Review: Benjamin Coe
November 3, 2022. The members of Silent Planet are travelling by van through a blistering snowstorm when the unimaginable happens; the van crashes leaving a pile of wreckage and several wounded people, including the bands frontman Garrett Russell who was hospitalised with a fractured back and severe head wounds.
Fast forward a year later and the band are well and truly back on their feet and preparing to unleash the latest in a string of critically acclaimed records, Superbloom. The product of a year spent in recovery and self-reflection, Superbloom is as aggressive as it is introspective and as chaotic as it is stunningly beautiful. Its aural textures will take you on a journey through space and time from the comfort of your headphones.
From the opening ambience of the instrumental Lights Off The Lost Coast the album bears down full-strength with the first proper track Offworlder and as soon as the riffs kick in, they damn near take your head clean off! Russell’s signature screams burst through the speakers like lightning bolts to the ears and have you headbanging in unison with his punishing verses.
The riff work on display here is unmatched across the bands expansive back catalogue as guitarist Mitchell Stark shows just how proficient a songwriter he is. Collider is a great example of this, with its catchy hook of an intro (yes, that is Stark on the synths and clean vocals too) giving way to an epic verse that in turn builds into an even catchier chorus.
There is so much passion in these songs, whether it’s the soft intro of songs like Euphoria & hit single and standout track Antimatter or the brutal beginnings showcased on tracks such as the aforementioned Collider and latest single Annunaki (easily the heaviest on offer), this is a band firing on all cylinders and leaving nothing in the tank.
The groove-laden intro of The Overgrowth is almost (and I say, almost) enough to lull you into a false sense of calm before the rhythms and melodies are kicked into top gear once again and producing some of the most mosh-worthy music you’ll hear this year. The only real reprieve comes in the form of title track Superbloom, which closes out the album in spectacular fashion with it’s haunting melodies and even more magnificent riffage from Stark and co.
Pushing forward is something Silent Planet have done so well in the past and continue to do to this day. Superbloom is an absolute triumph of an album and, although a late entry, most certainly a contender for album of the year.
SUPERBLOOM arrives November 3 via Solid State Records.
Pre-order it here.