Silent Planet – Iridescent
Released: November 12, 2021
Garrett Russell // Lead Vocals, Guitar
Thomas Freckleton // Bass, Keyboards, Clean Vocals
Mitchell Stark // Guitar, Clean Vocals
Alex Camarena // Drums
Silent Planet have been marking their name in the metalcore scene over the past few years, and they’re just about to drop their biggest record to date, Iridescent. The 12-track record covers a series of themes important to the band, and sees the outfit experiment into unchartered territory with their fourth studio album. So, let’s get into it with an approach where the review can be followed along, and experienced track-by-track.
After some ominous sounds intertwined with urban sound effects on intro track ‘1-1-2‘ Californian band Silent Planet dive straight into ‘Translate the Night’ which has front-man Garrett Russell immediately belch his emotive unclean vocals. With dramatic riffs, thundering drums and a tight ‘blegh’ from Russell, we know we’re getting into the thick of it right away. It’s breakdown central immediately from this opening track, where the band alternate between menacing carnage and rhythmic balance.
We’ve heard ‘Trilogy‘ before and it hits with those now-familiar prog-metalcore Veil of Maya vibes. In contrast to the last track, it’s refreshing to hear the focal point of clean vocals on this track, albeit without completely eliminating Russell’s immense verses of blistering heavy hell. This perpetuating mechanical element cascades through the track, holding that progressive tone that really shapes the track.
As we dive into ‘Second Sun‘ it becomes clear that this is a special record for Silent Planet. It’s not just a generic metalcore album (not to allude to their others being boiled down to that by any means), but the obvious experimental output is abundantly clear this early on in the record. The track shows the band shift between varying rhythms and moods with Russell in complete focus with his relentless unclean vocal effort. Notably, the three-quarter mark shows the band cease to some basics and cleans before spectacularly unleashing what’s under the hood once again with their signature ambient metalcore style.
It’s great to hear ‘Panopticon’ deeply embedded in the record, and is already a nostalgic recollection to its standalone release when those shivers arrived with the excitement of new music from Silent Planet. It’s a heavy one, folks so prepare yourselves. The band dial it up ten-fold and Russell is leading the pack after a few tracks of clean vocal centricity. Packed with djent-grooves and immense production, the band strip back to their gnarly roots. Russell chases his deepest growl and takes the band into an inescapable breakdown that simply describes idyllic metalcore.
‘The Sound of Sleep’ takes us to around the mid-way point of Iridescent. Whilst the pace shifts instrumentally, the frontman takes no rest. Those electro-mechanical effects returns with the band’s ambient style as they deliver a track reminiscent of some of their recent work on ‘When The End Began’ and ‘Everything Was Sound’. Emotive lyrics are the focus on the track, with the rest of the band drawing into the visceral intensity.
The band dive into ‘Alive, as a Housefire‘ which may relate to the 2018 fires in Redding, California, as Russell describes to me in an upcoming interview (watch this space). Russell blisters an aggressive vocal effort on the track, but welcomes a duet of clean vocal harmonies from Thomas Freckleton and Mitchell Stark. The track culminates into an ambient medley that doesn’t complete cease the uncleans, allowing the emotion to hold, all the way until a bassy medley of a crescendo at the end.
We now reach ‘Terminal / (liminal); that Silent Planet released as a double-music video. As described when initially released, Russell shows an impeccable amount of vocal variation, both across ‘Terminal‘ itself, but also with consideration to his predominant sound across the band’s catalogue; alongside the clean-vocal engine. The Californian band create an alternate atmosphere, where the heaviness is retained, but the clean vocals take us on a different kind of plane, a blissful edge. ‘(liminal);’ is the second section to the video, and is a visceral soundscape to close on the intensity of ‘Terminal’. It’s definitely worth checking out the music video if you’ve slept on it, purely to capture the essence of the band’s mood with this duo-track.
Finally, we reach monster track ‘Anhedonia‘ which blew our minds upon release a few weeks ago. It starts like some of their others, leaving you expecting a similar assumption of what comes next, but then it spurs into seriously deep-tuned prog-level chaos. Russell bellows through sections in between his signature raspy MO. There are periods of calm, but the instrumental acceleration will quickly make you forget it. The band truly spin into overdrive with this song and bring many elements of the record together.
The back-end of the record culminates to tracks ‘Till We Have Faces‘ and title track ‘Iridescent‘. Let’s focus on the former first. With encapsulation of clean vocals across dialled up instrumentation, it feels like this track is the catharsis we all needed after the journey we’ve been taken on in the last half hour or so. Russell remarkably holds his uncleans for extended time, across the clean and effortless harmonies that are embroidered ambience. The closing third of the song has Silent Planet revert back into a momentary prog-metalcore spin before stabilising again; incredible alignment across the band.
‘Iridescent‘ commences with mysterious sonics until Russell comes in with a faded verse on his half-clean-half-unclean vocals, packed with energy and emotion. The rest of Silent Planet kick in with the ultimate fusion of their ambient metalcore model and then sheer utter mathcore chaos; and what a way to end the record.
Silent Planet – Iridescent tracklisting
2. Translate the Night
4. Second Sun
6. The Sound of Sleep
7. Alive, as a Housefire
11. Till We Have Faces