Silent Planet sounds like a band who willingly bears the weight of the world on their 2018 Solid State full length, When The End Began. On a track from their previous LP, Everything Was Sound, frontman Garrett Russell sings from the perspective of someone suffering, “I was gifted with the vision but cursed to be the witness.” The vibe of that line helps define the band’s newest offering.
The band presents a fittingly dynamic work to match that sentiment. On the 2018 full length, they take the listener through scenes of human destruction. They touch on issues including drug addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, and drowning in consumerism, sung at times from the very perspective of the one suffering.
The themes at play are important to Silent Planet’s presentation as a band, but they’re hardly where the outfit’s strength stops. This piece doesn’t simply turn into a political manifesto (although that works for some). Instead, the band’s work is musically enveloping. As one example, they freely incorporate stirring ambience into the track listing, opening WTEB on one such track that builds to Russell’s rattling screams.
There’s an obvious willingness to take from everything that’s available musically in building the band’s “world,” and it serves them very well. Their songs are not riff-centric, or beat-centric, or anything like that. Their songs simply persist on their own holistic merits.
Russell himself helps exemplify his band’s unique approach. His vocal work, as fans will no doubt be familiar with, freely steps all around the spectrum. At times, he’s offering what could be termed spoken word poetry, and at other times, he presents bellowing vocal work taken straight from the bottom of a metaphorical mudpit. It’s all there.
Importantly, each element of the band’s presentation is unified, in a sense at least, by their commitment to personality. Nothing the band presents has been artificially drummed up. Some of the themes of their new record emerged from conversations the band has had with fans while out on the road, for instance.
Additionally, the band has perfected the art of framing. In short, their work on their newest record never falls flat or leaves holes. Instead, there’s an enveloping wave of emotion and complicated musical work that will leave the listener reeling, if they give it a chance.