Album Review: Silent Planet dissects the current state of humanity on When the End Began

“Russell’s insightful and educating lyrics provide a deeper level of intimacy to the work. The intricate work of the guitars with the vast bass tones present a sense of urgency to the words spoken.”

Silent Planet is set to debut their new album When the End Began this Friday (November 2) with Solid State Records. This album is an embodiment of the band’s best work to date with the intricate, ambient instrumentals combining with Garrett Russell’s emotionally driven and thought provoking lyrics.

The album opens with a delicate instrumental introduction, “Thus Spoke” which forces the ear to listen just a little harder until Russell’s voice breaks in.

“Two years lost in a lightless sleep – not a star in sight since the Fall of the Machine. Creation and invention collide to provide a gap in existence: A ripple in time.”

Russell’s lyrics are far from haphazardly thrown together, but rather are consciously constructed and deeply developed concepts. This opening line is no different as he refers to Genesis 7 in the Bible.

The song quickly fades only to break into “The New Eternity” with Russel’s powerful screams coming full force. The song features a heavily political tone, a theme that is continued across the entire record, whilst referring to injustices and fears of the world today.

“The people unite when you dose them with fear… relinquish their will – let their objections disappear. Crowds galvanized by vapid words and septic slurs, utterly transfixed by the fiction of the greater good.” 

“Northern Fire” introduces a vocal technique by Russell that in combination with the quick riffs and low drops gives the work a greater sense of intensity. His quick, spoken word keeps the listener on the edge of their seat.

It is in this song that we truly get to appreciate clean vocalist Thomas Freckleton’s falsetto vocals as he sings: “We stand alone in the dust of what could be, fighting to find our humanity.” The clean vocals provide a beautiful balance to the calculated aggression of Russell’s screams.

The third single off of the album, “Share the Body” provides a very intimate look into the struggle of drug addiction. The lyrics of this song carry a heavy emotional weight, that resonates deep in the heart of those listening.

“Passenger to my own life: Trapped inside, fastened to the vice. Fading out/fading away… burning in a bliss you can’t sustain. Am I a hedonist or solipsist? Barbiturate tourniquets drip…drip: A sycophant’s sea of delusion. Drowning in an empty conclusion.”

The song is short, but does not lack power. The accompanying music video provides heart wrenching, powerful imagery that sheds even more light to the issue.

“Afterdusk” is definitely one of the album’s hardest hitting songs. Russell’s growls and Alex Camarena’s intense drum work carry a deep tone. The song is critical of the state of the environment, and the lack of care that humanity shows for it.

“Greed will rise and carve out the sky, blinding us to the repercussion. Pull the blood from the earth, leave a grave for your sons. Oil is the ink, fueling missiles like pens – writing oblivion.”

The album concludes with “Depths III”, an event that When the End Began had been building up to. The “Depths” series dates back to it’s original track on the 2012 Come Wind, Come Weather. The newest addition carries similar elements to it’s predecessors.  Russell’s plea to God is full of heaviness and desperation as he yells:

“You said if I stood against my darkness, not all of me would die. But all I see on the surface is a shadow and it occurs to me this could mean suicide. When you went quiet I turned to silence, seven sisters draw me back across the moor. Could you still love me in my leaving? Would you remember me by the moments we forgot?”

When the End Began is a lengthy piece of work, carrying a lot of emotional and political tones. Russell’s insightful and educating lyrics provide a deeper level of intimacy to the work. The intricate work of the guitars with the vast bass tones present a sense of urgency to the words spoken.

The album is out Friday, November 2 via Solid State Records.

Kailey Howell