The Silver make their Gilead Media debut with Ward of Roses; a record that is at once extreme and exposed, horrific yet beautiful, exploring anxiety, love, loss, and the matters that make us all too human.
Featuring brothers Matt and Jamie Knox from renowned death dealers Horrendous, joined by Enrique Sagarnaga of acclaimed Philly doom squad Crypt Sermon and newcomer Nick Duchemin, The Silver sounds almost nothing like the members’ other bands—and that’s completely on purpose. “About three years ago, Enrique reached out with the goal of starting a metal band where we weren’t hiding behind the typical metal tropes,” Matt says. “We wanted to do something rooted in black metal sounds without being a black metal band—and with more vulnerable lyrics. We collectively wanted to find the magic in regular human experience, both horrific and sublime. Every song on the record is about one of those experiences.”
An album that deals in blast beats as much as romanticism, Ward of Roses progresses through movements that draw from black metal, goth rock, and other bleak expressions. Matt Knox’s soaring clean vocals mingle with cathartic guitars while Duchemin howls over strident blast passages—often in the same song. “Doing clean vocals was a really different step for me,” Matt says. “And I think that process really influenced how I was thinking about the lyrics. Instead of looking outward to this external place, it became about going inward to even the most painful situations and still finding beauty in those.”
The album’s first single “Fallow” (which premieres today) sets the template—part majestic, part frenzied—for the band’s musical approach. “I think it’s a pretty good overall statement of what the band is,” Matt says. “The song isn’t focused so much on anyone’s individual experience. It’s more of a universal meditation on love ending—and the fact that it does so often. We wanted to take this common experience and imbue it with the weight and beauty of myth, and this became the foundation of our lyrical approach—seeing and unveiling the sublime, the dramatic, the profound moments that shape a human life.”
With a new lyrical approach and vocal style came another change. In The Silver, Matt will be performing under the pseudonym “V.” Rather than an attempt at anonymity, the name represents another way of being. “When I’m onstage in Horrendous, I feel like I’m trying to embody the larger-than-life spirit of Iron Maiden or Judas Priest—the bands I grew up watching. But doing these kinds of vocals in The Silver felt different. In developing how I wanted my voice to sound, I started stepping out of my own ideas of sexuality and gender expressions. It became a way of diving in and figuring out who I really am.”
Recorded by Brad Omen at The Convent in Philadelphia, Ward of Roses was mixed and mastered by the Knox brothers’ Horrendous bandmate Damian Herring. The artwork and band logo were created by Paul Romano, whose work has famously graced Mastodon and Hate Eternal album covers, among many others. All told, it is a record that is at once extreme and exposed, steeped in reality and obscured in metaphor. “We took a lot of risks on this record, and we let it organically grow into itself rather than forcing it into any creative boxes,” Matt says. “I felt like I was physically unlocking parts of myself through singing this way. That coincided with other realizations, and everything fell into place. The Silver is a new voice for me. It’s a new voice for all of us.”
The Silver’s ethos alludes to metallurgy; silver can only reach its intended shape, state, and purpose when hammered, set ablaze, and struck again. As the hymns on Ward of Roses suggest, we are tempered through all of our life experiences and traumas, emerging only after we have leapt through the flames of our personal abysses.
Look for Ward of Roses to be available on CD, LP + Digital formats via Gilead Media on October 15th — pre-order here and look for more news and music from The Silver to surface soon.
Ward of Roses, track listing:
1. …First Utterance
6. Behold, Five Judges
7. Ward of Roses
8. Then Silence…