Silence Of September

Sleep Of Reason

Written by: PP on 01/03/2010 06:27:43

Many people involved in the Danish music scene were puzzled by the announcement that "Sleep of Reason", the debut album by Silence Of September, would be released on Warner Music despite the band not having played more than just a couple of shows at that point in time. Evil tongues whispered all over the hallways of the scene that there were other bands more deserving of such a golden opportunity, so there's no denying SoS had a lot to prove with the record. But before we get on with it, I feel like it's necessary to shine a little light on how these guys got signed in the first place: no, they didn't have the 'right contacts' or aren't friends with people working for Warner or anything silly like that. Instead, they were working on some demos with a producer, who really liked what he heard so he thought he'd pass on a copy of the disc to someone in Warner's A&R, who shared the producer's sentiments and made things happen. So in reality, it was a combination of luck, and more importantly, a really good album capable of turning some heads, one of them being mine over the last few weeks despite initial skepticism.

After a somewhat pointless intro consisting of just rain weather and someone lighting a cigarette (yeah, we get it, you're from Denmark, it rains all the time and people smoke here), "I Have A Dream" opens the album with a sample from Martin Luther King, Jr's famous speech, before some funky electronics introduce the listener to the world of Silence Of September for the first time. Soon after heavy guitars kick in, together creating a curious sound that's part early 2000s heavy alternative rock (but NOT nu-metal as some are saying), part original post-hardcore (back when it sounded way different compared to today), and part electro-tinged post-grunge. There's one band in particular that SoS bear striking resemblance to - Finger Eleven back when they were writing their seminal, pioneering albums "Tip" and "Greyest Of Blue Skies", but other bands like Boy Hits Car, Chevelle and Taproot are also partially represented in their sound, that is, if these bands had a sublime usage of melancholy and discotheque keyboards as a part of their arsenal. Lyrically, the song is nothing short of an ingenious re-interpretation of the speech, as Nikola sings passionately "And I dreamed one night that I would wake up in a world with no hate at all, but every time we rise it seems like we always have to fall. Somebody once said that freedom is the moment you can look yourself in the eyes, but what's the point of freedom when all that you see are lies?". Factor in that the song is actually pretty darn memorable thanks to it's saddened melody lines, and bang, skeptics like myself are instantly paying attention to what's coming next.

Lead single "Make A Scene" follows, and while it isn't the strongest track on the disc, it continues the good first impression to SoS, outlining the key elements in their music nicely: anthemic choruses meet big, melodic leads on the background that shift between crunchy riffing and smooth chords, all supplementing mostly clean, melancholic singing with just the right amount of pained screaming to give the vocals a sense of urgency. Heavily electronic "You" passes by almost unnoticed, not because it's a bad track, but because it's followed by the best track on the album, "Take Back The Words", which perfectly fuses the band's electronic samples and keys with the raw, textured hard rock riffs, while placing the spotlight on the strong clean vocal chorus at the same time. Something about those keys make them the perfect background ambiance for Nikola's wailed vocals.

Later on, other highlights like the more hurried "Second Chance", and especially the beautiful namesake track "Silence Of September" (those DJ scratches are so "Hybrid Theory"-era Linkin Park, which isn't a bad thing), finish an album that has exceeded all expectations the scene could possibly have had for these guys. Sure, they play a style of music that's not 'in' or 'super trendy' for the time being, but they play it convincingly and with enough confidence in their own music that they actually pull it off without the risk of it sounding dated or irrelevant. Classic quiet/loud dynamic is being used on more or less every track, and the structures follow a very traditional verse/chorus/verse platform, but that doesn't matter when the songs are this good. Now, the band has been under fire for their live performance, not just from our very own TL, but also from other frequenters of the Danish underground music scene from what I've heard. My guess is that the band just haven't played enough shows yet, but who knows, what matters for the time being is that on record, Silence Of September are one of the better Danish bands I've heard in recent years, with plenty of marketable potential for a major label like Warner to take advantage of. So I urge you to throw away all of your prejudices about the style of music, how they got signed, or their live performance, and just give this album a listen. Chances are, you'll be as positively surprised as I was.

8

Download: Take Back The Words, I Have A Dream, Second Chance
For the fans of: Finger Eleven, Chevelle
Listen: Myspace

Release date 04.02.2010
Warner Music

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