Silent Civilian
Rebirth of the Temple


3.5
great

Review

by renegadestrings USER (8 Reviews)
July 9th, 2007 | 37 replies | 8,666 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


6 of 6 thought this review was well written

Jonny Santos is a man on a mission.

The frontman for the fairly successful (and Grammy nominated, go figure) nu-metal group Spineshank has ditched the old band and the old sound to bring to us a monster. Silent Civilian is a band that a seasoned listener would not at all expect to form from the roots of nu-metal. With their first album, Silent Civilian seem poised to be a huge underground and potentially mainstream metal giant in the same vein of Shadows Fall among others. And while Rebirth of the Temple is by no means a perfect record, it is a VERY solid debut and shows a huge amount of promise for the band's future.

Let's start with the good.

Though the guitar work is the tried and true palm-muted, high distortion, devastating sound we hear in many bands of this genre, it works very well and the band as a whole is extremely cohesive. The opening riffs for Funeral and The Song Remains UnNamed are nothing short of a headbanger's wet dream complete with ferocious pacing and some excellent dual guitar work. This is made all the more potent when mixed with Santos's voice.

Simply put, I haven't heard a screamer like Jonny Santos... well, anywhere. It is a dry and raspy voice that truly sounds driven by internal torment and yet, come out sounding damn near inspirational. The title track epitomizes the use of Santos's unique scream/sing with a terrific chorus proclaiming to all who listen, "Strength within is what you need to find." Sounds like Silent Civilian have taken a few ques from their peers in Hatebreed in terms of lyrics, but its no less potent a message coming from either band.

The band also pulls a few moves that harkens back to older metal most noticeably of which is the crowd (or band) shouting along "HEY!" with the band. Another exclusive piece to the music is the choir that opens the album on Call To Arms and closes the furious rocker Lies in the House of Shame. Oftentimes, incorporating this kind of sound would come off as gimmicky more than anything, but the band make it work into their record and it adds another layer of emotional depth to an already powerful listen.

Powerful? Yes. Flawless? Not so.

For all the stuff they got right, Silent Civilian does slip up in a few areas. First and foremost is a problem that has become readily apparent in many metal albums, Repetition. After around track 8, this album starts to feel more than a little formulaic and while there are still some interesting solos and a catchy chorus or two, the last songs after the aforementioned Lies... practically blend together and suffer from a serious case of "been there done that" save the albums fantastic closer Live Again.

Secondly, despite all the praise that it deserves, the music still has many problems that need to be weeded out. The first thing that comes to mind has to do with the fact that some songs simply do not hold up well against others. The song Force Fed is already a cut below the rest of the first-half tracks due to the fact that Santos simply cannot reach the higher notes that he tries valiantly to push out during the chorus. Also, the guitar solos, not only for this song, but also for First Amendment and Falling Down sound forced, rushed, and frankly, a bit wanking.

One last point, and this may just be me, but the main riff for Lies in the House of Shame sounds ridiculously close to the same riff used during the bridge of Lamb of God's own Now You've Got Something to Die For. Despite how good the song sounds, its hard to shake off the feeling that this riff sounds way too familiar.

This is all nitpicking however and the truth is, Rebirth of the Temple is a great metal album, nothing more and certainly nothing less. When its good, this album digs in deep and can even touch the listeners emotions while its attempting to deafen you. This fact alone makes it a great purchase for any metalhead. With time and a little band bonding, Silent Civilian can certainly come out with some bona fide metal hits in the years to come.

And if this debut is any indication, it sounds to me like Jonny Santos got his gun. With this being the result, let's hope he keeps shooting.

Check Out...
Funeral
Rebirth of the Temple
Live Again
Divided



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user ratings (138)
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other reviews of this album
rising2anend (4)
Silent civilian’s debut album Rebirth of the temple proves to be very impressive, especially comin...


Comments:Add a Comment 
renegadestrings
July 9th 2007



1416 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

questions, comments, and concerns are welcome as always. kinda nice to be writing again

Fort23
July 9th 2007



2469 Comments


The reviews pretty good, though keep writing, otherwise
you won't get any better

Willie
Moderator
July 9th 2007



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Spineshank were never nu-metal... if anything they were industrial metal... in the same genre as Fear Factory, Sybreed, Godflesh, and Ministry. Other then that I do agree with the review ;)

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

Confessed2005
July 10th 2007



3314 Comments


This certainly does sound like it is worth checking out. Yeah, I agree with the above; Spineshank were never nu-metal really.

renegadestrings
July 10th 2007



1416 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hmmm... honestly, though Height of Callousness was indeed more industrial or aggro metal, Self-Destructive Pattern was very much nu-metal.... but to be honest, i've forgotten what even classifies as nu-metal

Wizard
July 10th 2007



18778 Comments


Great review, generic album.

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

kalkal50
July 10th 2007



2386 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I quite liked what I had heard of this band when I first got my hands on this.This Message Edited On 12.13.07

SantiagoPTW
July 10th 2007



20 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This and's pretty cool, live again is such an awesome song

renegadestrings
July 11th 2007



1416 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this and's?
besides that... hurray live again

taylor1989
July 18th 2007



15 Comments


Rebirth of the Temple and Divided r my favs on this album

BallsToTheWall
December 9th 2007



44164 Comments


Bitter Pill is great, i've been thinking about getting this.

kalkal50
December 9th 2007



2386 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this album is actually pretty good :O

Aeksis8745
January 30th 2008



448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yea I was pretty surprised by this album, though I have to disagree with you on thinking that the later tracks are weaker. Wrath and Dead to Me 2006 are very good songs. Also at the beginning of Live Again for some reason it reminds me so much of Santana.

beans
January 30th 2008



2332 Comments


wrath is sick

cvlts
January 31st 2008



8917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this album is great... not perfect, no... but great!
the transition to nu-metal to metalcore is certainly an odd one and it takes an album r two to fully transition from it...
take Devildriver for example. Coal Chamber nu-metal to one of the leading deathmetal groups out there... and while their self-titled debut still had their nu-metalish sound, look where they are now
i see a great road ahead for Silent Civilian, keep it up =]]

Digging: Pedro the Lion - It's Hard To Find A Friend

Aeksis8745
February 6th 2008



448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Had to bump this one up a notch, it really is a very solid debut and after many listens am still impressed by it.

silentcivilian81
March 20th 2008



6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i love this album its one of my favorites, i even got to hear blood red sky, the one song not in the album. its great!!! the lyrics inspired me to make a band of my own =D i truly agree with the review it does get a little repetitive, oh well, its still bad ass as hell. Keep rockin.

BroRape
March 20th 2008



803 Comments


silent civilian added me on myspace like 2 years ago. they're mad boring.

SamCarr94
August 8th 2008



5 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wrath and Dead to Me 2006 are heavier songs than I'd expected this band to be able to create. But I have to say my favourite song by far is the catchiest song of the album; Bitter Pill. Definately worth getting!This Message Edited On 08.08.08

CushMG15
August 8th 2008



1802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

How did I miss this review? I remember looking forward to this release as soon as I heard Santos was forming a new band. They certainly didn't disappoint, as this is a pretty great debut. I just wonder where they're headed now, seeing as they've lost Mora and the lead guitarist (can't remember his name). Seems as tho Santos is really hard to work with.



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