Every once in a while, a band comes along with music so powerful, it makes you stop and think for days. Silent Planet is that music. Telling stories from World War II, the set begins with the spoken word and transitions directly to lyrics that outline the horror and agony of people who lived in that era. Garrett Russell (vocals), Thomas Freckelton (bass/vocals), Igor Efimor (guitar), Spencer Keene (guitar), Mitchell Stark (guitar), and Alex Camarena (drums) use music to tell the forgotten stories that are so compelling and urgent, that the listener cannot help but feel what they must have felt.
These are the stories no one hears, often set aside by history, unpleasant, but personal. The music builds and wanes throughout the set, building an emotional connection with an audience that stood in rapt attention from the first note to the last. Haunting interludes allowed a break as Silent Planet performed songs from their discography with precision and ever-changing melodies. Vocals are emotional, giving light to the fear, joy, or pain the characters feel.
Ending with the song, “Depths II”, the music mirrors mental illness in its chaotic pieces, leading to abandon and crisis. The song is heart wrenching, you can almost feel the loss of control and cohesion that many people suffering mental discord can experience on a daily basis. Russell has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and uses his education and knowledge to bring a real world perspective to the lyrics. It is impossible to leave unaffected.
The live performance of Silent Planet is a symphony of change. Illuminating individual tales to bring to light what has been ignored or hidden gives direction for what needs our attention. I listen to Silent Planet often, digesting it slowly, as I consider the effect of the serious issues it addresses. I can honestly say it was the most moving show I have been to this year.