Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Then Comes Silence - Then Comes Silence

Album review by KevW

We're in an age of anonymity. Social networks are flooded with accounts created by aliases and parodies, people rarely use their real name on message boards or forums, every week we hear of the antics and chaos created by hacktivist group Anonymous. Whether this breeds hatred from people showing the true colours that they'd never dare put their real name to, or whether it gives the public the ability to speak out without fear of repercussions is for you to decide, but disguising your identity, or even creating a false one has never been easier. Swedish band Then Comes Silence formed earlier this year and have already put down this debut album. They're choosing to remain anonymous, but the speed of their ascent suggests that they may be a quartet who've done this kind of thing before. Who knows.

The idea of letting the tunes speak for themselves is either fundamentally crucial to the very notion of music, or slightly pretentious. Again, that's for you to decide, for now let's just concentrate on the record that Then Comes Silence have made. A picture can paint a thousand words and that artwork tells of a dark and desolate place, of people drowning; a subject they touch on 'Slowly Dragging You Down' which is an industrial lump of noisy post-punk, similar to that made by A Place To Bury Strangers. It's not the only song that shares this similarly bleak, cold and screeching sound. 'Deepest Darkest' speaks for itself, but labeling them goth only displays a fraction of the full picture. Like APTBS, Ceremony and Skywave before them, this is a clanging mixture of shoegaze, barbed-wire guitars and the spectre of eastern Europe's musical wasteland that attracted the likes of Bowie and Lou Reed back in the 70s.

There is a difference though, between making engaging, icy and psychotic shoegaze, and just making a plain old racket, and Then Comes Silence for the most part succeed brilliantly. 'Death By A Frozen Heart' and 'Sweet Curls' very much continue along a similar path, making the first half a flailing mess of screaming electric guitars. As the album goes on it becomes heavier and increasingly despondent, as though it's suffocating under the weight of its own desperate hopelessness. Unless these sounds are the variety that usually resonate with you, then you might find the more chilling and stark numbers like 'Become One Of Them' and 'Flesh And Blood a bit heavy going, but on the whole this is excellently acidic and bone-crunching industrial shoegaze, and the imagery generated by the music of Then Comes Silence is enough for them to not require a human front.

Then Comes Silence's website

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