Silent Planet
Iridescent


4.5
superb

Review

by Tyler W. CONTRIBUTOR (60 Reviews)
November 12th, 2021 | 270 replies


Release Date: 11/12/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The colored perceptions of life

This was a collaborative review with user Crxmateo

As I took my meds, I watched the world shift around me, and even my own reflection started to shift. I was met with strange visions and imagery, some of which was congruent with ancient mythology. It was during all of this that I began to wonder if the hopelessness was buried too deep for medications to solve on their own. Maybe, I wondered, this is simply the human condition. But above all, I hope the listener understands that our albums are meant to be understood as whole pieces, and while this song is certainly coming from my genuine experience with despair, there’s more to the ‘Iridescent‘ story that’s yet to be revealed.

“Pull me back to the nightmare, I’d rather be fragile than forever alone.” This simple line that closes the album summarizes Silent Planet’s fourth record. From beginning to end, Iridescent traverses through despair, embodying hopelessness within its powerful lyrics and intense instrumentation. Fueled by frontman Garrett Russell’s experiences, the band’s newest effort is both their heaviest and most beautiful record to date.

It should come as no surprise that Silent Planet is at the top of their game musically. Iridescent continues the progression of the group’s technical style, mixing heavy and insane riffs with groovy drum chops. Throughout the record, Mitch shows off his guitar proficiency, effortlessly shifting from technical riffs to powerful chord progressions. “Anhedonia” and “Alive, as a Housefire” contain some of his most difficult riffs, combining note-scaling phrases with contrasting low and high dissonance. On the other hand, “Terminal” and the chorus of “Iridescent” showcase a more mellow, progressive side, focusing more on the flow of the chords rather than attempting to be intense. Following suit is Alex’s impressive drum work that complements the guitar and bass work perfectly. From the pummeling grooves of tracks like “Panopticon” and “The Sound of Sleep” to the supporting chops of “Till We Have Faces,” Alex is at the peak of his career with some of his best drum work in the band’s entire discography.

The lyrics of Iridescent take a darker turn from the rest of the Silent Planet discography, complementing the pixelated and ominous soundscapes that weave tangled webs throughout the album’s runtime. Most of the lyrics on the album were written during and about Garrett’s stay in a mental hospital and the debilitating life events that preceded it (as highlighted in 2020’s single “Trilogy”), before his initial psychogenic collapse as his sense of reality was warped by mind-altering medications and hallucinations. This particular experience is detailed on the moving “Terminal/(liminal);”, a powerful track written after struggling with verisimilitudinous visions and pondering if his struggles could even have resolution or if they’re ingrained in his soul. The track takes the listener on an extensive journey through the depths of Garrett’s struggle with mental illness, laced with dark electronics and ethereal instrumentation adding even more emotional weight to the subject. The chilling “Second Sun” further explores this mental battle, with lyrics parallel that of a terrifying psychedelic trip- evocating memories that sting with the bitter taste of regret. Drowning in deja vu with each passing attempt to move on, the track is a discord of anxiety, with frantic guitars and an unsettling atmosphere that complement the tone of the song’s lyrics with flawless execution in one of the most vulnerable and best tracks on the album.

Attempting to understand life after death in a world that is failing around him, Garrett struggles with the contradiction of language and the human perception of life on the abrasive “Translate the Night.” Accompanied by the discomposing intro “112”, the track opens the album on an urgent note, teasing the tantalizing devastation of the record that follows with a climactic breakdown is without description. This devastation reaches its pinnacle on “Alive, as a Housefire”, a seething track dripping with justifiable anger at the American political systems, stemming from observations of the purely inhumane decisions those in authority have made in recent years and the senseless violence and tyranny it has created. Critiques on capitalistic western society is nothing new from the band, however this is the most enraged and pissed off they have ever been, with call-backs to the events of the capitol riots, border crisis, and a slight nod to the politicization of evangelical church- which is also the basis of the soaring single “Anhedonia”- wrapped in jarring musicality and intense deliveries.

“Till We Have Faces” and “Iridescent” close the album in stunning and open-ended fashion, harkening back to the themes of “Second Sun'' and focusing on the end of everything. From asking death of the antidote for time (spoiler alert, there is none), to desiring to go back through the “nightmare” to feel something rather than being alone and dying, Iridescent ends on a rather hopeless thought of the end of life. Ultimately, however, there is a tinge of hopefulness, especially in the chorus of “Iridescent” seeing eternity amidst the dissolving pains of the world. This contradiction of hope in the hopelessness is further accentuated by the instrumentation, which is simultaneously some of Silent Planet’s best melodic vocals and their heaviest breakdowns as Garrett unleashed arguably the best vocal performance of his career.

