A.C.T - Silence

A.C.T Silence cover
InsideOut Music
OK, this is the best album of 2006! The webmaster kept prompting me to listen to it for a long time, but I thought that it would be one more of his “great” discoveries – he has one every week or so – so I kept ignoring him... until he dropped by once and played it to me! That was it. I’m trapped ever since, in this bittersweet “silence” of those Swedish guys. It’s not only that this is the most unique, original, sentimental album I’ve heard in a long time. It’s also that it contains the song, which I’m sure that we will vote a “song of the year” here in Grande Rock (“Truth is Pain”). Just to support my claims I can only tell you that every single one of us here in the site ordered his own copy of the CD – and to be honest, I think this is the first time this happens – we usually mock on its others choices.
Now, on the pure musical front, the album can be perfectly described as a huge melting-pot of astonishing ideas. This means, of course, that it is extremely difficult to categorize the music contained in here, or put it under a specific label. Possibly I could say that this is progressive music, in the sense that A.C.T (who stubbornly refuse to disclose what the initials stand for) combine many musical styles and genres. But don’t get carried away and think that these guys here play “progressive” music like Disillusion, Dilinger Escape Plan and other modern crap. The band here still produces MUSIC and not sounds.
The musical identity of the group shall be traced back in the late 70s (prog) and early 80s (radio-friendly). I could say that the major influence here must be Queen, especially in the orchestrations. But then again, dozens of influences appear as the album evolves... Yes (of the later years), Journey, Queensryche, Paradise Lost, Spock’s Beard, Prince, and the list goes on. But the thing here is that the songs are clothed in the A.C.T original sound, embellished by stringed instruments, lyrical outbreaks (highly supported by a great voice), a solid theatrical tone and even some funky elements. The moods are in general up-tempo, but as I wrote above bittersweet, the songs are short – and this is the biggest breakthrough of the band: that they have digested dozens of influences (from classical music, to musicals, soundtracks and pure rock) and manage to spit them in our face as complete, well-structured songs. Frankly, after the first shock, the first thing I remember myself telling the webmaster was “goodness, how on earth do they manage to fit in so short songs so many ideas and influences?”... and still the songs remain solid and easy to follow, even for a non-prog fan!
Girls and guys, do not think about it too much. This will be among your best buys of the year – whatever kind of music you are fond of. If you like music, if you cannot imagine yourself without the noble sounds that keep us alive, go out and buy this one. Enter the labyrinth of the unique guitar riffs in the way they are combined with the classical piano. And if this album does not reach you and speak directly to your soul, search again... you might be dead.