Alongside forward-thinking heavyweights like Code Orange, metalcore mainstays Silent Planet have reimagined the possibilities of live shows mid-pandemic. Without the constraints of traveling aesthetics and technology, the stage on February 6 was thus set for their high-concept livestream: TERMINAL.
Similar to fans waiting outside of a club in the freezing, February air, digital concertgoers flooded the TERMINAL chatroom hours before the livestream began, making for an on-screen scene buzzing with anticipation, as they reported what countries they were viewing from and exchanged hopes for favorite tracks to be performed (all the while one lucky user confirmed they had In-N-Out on hand).
After the communally experienced wait, “TERMINAL Initializing” flashed across the screen, and Silent Planet burst into a powerful rendition of ”Orphan.” Regardless of the COVID-induced distance in space and time, their presence was immediately palpable, one where frontman Garrett Russell offered a deeply commanding centerpiece while the band oozed with energy in their entirety.
The accompanying visuals offered an equally intoxicating complement as screens surrounding Silent Planet flashed with red-soaked hues, translating their sonic intensity into further forms.
The performance continued with blazing takes on the likes of “The New Eternity,” “XX (City Grave),” and “Panic Room,” all of which consistently championed a stunning mix by Chris Ghazel that brought out the best elements of Silent Planet’s style. While harsh vocalist Russell and clean vocalist/bass guitarist Thomas Freckleton sounded equally incisive behind their respective microphones, guitarist Mitchell Stark and drummer Alex Camarena induced a thunderous wall of sound with speaker-shaking expertise.
The show would eventually serve as a medium for Silent Planet’s brand new single, “The Sound Of Sleep,” a bruising piece of metalcore mastery that finds the band at their most urgent and aggressive. Russell recently explained via Twitter that he “wrote these lyrics about drugs and how my mind reacted to a medication and the general sense of paranoia and dread that took over my world for a while,” a sentiment deeply sensed through his desperate delivery as he lyrically concludes, “I’ll bow to gods who damn me back and spun my spine to hear it snap.” It’s not only a staggering standalone release, but a teaser for a forthcoming Silent Planet album that the band confirmed is in the works.
After rousing run-throughs of beloved cuts like “Wasteland” and “Depths II,” the unquestioned highlight of TERMINAL involved the appearance of string instrumentalists who helped deliver “Depths III,” the bittersweet conclusion to 2018’s When the End Began. The subtle beauty of violins and a cello being performed in stark contrast with Silent Planet’s impassioned thrashing made for a stunning moment and brought the band’s essential track to life like never before.
While the eventual return to live venues will be a welcomed episode, one where bodies can sweat and swing and collide into one another in ecstatic motion, Silent Planet proved that previously unimaginable experiences can thrive from screen to screen. Amidst times of chaos, TERMINAL offered an hour-long reprise, heartfelt to its very core.