This is Thrash for people who do crosswords. STEEP have been hard at work feeding this album Omega 3 since birth and as a result it is a more cerebral being than its progenitors. Its probably been stuck in heated debate with Dr Hardcore for some time too.
A modern take on the genre then, with some cross pollination along the way, the main thing is that “Silence Is Not Golden” is a hard nosed bruiser of an album that as well as carrying high protein drinks in its rucksack, also has a number of weighty tomes in there too. Seemingly unconcerned with proving themselves in any pissing contest, the band have levered in a collection of intelligently written and presented tunes that despite the straight faced image still have that engagement that will have you stoking your chin one minute and banging your head the next.
Occupying the mid paced territories for the most part, STEEP punch out the riffs in a thick and chunky fashion firing in plenty of discord along the way. There is a preacher's tone to the vocals oftimes that places the band on a pedestal inviting all around to listen in. Insistent lead embellishments litter tracks like “Legions Of Hate,” whilst “Unnatural Disaster” which follows, concentrates more on keeping it heavy with a more minimal but no less effective use of said lead work.
STEEP march along with a strong sense of purpose and maybe even the slightest hint of Doom. Aspects of tracks like “The Empire Of Grief” tip the biggest nod to purer Thrash but there are no real out and out chuggathons here, whenever they use the genre in its basic form, a flourish of something VOIVOD would appreciate pushes it towards the highbrow. The aforementioned track eventually drifts off into some cthonic, metal insect infested cavern before emerging out into some skewed Crossover stomping.
In some ways SING is akin to watching someone deranged in a padded cell, they sit there staring at times but for the most part they're just bouncing off the walls. The riffs are packed in for your delectation and threaten to shear the buckles from your straight jacket, they may be deadly serious but that doesn't mean you can't break out into a leary grin.
Far from straight forward but direct enough to keep you with them, STEEP have an album that gives you a pounding and then asks you to think about what has just happened, I'm in no doubt that you will only ask for more. (Online May 15, 2006)