THE ALBUM OF THE DAY IS…
SILENT CIVILIAN, REBIRTH OF THE TEMPLE
Like Dez Fafara before him, Silent Civilian singer/guitarist Johnny Santos jumped ship from his nu-metal act, Spineshank, to form a heavier band more in line with current trends in metal (screaming verses, melodic choruses); unlike Fafara, the move wasn’t quite as surprising, given that Spineshank were never as irritating as Coal Chamber and always bore a stronger relationship to heavy-though-melodic alt metal than Korn or Limp Suckit.
There’s nothing innovative about this album- like I said, it stays more or less with current trends, right down to the Master of Puppets-style soft opening that leads into the opening track which has become something of a prerequisite amongst these bands- but that doesn’t really matter because, well, it rocks. The guitars are especially noteworthy- every song has at least one blistering solo- and the fact that a lot of the shredding here is apparently done by Santos himself suggests he was actually holding back during his Spineshank days because decent lead guitar playing went out of fashion for a decade.
But perhaps the most interesting aspect of this album is how certain songs, such as the chant-inducing “Rebirth of the Temple” and “Bitter Pill,” are so far ahead of the rest of the album in terms of great metal songwriting that you just know Santos has an even better album in him. Only the future will tell whether or not Santos will be able to actually get that masterpiece out of his head and into our ears.
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