Artist: Silent Planet
The last several years have been those of constant social and political uproar. This is as true of the subtle and otherwise minute dynamics of the heavy music scene as it is of the entire world. The world has been, increasingly so, a decidedly unsilent place—and fittingly, a band whose material is that which focuses on disparities in contemporary society, Silent Planet are an increasingly unsilent band. In the releases since their critically acclaimed The Night God Slept, Silent Planet have grown in more ways than one, and on their long awaited 2021 full length release, Iridescent the band are as loud—and shine as brightly—as they ever have. Iridescent is a moving release that touches on aspects of contemporary life both intimately personal and socially relevant (possibly more relevant than ever). Laden with moments of breath-taking atmosphere and spine-crushing aggression, Silent Planet maintain a firm grip on their dominion over progressive metalcore.
Iridescent is an explosive, colorful salvo of grooves, riffs, breakdowns and atmosphere. From the moment “Translate the Night” kicks off, through the intense “Alive, as a Housefire” and the emotional, ethereal “Terminal,” Silent Planet are their most pure and unfiltered forms of themselves. The entire album is built on a foundation of frantic percussion that shakes the listener to their core—evident on “Panopticon” and “Anhedonia”—laced with moments of tedious calm and heart-rending emotion. Silent Planet’s bustling percussion works in harmony with a snappy, punchy low end that bursts through the fray on “Alive, as a Housefire” and “Translate the Night,” working in idyllic synchrony with groovy, crunchy fretwork. Then, there come songs like “Terminal,” which is one of the least aggressive but most impactful songs Iridescent has to offer. Here, Silent Planet combine groove and metered energy with pure passion in the form of immensely catchy fretwork and sharp, cracking percussion. Between these two songs—defining the extremes at which Silent Planet operate—Iridescent takes shape, blossoming into a bold, beautiful display of progressive metalcore mastery.
Where Silent Planet have made more of a name for themselves—especially concerning the political and social atmosphere of the last 24 months—is with their impactful lyricism. Where the band have always included a component of commentary embedded in lyrics built around love, loss and religious intonation that varies from subtle to overt, ever since When the End Began, the band have been more explicit (in some ways, literally) with their message. Iridescent sees that trend continue—and rather than sit down an attempt a lyrical analysis of every song, I feel as though it should suffice to say that each cut on the band’s latest full length release offers an insightful and emotionally invaluable experience. What’s more is that where the band’s lyrical content has taken on a bolder candor, their vocal element has grown equally more robust. Songs like “Panopticon” and “Alive, as a Housefire” see some of their most energetic and intense vocal gymnastics to date, while “Terminal,” as well as the record’s title track see the outfit’s best blend of blistering screams and serene singing to date.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to state that Iridescent is Silent Planet’s finest collection of songs to date. Where there aren’t any standalone songs that move me the same way “The New Eternity” (a song I still consider to be their finest) or “XX (City Grave),” Iridescent takes the listener on a journey through emotions and experiences that may not be their own, but manage to feel eerily relatable. What’s more is that songs like “Iridescent,” “Anhedonia” and “Alive, as a Housefire” see Silent Planet at their most dynamic and impressive, showcasing their heaviest components working in jaw-dropping tandem with melody, atmosphere and poise. Iridescent is a vivid, colorful, haunting and powerful experience that effortlessly lives in the listener’s mind and is impossible not to put on repeat.
For Fans Of: Currents, Invent Animate, Spirit Breaker, Sleep Waker
By: Connor Welsh