By this point, Silent Planet has become a staple in the totem pole that is modern metalcore. While other bigger bands that have called the umbrella home at some point or another have moved on to different pastures (for better or for worse), Silent Planet has remained consistent in both quality and sound, slowly becoming one of the genres more recognizable names as the years have progressed. Each album thus far has felt like a further refinement of the band’s sound rather than an overhaul, which has come at the appreciation of many fans, given just how popular that core sound is. Although I do have my preferences when it comes to their four albums (with Everything Was Sound and When The End Began being my personal favorites), I can’t deny that with each and every album, the band has further tweaked and perfected a core sound that was already great to begin with.
So therein lies the question; what would happen if Silent Planet turned their familiar formula on its head? Would they still be as great as they have become known to be? Enter 2023’s brand new effort, SUPERBLOOM. While still recognizably a Silent Planet album, this brand new LP sounds completely different from anything else the band has produced in their career thus far. The heavier songs are heavier and explore unique territories previously untouched by the band, the softer songs are perfectly experimental, and the band pulls out plenty of new tricks to help display that they are very comfortable in stepping out of their comfort zone. So then, the question still remains; is it good? Was it worth it? Well, when analyzing SUPERBLOOM, I’d say yes, absolutely so.
The album opens with the pulsating energy of interlude Lights Off The Lost Coast, which gears up into what becomes the steady, opening bass grooves of the abrasively heavy Offworlder. While this track is reminiscent of Northlane’s more recent material, it’s still very much distinctly Silent Planet. The guitar work present here is simple, yet effective in making you feel like worms are crawling through your veins, ravaging your body. What the song lacks in technicality, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it makes up for in just how layered and detailed the instrumentals are.
The massive and otherworldly Collider is up next, showcasing just how dynamic Silent Planet are within their new formula. The song catalyzes with heavy strums interlaced with buzzing synths, before quickly withdrawing into ambient keys and Garrett Russell’s magnificent singing. Perhaps the most notable feature of the single is its massive, anthemic chorus, which digs its way straight into your brain, leaving you humming that melody for weeks to come.
If there’s one aspect that is immediately of note when it comes to Silent Planet’s SUPERBLOOM, it’s just how insanely dynamic this thing is. ‘Antimatter’ is a clear example of this, being the most uniquely out there track the band has ever written. The song builds a cosmic atmosphere through pounding baritone synths and wonderfully composed electronic drums. Russell’s singing on the verses feel a tad robotic, but in a manner that works well with the auditory theming of the song. The chorus here stands out among the rest on SUPERBLOOM, trading cathartic singing melodies for meticulous guitar chugs and booming screams. The biggest and most notable section, however, is the song’s finale, which is nothing short of an explosion of masterful musicality.
Elsewhere, Nexus and :Signal: are heavy as balls, in a distinctly over-the-top way never before seen in a Silent Planet song. Nexus in particular leaves you feeling like you are traveling in a spaceship beyond the speed of light, hurdling quickly towards an asteroid that will spell doom for every crew member onboard. This track in particular features one of the sickest breakdowns the band has ever written, with its earth-shattering chugs and metallic harmonic strums.
Then, you have the songs that are somewhere in between the likes of Antimatter and Nexus, showcasing both the band’s heavy and melodic chops, all with a bright red bow of perfectly-executed experimentation on top. Euphoria feels dangerously close to a nu-metal track, with its guitar swipes, rat-a-tat drums, and perfectly Deftones-y chorus. Structurally, the cut feels similar to its predecessor in Collider, but is an entire world different in instrumentation and musicality.
Dreamwalker follows a similar theme of heavy and soft tug-of-war, opening with one of the most Loathe-esque riffs I have ever heard. The song goes on to showcase a spacious, gargantuan chorus and chaotic, murderous guitar work that easily propel it to the top of the album’s song ranking. Every song on SUPERBLOOM truly has its own identity, feeling much like a far-away galaxy, with each track representing an unexplored planet.
The album closes with the shockingly shoegaze-y titular track SUPERBLOOM, catalyzing with chorus-y, watery clean guitars that highlight just how beautiful Silent Planet can be when they want to be. The chorus only furthers that vibrant beauty, as the song blasts straight towards its ridiculously-satisfying, apocalyptic conclusion. This cut is certainly unique in terms of what the band has done previously, and it leaves you with the feeling that Silent Planet truly struck gold with this brand new sound that they are displaying with this record.
While I am not going to spoil any specific lines from SUPERBLOOM as I am well aware that Silent Planet is damn-near most known for their lyricism, I would be remiss not to mention the absolute poetry that Garrett Russell has gifted us with the release of this record. Russell has always had a way of perfectly intertwining politics and world issues with topics that are more personal, and that is only further exemplified with SUPERBLOOM. It feels as if Russell always has in mind the most beautiful way to describe a thought or idea, striking nails deep into the heart of the listener. If one would look at the lyricism isolated from the music, not knowing that they are lyrics, they might in fact mistake the songs for actual poems, and that says everything you need to know about how absolutely brilliant of a songwriter Garrett Russell is.
While I still think that the masterpiece that is Everything Was Sound has not yet been topped, SUPERBLOOM comes damgerously close. This album is nothing short of magnificent, taking Silent Planet into universes all of their own.
For fans of: Loathe, Kingdom of Giants, Northlane
‘SUPERBLOOM’ by Silent Planet is out now on Solid State Records.
Words by Hunter Hewgley