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TRACK LIST: 1. Squeal Point 5:19 2. Dead Cities 5:28 3. The Way of the Exploding Fist 4:11 4. Curtains 5:39 5. Tunnel Vision 5:02 6. The Sound of Dying 3:43 7. War Ant 4:31 8. Shoot It in the Head 5:12 9. They Are Only People Like Us 1:19 10. Grey Fluid Earth 8:02 All tracks: by Ljunghall & Hedman. LINE-UP: Hannes Ljunghall - keyboards Johan Hedman - drums Phillip Bastin - basses Bruno Edling - vocals Produced by C. Vikman & Violent Silence. Engineered by C. Vikman at "EAR", Uppsala.
Prolusion. Sweden's VIOLENT SILENCE is from the legendary city of Uppsala, the ancient capital of Vikings. Of course, the hero of this review is the debut album by the band.
Synopsis. Well, this will be a laudatory review, as "Violent Silence" made a fantastic impression on me! I remember that the same wonderful feelings I experienced after hearing King Crimson's "Three of a Perfect Pair" and, a bit later, "Discipline" and "Beat" back in the eighties. Like in the case of that at the time of the second reincarnation of the Legend, the music of Violent Silence is highly original, is full of innovative ideas and sounds amazingly fresh. There is nothing that would even remotely remind you of the 'legacy' of Classic Progressive Rock of the seventies 'inherited' by most of the contemporary bands and their predecessors from the eighties and nineties. I am sure that after the first acquaintance with King Crimson's "Discipline", most of you dear readers have been disappointed rather than happy with the new sound of the band, which seemed to be not as rich as usual (no keyboards, etc). The same might happen to you when (OK, if) you get Violent Silence. However, don't be confused with the absence of a guitarist in this quartet! All of the band members work with their instruments, including a voice, so lively, inventively and effectively that you'll forget of anything while listening to the album. All the sounds and parts of keyboards, including the vibraphone-like ones (and these are at the forefront of arrangements on about a half of the tracks here), are brilliantly unique, and solos of bass are mostly so virtuosi and extraordinary that many guitarists would be green with envy. The vocals (in excellent English) are always as if laid-back from the surrounding musical events, and the parts of all the instruments are always different from each other. No solos done in unison or in fourth etc here! The album is of a completely unified stylistics, which is a highly unique Art-Rock with symphonic tendencies; yet, it isn't Symphonic Progressive in the traditional sense of the term. As for particularities, the shortest track: They Are Only People Like Us (9) is the only instrumental piece, which, as well as the song The Sound of Dying (6), has been performed without the rhythm section. The last and the longest track here: Grey Fluid Earth (10) is so far my favorite, but the more I listen to the album the more I like the other tracks as well.
Conclusion. Even if "Violent Silence" is maybe less intricate and 'epic' than some of the other albums I've reviewed for this update, it is definitely better than any of them. Which, of course, is because this effort is not only marked with high originality, but is also full of innovative ides, and unlike many others, doesn't reflect the glorious past of Progressive Rock at all. Extra!
VM: January 6, 2004
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