Iridescent shows the entire band working with complete chemistry with one another. Full of some of the best riffs and grooves of their discography as well as the collaborative vocal efforts of all members, Silent Planet feels to be working to their fullest potential here, resulting in an album full of emotion, power, technicality, and proficiency. From it’s startling beginnings to it’s desperate endings, the record is one of the strongest releases the band has crafted to date, and a powerful contemplation of life during moments of mental disarray.



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user ratings (160)
3.9
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Comments:Add a Comment 
tyman128
Contributing Reviewer
November 12th 2021


2741 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is a long one y’all, but there was a lot to digest

wanna thank Crxmateo (user here and fellow staff writer on CaliberTV) for helping out with this!!

Digging: Silent Planet - Iridescent

veninblazer
November 12th 2021


12943 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

running through this and i think this is gonna need multiple listens for me to accurately rate it, feeling between a 3.5 and a 4 atm but might settle with a 4

edit: further in and those more melodic songs are hitting me good, this is gonna be a grower

Digging: Bullet For My Valentine - Bullet For My Valentine

William21
November 12th 2021


728 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Welp, I think I'm ready to declare my AOTY. Holy shit this thing is incredible

onionbubs
November 12th 2021


14444 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album rules but the more i jam it the more sour i am on the interludes. particularly liminal like why tf would i wanna hear transformers sounds on my silent planet album lmao. band is traditionally pretty good at them too particularly the ones on the debut are great and really helpful for the flow of the album, but man they did not work here



all the proper tracks here are pretty bangin tho. definitely the best album from a vocal perspective. garrett sounds incredible and the clean vox being lower than they usually are was defo a good choice for this band. anhedonia, till we have faces, trilogy, alive as a housefire, and the t/t are my highlights so far

Digging: Volumes - Happier?

veninblazer
November 12th 2021


12943 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i was confused by their decision to pull the clean vocals back, i kinda warmed up to the sorta whiny tone on the last album and would've loved more of that but eh.

Toondude10
November 12th 2021


14718 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

it's between this and Trivium for AOTY for me, I hate to chose one over the other



Album is phenomenal

Digging: Silent Planet - Iridescent

veninblazer
November 12th 2021


12943 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

its sitting at like #18 for me, this is good, but maybe it just needs more time to sit with me and it doesn't really do for me what an album like Devil Sold His Soul's "Loss" or even "Kin" does.

ps: new trivium was a disappointment to me

Purpl3Spartan
November 12th 2021


1886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

music

Digging: Satyr - Locus

Purpl3Spartan
November 12th 2021


1886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

10/10 review Ty and mateo



You guys killed it

amy4947
November 12th 2021


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Second Sun may be my new favourite SP song

JayEnder
November 12th 2021


11805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Translate the Night is a banger and a half

Digging: Volumes - Happier?

Emim
November 12th 2021


31361 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Doubtful it'll dethrone Everything Was Sound for me, but looking forward to giving it a listen.

veninblazer
November 12th 2021


12943 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i'm not even sure if i like this more than their last album, but only time will tell. this sounds like it'll demand a lot of patience and multiple listens to reveal itself.

Get Low
November 12th 2021


11380 Comments


Guess I'll throw this on and see if it's tolerable

edit: it's w/e. Band continues to just barely not do it for me.

DreamAgain
November 12th 2021


1949 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Excited to listen

Purpl3Spartan
November 12th 2021


1886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Doesnt dethrone EWS by a long shot but it’s great

onionbubs
November 12th 2021


14444 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

night god slept> all still and i prob like ews more than this but its a solid 3rd and a step up from the last one

KrillBoi
November 12th 2021


55 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This bangs! Alive, as a Housefire is insane!

Digging: Der Weg Einer Freiheit - Noktvrn

dangerousdarrin
November 12th 2021


772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Best thing the band has ever done!!

Digging: Sentinels (US) - Collapse by Design

gravityswitch
November 12th 2021


803 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Transformers sounds" ahah

The voice is actually the slowed down version of a french flight boarding call (hence the song title)



Album is heavy as fuck, will take time to digest for sure



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