Beyrodt (who went on to success in Primal Fear, Sinner and Voodoo Circle) and released four acclaimed albums between 2000 and 2007. Now, seven years later, Silent Force makes an unexpected return with Rising From Ashes and a revamped lineup that includes vocalist Michael Bormann (best known for fronting Jaded Heart). The differences can be heard immediately. Gone are the obvious progressive/power-metal leanings of Silent Force’s previous discs, replaced with an increased emphasis on hooks and choruses. “Caught In Their Wicked Game,” a rousing Malmsteen-meets-Scorpions crusher, kicks things off, and Bormann’s ragged rocker voice helps turn Rising From Ashes into the heaviest Bon Jovi album you’ve ever heard.