Silent Planet released their second album ‘Everything Was Sound’ last year and it was my second favorite album of 2016 (after Architects). The story of the album takes place in a panopticon which is a type of circular prison where all the cells face inward and can theoretically be guarded by a single watchman at the center of it all. Bright lights face each prisoner so the guard just looks like a shadow which results in every prisoner thinking he’s constantly watching them. That is why the center of their album art is black, it’s the darkness that the guard hides in and the circle of colors represent the prisoners in the cells. Each song symbolizes and tells the story of a different inmate that has a unique mental illness such as PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and so on. At the end of the album vocalist Garrett Russell realizes he is actually the guard and that’s how he knows their stories so well. In the end the purpose of the album is revealed when Russell realizes he is part of the problem because he was watching people suffering without stepping in to help. That we classify people as their problems and watch them through a sort of disembodied view. Personally I think “Panic Room” is the most intense; it tells the story of one of their military friends that deals with PTSD and the music video for it is one of the most artistic, cinematic music videos ever. Russel’s vocals are so unique and you can hear the emotions in every line.
He mostly does his classic yells and screams but also seems to have unlocked these new low screams that are super powerful. I love that he’s continuing to use the spoken word elements from before and the fact that he yells most of those parts make them even more raw and emotional. The music calms down and really lets the light shine on those parts. Once you know the story behind the album you can really start to hear the atmosphere that it creates. When you look at how the instruments change to reflect and compliment what Russell is doing vocally it’s pretty awesome. I also love how they use footnotes and references in their lyrics; they’re so much deeper than you’d ever imagine if you haven’t looked at the inspiration and references in each song. This is a band that I feel like will never get enough appreciation or recognition for the depth and passion of their music. If you like meaningful heavy music that can bring some emotions to the surface then you’ll love these guys.