Guitarist Mika Gronholm returns with his second project, under his own name, Silent Out Loud. This work is a tale of two discs, with the first six songs offering a mixture of hard rock and metal with some prog nuances and the last four featuring acoustic and orchestral arrangements.
Cross of Mind kicks off the first leg with a heavier signature wrapped in an, often catchy, melodic rock feel. From here the results are mixed. The best comes in Out From the Nest, where innovation merges with melodic sensibility for a true musical treat, and Race Is On, a lighter yet still up tempo piece. Distorted Eyes and Under My Star simply seem heavy, and Vanity seems to intrigue at first but collapses under the weight of the heavy melancholy.
For the second, and better, course, Giant Step is an instrumental tour de force led by Gronholm's guitar work; it's certainly a fine expression of his song craftsmanship. Two short pieces follow. Set the Stones offers passionate vocals over simple acoustic guitar. On Dawn of the Dream, Gronholm takes up the acoustic guitar alone with superb results. Finally, Away tunes out the heaviness present in the earlier part of the album, and builds upon piano over an symphonic motif. It's a beautiful piece, and likely the best song on Silent Out Loud.
All this finds Gronholm's Silent Out Loud being a work of mixed and inconclusive results. Excepting Out From the Nest, the best part of this disc are those latter four songs. Call his sophomore release a work of indulgence or experimentation, but Gronholm's Silent Out Loud is certainly different from this first release, and quite possibly not on par with it.
Gronholm's Silent Out Loud is a work of mixed compositions and inconclusive results. Call his sophomore release a work of indulgence or experimentation, but Gronholm's Silent Out Loud is certainly different from this first release.
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