There is a constant discussion between those who study theosophy (the philosophy dealing with the nature of divinity) about if there is a God how can God allow so much evil to happen. Writers throughout time have suggested, in poetic terms, that the state of universal chaos and moral entropy leaves us only to assume that God may have simply "fallen asleep." Garrett Russell, vocalist of the Los Angeles based sextet, Silent Planet, engages with this quandary on the band's forthcoming debut record.
That album, The Night God Slept will be released via Solid State Records (Fit For A King, Demon Hunter) on November 10th. Co-produced by the band’s guitarist Spencer Keene and Daniel Braunstein (formerly of the band Volumes) musically it contains some of the most frenetic metal-core put to tape. However as possessed of tremolo picked guitar fury and double-bass attack, there is a balance of melody, moodiness and ambient sections making it a well-rounded and well-paced auditory experience.
Though using aggressive and energy inducing riffs in their music, Silent Planet brings a fresh insight and message of openness as a band. Lyrically, Russell (a self-professed ‘history nerd’ who holds a Master’s Degree in clinical psychology) acts like a theosophist who seeks to understand the bonds that unite humanity and the divine. On The Night God Slept and their previously released Lastsleep (1944-1946) EP the main lyrical thrust is songs through the eyes of women protagonists throughout history.
Spanning from the dawn of time (“First Mother” Lillith) to the bombing of Hiroshima Japan (“Darkstrand” Hibakusha) to the modern day crisis of Sex trafficking in America (“XX” City Grave), the validity of these tales are reinforced by Russell’s choice to add source footnotes that further the literary experience of the album by citing historical and literary references.
Speaking on this direction Russell says “we see a lot of cultural misogyny in music, certainly in heavy music. Women in heavy music are caught in a binary - they are either written as a ‘good’ moral, ideal woman or a ‘bad’ sinful, tempting woman - but almost never written from their own perspective. What links all of the women in our songs is that they ultimately have to make difficult decisions under the systemic oppression of their coercive ruling forces. Forces which include government, authority figures and the society they live in.”
Though a voracious researcher, Russell admits that working at a counseling center for the past year gave him new insight into other people’s struggles to tackle these subjects. “I interacted with many different people of gender and sexual orientation who certainly represent people who are part of our music scene and the same age as our audience. I believe everyone has their own narrative to tell and hopefully giving these characters a voice can open people’s minds and invite new thoughts into our scene.”
Rounded out by Alex Camarena (drums), Thomas Freckleton (guitar, keys), Igor Efimov (bass) and Mitchell Stark (guitar) geographically Silent Planet includes natives of California, Russia and Canada within their ranks. Originally forming in 2009, the band’s debut EP, Come Wind, Come Weather, which was produced by Matt Goldman (The Chariot, Underoath) was released in 2012. Since 2013 Silent Planet has completed several national tours including with such notables as Sleeping Giant, Impending Doom, Fit For A King, Gideon and Phinehas.
Still unsigned at the beginning of 2014, the Lastsleep EP was initially recorded just to have something new to sell on tour while writing this full-length album. However the reaction to the material was staggering and reached far beyond those who already knew of the band. Examples of this include HM Magazine’s Editor In Chief, David Stagg giving the EP a perfect five star review and calling it “a perfection of the metalcore genre” and not hearing anything like it since “some random band called August Burns Red released Messengers.” Also impressed was Solid State Records, who stepped in to add the band to their roster and bring their musical message to the masses.
On November 10th, hear the band that is shaping up to be a major voice in modern metal-core.