Silent Planet - Iridescent

Band: Silent Planet

Album: Iridescent

Genre: Metalcore

Label: Solid State

Location: California, US

FFO: The Devil Wears Prada, Phinehas, Wolves At The Gate

There is no hiding that I am a huge fan of the music, the lyrics, and the people that make up this band, Silent Planet. This is their 4th full length release titled Iridescent, and presumably the start of a new trilogy, or at least the end of an old one. And I’d like to just get right into it.

When I heard the single 'Trilogy' for the first time, I literally cried. And that was before even fully understanding the lyrics. Just the sheer force and power of the music itself between the guitar, bass and drums, was enough to send my emotions into a frenzy. That's rare. That's powerful. I can't say I was surprised I had that reaction, being Silent Planet is no stranger to bringing the intensity in topics and emotion. However I was taken back on just how good that single was and is. I don't think I've ever been more satisfied by a single, especially on first listen. Needless to say it was my favorite song of 2020. ‘Trilogy’ is not unique though in the context of this album when it comes down to the overflow of emotion behind it. These songs are not like anything else SP has written. Garrett made it a point that these aren't the same "big brain" type of lyrics. A lot of them are just from the gut and how he feels - they’re raw. There will be no need for study guides or homework in order to understand the history behind these themes, because the history is his own that he is taking you through.

With this lyric change, comes some change in the delivery of these words as well. A lot of that spoken word feel you might get from other SP songs/albums is much more absent. Which I'm sure some people like, some people don't. I always really enjoyed those more spoken moments because it really makes them stand out, but after hearing this album, I'm happy either way. Those moments are still here and there though. And they are used in very impactful ways as always. Such as the closing title track that brought me back to how they have finished their albums in the past. Thomas’s roll also has an adjustment for the most part. He doesn’t have as many of those shining choruses all to himself. The bulk of these choruses are a mixture of Thomas and Garret’s vocals together. So instead of just these soaring clean lines we normally get, there’s almost a call and response between the two a lot of the time. A back and forth, or one on top of the other even. It makes for more diversity in the music, and honestly very impactful overall. This change allows the power of a track to flow very naturally rather than having these defining sections between verse and chorus.

Musically I can say the same thing. This is unlike anything SP has made, yet it feels like such a natural progression. Every member either does something a little outside of their comfort zone, or even further expands their talent tree in some way. Garrett has clean vocals on here, Mitch has clean vocals on here. There's a song where Mitch doesn't even play the guitar, 'Panopticon', it's so heavy that he played the entire thing on bass. Thomas, as each album always goes, is sounding better than ever. Such a strong, beautiful voice that still stands out. Not to mention Garrett's screams are evolving into something much more vicious and powerful specifically in the lower register. It’s interesting because that spoken word feel I mentioned before is still there in rhythm at times, just much more harsh. Alex continues time and time again to impress me with his drumming. He's not an insanely technical drummer. Usually it's just the unmatched veracity and tightness in which he plays that captures me. He definitely has his moments in the past, but he completely shreds over this entire album and is consistently standing out. I do want to mention Mitch again too just to say his guitar work is also better than ever. His writing is, to me, the core of what gives these guys their sound. Not only that, to my understanding he puts together the electronic parts - the interludes and background effects. Another key part to making this band great.

I also came to notice just how much more intense they keep the energy. Whether it be a fast or slow song, the lyrics and specifically Garrett’s voice kept me constantly engaged and on the end of my seat. Goosebumps were a common occurrence that first couple go-arounds.

I love the different types of directions here. There's some with the more straightforward open riff heaviness, some that are technical mind blowers, and most of these have structures that completely jar your awareness for where it's going. Moments you think are predictable, end up turning on you. Even if that just means the approach or sound of a specific part is different than what it was 45 seconds ago. Such as the bridge in 'Anhedonia' when it slows and gets quiet. I expected a breakdown but instead it goes back into that sweet chorus. Then it lets the groove ride out in the ending, making for a very satisfying conclusion without needing to throw in a breakdown. One of the most ambitious tracks on here, 'Terminal', has so many parts to it. Every section is sung in a different way, by a different person, and is flooded with atmosphere. Once again making for an unpredictable track where even the repeated chorus feels like it has an evolution throughout.

To touch more in detail about the lyrics here, the idea for this album began around the time when Garrett was admitted into a mental hospital back in 2019 I believe. A lot of themes on this album extend from that experience. That's what you're seeing in the music video for ‘Terminal’. One of the biggest umbrella topics across these songs is a lack of humanity. Within ourselves, our systems, and how the world operates. I’ll say again that this album is a deeply personal one to Garrett, but he manages to make it very relatable to ourselves and the world around us.

To compare the discography of Silent Planet would take much more time and effort than it’s worth because truthfully, there’s nothing worth comparing in my eyes. None are better than the rest. Every album exists for a different reason. Every album has it's own theme, story, message, and goal. Every album comes from a different place. Every sound, riff style, emotion, drum fill, bass line, and atmospheric interlude from one album, wouldn't fit on another album of theirs. Each gives its own unique experience. Melodies that are meant for that album, song, and moment. And that's not something you can’t say about a lot of bands. Perhaps that’s something the writers themselves might disagree with, but it’s how I feel. What I can say this album shares with the rest, is that it will provoke you to think.

For me, the experience of listening to this album for the first time as a fan is relatable to some sort of big event. There's only so much I could do to prepare because I never know what to actually expect. Then it happens, and in the end, it was so much more than what I could've ever imagined. That's what this album was like for me. I knew it was going to be amazing. I even told myself ever since ‘Trilogy’ came out that it was going to be their best project yet. And still, I wasn't fully prepared for what they brought to us. Absolutely phenomenal. This is a new era of Silent Planet.

Rating: 10/10


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