Melodic metalcore band, Silent Planet, brings a refreshing change in heavy metal music. Hailing from all parts of the globe, Garrett Russell (vocals), Thomas Freckelton (bass/vocals), Igor Efimor (guitar), Spencer Keene (guitar), Mitchell Stark (guitar), and Alex Camarena (drums) incorporate symphonic elements with driving beats to form an innovative metal orchestra. Calm breaks provide dramatic rises and falls in the music, leaving just the right amount of pause for a listener to embrace the overall concept of the lyrics. Instrumental tracks on their EP last sleep (1944-1946) allow time for peaceful remembrances amid stories outlining the horrors of World War II.
Sometimes there is no happy ending. In fact, many stories do not have an ending at all. The music of Silent Planet is like a good book set to music. But many times, the stories they tell are not for the faint of heart. From the song, “XX (City Grave)” powerful lyrics say, “Apathy was our anchor to a digital sea/where you drown in the comfort of our complicity/Can love save me?/Will Your wrath avenge us?” in describing exploitation of women from a feminist perspective. The message is clear and versatile enough to apply to any social injustice. If you do not take a stand against inequality, you are part of the force that drives it forward.
Touring requires commitment. One of the hardest obstacles to overcome for Silent Planet was to find the right brotherhood of musicians. Russell explains that finding people who are willing to travel is essential, because being on the road means having to put so much of your life on hold. A musician must be a selfless person who is willing to put the needs of others before their own in order to be successful on tour. Russell explains, “Everyone (in Silent Planet) is the kind of person that knows how to work hard and achieve a goal. They know how to put petty needs aside for the betterment of everyone. It’s really cool to work with all the guys here”. By focusing on a collective objective to create unique and compelling music as a whole, Silent Planet makes the most of individual talents and strengths.
Faith has a whole new sound. Music is more to Russell than just a career. It is a calling he takes seriously and he believes that he is right where he belongs. The music and lyrics from Silent Planet are infused with strong Christian values and ethics, a lifestyle Russell is committed to. Lyrics from “Darkstrand (Hibakusha)” proclaim, “Salt of the Earth/Preserve their songs/Light of the World/Burn out the shadows” and can accurately describe Silent Planet. They are six regular people (Salt of the Earth) who bring awareness in their music (Preserve their songs) and know that through their faith in God (Light of the World), injustice can be prevented in the future (Burn out the shadows).
Life does not come with instructions. As a writer and college student, I find myself drawn to the music of Silent Planet because it inspires thought. Adding footnotes and reference points to the lyrics provides more to contemplate than just the words of a song. I can see what Silent Planet has to say and how they came to their conclusions. While their music is not a road map for action to stop injustice, it is the first step in recognizing what needs our attention.
Silent Planet is currently touring on the West Coast. They will introduce fans to their new album, The Night God Slept, which will be released November 10, 2014, with another tour across the country.