Silent Planet – ‘When The End Began’

By Dave Stewart

>More and more bands are emerging that use the same old tricks, performing them with subtle changes and passing them off as brand new. From time to time, though, a band will power it’s way through the crowd and stand tall. A unique, intelligent and impressive band. A band that stands out from the rest of the pack. In 2018 that band is Silent Planet, and their new record ‘When The End Began’ is a contender for the best metal record of the year. This is why it qualifies for that claim.

Picture everything that you love about metalcore. The big riffs, the perfect blend of heaviness and melody, the aggression, the passion. Now, take all that love and multiply it by a big number. Where you’ll end up will be pretty close to where this record sits.

Everything that’s good about the genre is present, and it’s utilised to perfection. ‘The New Eternity’ is full of haunting, soaring melodies that explode into crushing heaviness ‘Visible Unseen’ follows a similar pattern, showing off some serious guitar skills from Mitchell Stark. There are riffs here that metalcore giants Northlane would be in awe of. ‘In Absence’ acts as a change of pace, with less focus on the music. The spotlight is on the stellar vocals from both front man Garrett Russell and bassist/vocalist Thomas Freckleton ‘Lower Empire’ is a mammoth track, featuring technical riff wizardry and powerful vocal delivery. There isn’t a single weak point here. Every song stands alone as a powerhouse. Group them together, though, and you’ve got one hell of an album.The most impressive part of this record, though, is the thought and the intelligence that has gone into it. The way the record rises and falls in dynamics creates so much suspense. You can never relax during a listen. You will always be sat on the edge of your seat awaiting the next twist. Check out ‘Afterdusk’, ‘Vanity of Sleep’ and ‘The Anatomy of Time (Babel)’ for perfect examples of that. All flow like a dream, yet remain unpredictable from start to finish.

The most impressive thing on show here, though, are Russell’s lyrics. Every single track has references and footnotes, which is rarely seen in any genre of music. ‘Share The Body’, a song about drug addiction, has quotes from Jordan Peele’s box office smash ‘Get Out’ and a passage from a government study on heroin use. ‘Firstborn (Ya’aburnee)’, a track about grief, has dedications to lost loved ones sitting alongside C.S Lewis quotes and bible references. It’s like Russell has used the lyrics as a case study for each individual songs subject matter. This both raises awareness of the issues as well as prompt further reading from anyone listening. Simply brilliant.

This isn’t a run of the mill metal record. It transcends that. Every track has been crafted with precision and has a specific place in the album to create a very natural feeling flow. The record as a whole is like a story, progressing from beginning to end with nothing ever feeling out of place. And the lyrics? Beyond impressive. ‘When The End Began’ is dramatic, thought provoking and intelligent. If you are a fan of metalcore, this album should be a must listen. It is, without doubt, the best record of their career. Don’t be surprised if it ends up being the best record of the year, too.

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