Silent Planet have always been one of those bands that have constantly kept me intrigued with their music. Coupled with vocalist Garrett Russell’s explosively emotional and poetic lyricism and guitarist Mitchell Stark’s unbelievable songwriting abilities and his ability to transfer emotion into music, the band have always kept their art interesting and thought provoking, and the bands latest effort, ‘When the End Began’ holds no exception.
After transferring from the usual ‘Drop A#’ metalcore that is so incredibly overused in the genre, they’ve adopted the ‘Drop F’ metalcore sound, and while the entire genre has been filled with cliché’s, Silent Planet have adapted their sound and managed to warp it to an extent that keeps their sound original and inspiring. Through the first single released, Northern Fires (Guernica), it’s evident that they still have that original sound, but with the switch of tunings, Silent Planet have entered a new layer of emotion and are delving into untapped territory with their songwriting.
Although the album in itself is definitely one of the most innovative and original albums to come out of metalcore in recent years, I want to delve into my two favourite tracks that really hold their ground as masterpieces; Lower Empire and Depths III. I feel that the former is definitely the stand out track and one that’s the most unique in the songwriting premise, especially since it’s also the most ‘OG metalcore’ track. Stark’s particular musicianship and his talent has allowed him to create the perfect blend of inspiration and emotion, whilst not being afraid to showcase his skills on his instrument. Lower Empire also produces a perfect mix of ambience, heaviness and vocal performances, and even using a vocal phaser through a section (which I feel I could understand more if I had the lyrics with me).
The other track that really encapsulates the feel of the album and Silent Planet’s core sound is Depths III. (Obviously) the third in the Depths trilogy, this one is beautifully eerie and emotional, with Russell’s vocal performance really standing out, especially the delivery mixed with the lyricism. Russell’s vocal delivery and placement really capture the emotional backstory as well as their ‘apocalyptic’ vibe, and rather than taking that typical ‘apocalypse’ sound that so many bands have originally used, Russell and the rest of the members work together in a way that creates a kind of ‘bittersweet’ apocalyptic energy. The lyrical content in this track in particular is one that continues through that apocalyptic theme, but relating to the album as a whole, and the one line that struck me immediately was “I am the depths in unmeasurable will, and when I awoke in that garden, lord did you see me as I was dreaming?” as it perfectly captures everything that Silent Planet is about, their overall content and poetic talent.
In particular, Depths III is the perfect anomaly for what the album represents. After releasing their first 3 albums, you find that the titles of the track create a peculiar sentence; “The Night God Slept, Everything Was Sound When the End Began”. If you repeat that a few times over, you find that it tells a story of an apocalypse; not one that has been prophesized by the Bible, but a personal apocalypse, with each of their tracks always relating to some kind of human issue (whether it be mental illness, addiction or worldly issues), and Depths III is essentially the ‘final’ song in the trilogy. Being that final song, in brings to a close their current story, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be reopened or followed up, and honestly, it is the perfect song to finish such a long, beautifully tragic story.
The reason I chose to review those two particular songs in particular, rather than the album as a whole, is because both Lower Empire and Depths III are the two songs that encompass the whole theme of the album and their ‘apocalyptic’ vibe, and whilst each song fits their own and are all incredible, these truly capture the spirit of Silent Planet and ‘When the End Began’.
Emotionally gripping, energetic and depressingly heavy, Silent Planet’s latest effort ‘When the End Began’ is a beautiful mix of storytelling and honesty that proves they’re one of the leading acts in Metalcore today. Silent Planet have set such a high bar in Metalcore, and could very possibly be a leader and a ‘trend-setting’ band in the genre, with ‘When the End Began’ being Album of the Year worthy.