Review Summary: I'll take you to the edge of reason
The past couple of years haven’t exactly been that kind to a lot of the Christian rock and metal bands that we’ve known for the past fifteen years. Granted there have a been a couple that have stay strong throughout this time period but it seems that with each release they’re beginning to drop like flies, and it’s been especially become clear with the recent, albeit unsurprising, demise of Thousand Foot Krutch and the inevitable death of Skillet. That being said, the release of Wolves At The Gate’s VxV
in 2014 seemed to showcase that a new generation of Christian music was on the rise. Not just one that is going to repeat the same formulas of successful bands (which, let’s admit, was one of the main problems with the genre before 2010), but a generation that seems to finally seemed to feel relevant with this current age of music. And nowhere is this any more clearer than Silent Planet’s sophomore album Everything Was Sound
Silent Planet’s debut, The Night God Slept
, was somewhat of a surprise hit. Managing to grab a spot on a well-known and respected record label early on (Solid State Records) and touring with some of these rising stars in the Christian music industry saw the band reaching success early on. It was a decent album overall, but if anything it felt a little too much like and Underoath-lite record. Its excellent production and great vocal performances and lyricism were certainly enough the save it but it definitely gave them the issue of failing to find their own sound. However, that problem seems to be fixed with Everything Was Sound
. Every single aspect of the band has been improved, from the vocals to the instrumentation. The melodies are much stronger than they were before, with songs like ‘Orphan’ and ‘Nervosa’ delivering some of the strongest vocal hooks the band has created while the atmospheric characteristics of ‘Inhabit The Wound’ and lead single ‘Panic Room’ help deliver some of the more moodier aspects that were found in the previous record.
The instrumentation is incredibly well executed, especially on songs like ‘First Father’ and ‘REDIVIDEЯ’, with Spencer Keene and Mitchell Stark delivering some of the best guitar work within the band’s career. However, it’s not just the riffs that are impressive, but the atmospheric tones that Keener brings to the table are what help the band deliver their own unique sound. Meanwhile Thomas’ bass lines and Alex’s drumming help provides much of the album’s structure, particularly on the heavier tracks such as 'Psychescape' and 'Dying in Circles', the former easily being the best off the record thanks to Spencer Chamberlin’s guest vocals. Garrett Russell’s vocal performance carry most of the emotion in the record which in turns gives each song a sense of purpose, with Russell utilizing his lower growls much more often than the debut. The atmospheric layering of Keene’s production also helps highlight some of the more emotional moments, as well as delivering some uneasy parts as well such as ‘C'est Tout Pardonner’, the somewhat creepy instrumental that leads up to orphan.
However, it’s the lyrics that are the record’s ultimate selling point. The strong symbolism found in the album is somewhat unsettlingly relatable, dealing with topics of PTSD and suicide in ‘Panic Room’ and ‘Understanding Love as Loss’ and schizophrenia in ‘Psychescape’. Hearing the lyrics ‘I’ve waited on the tracks of reason; but the train of thought; it never came
’, from ‘Psychescape’ and finding out just how accurate these portrayals of mental instability are is pretty scary, and surprisingly dark for a Christian band in general. However, not all of these lyrics are incredibly depressing, as the last two songs ‘First Father’ and ‘Inhabit the Wound’ ends the album on a much lighter note of just knowing how powerful love can really be. Sure it may be a bit preachy, but at least it proves that Silent Planet are able to create meaningfully upbeat songs with a powerful message.
Everything Was Sound
is not only the best Christian metal record this year, but also one of the best and possibly one of the more important albums of the year overall. With this record as well as other bands that are showing more and more potential, we’re witnessing a new, rejuvenated, and exciting generation of Christian music that will hopefully garner a much bigger audience as time goes on. Everything Was Sound
showcases Silent Planet at the top of their game and will certainly label them as one of the front runners of this new movement in the music industry. For those looking for a metal album that will give you an experience, do yourselves a favor and give this a listen.