ALBUM REVIEW: Silent Planet – When The End Began

Release Date: November 2nd 2018
Label: UNFD


California’s Silent Planet have returned to continue their onslaught of churning riffs and rapid fire breakdowns with ‘When The End Began’. The third release from the group sees them embrace Thomas Freckleton‘s clean vocals more frequently, whilst still maintaining a rabid hold on heaviness.

‘Thus Spoke’ slowly builds anticipation for what the record has in store, lingering on single notes before the presence of Garrett Russell‘s visceral screams take charge. Industrial tinged synths punctuate the soundscape before ripping right into ‘The New Eternity’.

Getting straight to it, the group fly through percussive riffs and string skipping lead work, all held together by frantic drum patterns. The heaviness of the track is cut open with a chorus revolving around Freckleton‘s clean lines and swirling pads.

Just before you expect the verse to come back in, we’re treated to a breakdown that would make most other band at all involved in heavy music green with envy. Aggressive in its delivery, it doesn’t hold back for even a nanosecond, allowing you feel the low rumble of Russell‘s impressive vocals. The track doesn’t relent, with new dynamics and motifs slipping in and out on a whim.

From start-to-finish, the album ensures that every section is worthwhile, as shown tracks like ‘Visible Unseen’, which runs over every technique in the metal rulebook. Guitarist Mitchell Stark jumps from bouncing riffs to rapid melodies before allowing both Russell and Freckleton to take turns on the verse.

Moving at an unfathomable speed, the group use the bridge to build towards an piano led break. The change in pace is welcome, using space to build anticipation for the track’s devastating coda. This technique is used sparingly throughout, most notably on ‘Look Outside, Dream’ and ‘Look Inside, Awake’.

Both interludes play off one another, relying on the same motifs and tone. Whilst both work as a dynamic change in pace, they also help create continuity within the tracks, and bridges the gap between contrasting tones.

Closing the record is ‘Depths III’, harking back to the band’s 2014 debut release ‘The Night God Slept’. The group uses their final minutes to create carnage; starting slow, focusing on ascending piano melodies alongside soft vocals, the tension rises to breaking point before crashing guitars and thunderous drums rip through the delicacy, creating a dizzying breakdown.

As Russell growls “Watch me burn” in the record’s final moments, you’re left with the aftermath of a group fearless in their vision.