California metalcore act Silent Planet have always been one of those bands that don’t necessarily reinvent the genre with their music; instead they craft music that not only resonates with you but is also very thought provoking in terms of both lyricism and instrumentation. Whether it’s the band’s ability to convey emotion into music or the juxtaposition of Garrett Russell’s harsh vocals to Thomas Freckleton’s soaring cleans, “When the End Began” is definitely a thought-provoking and interesting album that any fan of the genre should experience.
Right from the get go, the one-two punch of “Thus Spoke” and “The New Eternity” kicks off the album and helps build anticipation for what’s in store for the listener, with the former having a clever nod to previous albums in the lyrics: “the night god slept, everything was sound.” The latter showcases Freckleton’s improved, yet gritty, clean vocals as well as one of the most memorable breakdowns on the album (you’ll know the one). It is worth noting that while still maintaining the heaviness, the band incorporates more of Thomas’ vocals in this album compared to the amount on “Everything Was Sound”. For example, “In Absence” is almost entirely driven by Freckleton until Russell interjects with his distinctive, yet powerful screams. Other highlights from the album include the single “Northern Fires (Guernica)”, which is both hard hitting and heavy, or “Visible Unseen” which showcases some of the phenomenal guitar work from Mitchell Stark who belts out riffs and melodies allowing both Russell and Freckleton to take turns on the verse. Ending the album, “Depths III”, is part of the recurring dream sequence series that started back on “The Night God Slept”. Featuring familiar musical motifs and lyrics that were present in parts I and II, III is a fitting closer to the series and overall a fantastic way to end the album.
As previously mentioned, the musicianship here is quite impressive: it’s very rare that musicians are actually able to convey emotions in their music, but somehow the guys in Silent Planet have managed to do so. The emotions that the listener will feel coupled with the often poetic lyricism really draws you in and holds a tight grip from the opening moments to Russell screaming “watch me burn” in the records final moments. This is an album that absolutely will resonate with you for quite some time after listening. This feat in itself is a rarity, so I have to give the utmost respect to the band for being able to pull something like this off.
Over the course of just a few years, Silent Planet has not only made a name for themselves in the metalcore community, but have released three phenomenal records; each surpassing the last. “When the End Began” sees the band at their absolute best in terms of musicianship, lyricism and creativity. What’s even more is the guys in the band love what they do and are beyond humble when it comes to their fans interacting with them, which truly speaks numbers about the band as a whole. “When the End Began” is not only hard hitting, but personal in nature, with themes dealing with harrowing drug addiction, war and political deception, consumerism, a loved ones’ memory withering due to time and age, the human condition, and more. Not only is this Silent Planet’s most mature and cohesive work to date, it just might be one of the best metalcore albums of the year, if not one of the contenders for overall album of the year. Bravo guys, you really have outdone yourselves. If your progression is any indication of what the future might hold, consider me a lifetime fan.
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