Silent So Long

Written by: BW on 01/12/2014 23:04:57

Richard Z Kruspe will no doubt be best known for being the Rammstein lead guitarist, but I, along with many others didn’t know that during the German metal band’s 1 year break back in 2008 he decided to bring out a side project album with Emigrate. Now that the legends of industrial have decided to step back a bit, it’s given Emigrate a chance to come forth with a new album and a meatier sound than last time. Stand by for an eargasm with what “Silent So Long” has to offer.

I don’t joke when I say that this record is a gem of an album. There is a sense that the experience gained since 2008 really has not been lost in any way from all the areas the band have cultivated their craft from. The time has also been spent getting to know other high profile names, like Lemmy from Motorhead, Jonathan Davies and Marilyn Manson, as well as trying to throw in a couple of more diverse collaborations.

It is a bit weird to hear Richard singing in English considering most of his time was spent screaming in German, but he equips his voice rather well to the songs on the record. “Eat You Alive”, the first single off the album shows this as a case in point. What it also does is prove that you can have little sprinklings of your past with a vast helping of freshness. The Rammstein guitar notes are always there throwing blow after blow of joyful sound towards your audio receptors, but the true feeling of comfort stems from the synth intro work which slips you into things nice and easy, especially if you have been a fan of the genre for a while. Songs like “Rainbow” and “Born on My Own” stand out as band high notes here. The instruments are all tight and everything else fits into place like these are songs from decades long veterans, rather than a group that has been around for less than ten.

In terms of the new stuff, we get a slightly toned down and very refined sound, rather than that gargantuan in your face shred you used to get and it makes a hell of a difference in positive ways. Take it as quality over quantity. The other fresh feel comes in the first of the album crossovers with Seeed frontman, Frank Delle, bringing some bridging rap to the table. It all helps to bring the variety forward and some slightly different direction.

It isn’t to say that all the guest vocals work on “Silent So Long”. I have to draw attention to “Rock City Night”, with Motorhead legend, Lemmy. This should, on paper sound like a rock and roll nirvana in an mp3 file, but instead all it does is make you feel that this is one song too many for him and it detracts from the high quality on the album as a whole. It sounds like a drunk old man singing at karaoke in some places and just doesn’t work. The music is simply too loud to carry the vocals, ironic when you consider that this was the man that said “If it’s too loud, you’re too old” Time to take some of your own advice there, Lem.

Other than that blip in proceedings, this is an extremely well made and, dare I say it, bloody good album. It has many songs that are catchy, it produces nice new things to you when you least expect it and it does have some of the best collaboration work I have heard in years. The two songs that positively scream this to the fore are the title track “Silent So Long” and the one tune that has to be the best thing I’ve heard all year. “Hypothetical” almost sounds like something from when Marilyn Manson was in his “Beautiful People” era and it is a monster of a song. The pulsating “Kashmir” tempo and guitar work, as well as the slippy and seductive tones of Manson make this a regular on my playlist (and will be making it onto the rockfreaks Spotify one if I have anything to do with it).

The title track is also a brilliant song to put you on the fast track to goosebumps. The fact this actually sounds more like Korn than anything Davies has put out in the last 5 or 6 years or so shows you how good this all is. Richard also does some great singing work in this to kick the song off, but both of them together really make this work and in such a way that it may well be illegal in some countries.

This has come as a surprise wonder hit for me. I had a feeling it would be good but I didn’t quite realise just how much so it would be. The non guest material is extremely solid and well put together and has a better feel to it than the debut outing. In fact, the only song off the WHOLE ALBUM that isn’t a high grade track is Lemmy and his drunken whining on “Rock City Night”. They should have got someone else to lead vocal that or indeed it should have been Richard doing it himself, but as it stands it just falls short of the high bar this full album has attained.

What “Silent So Long” has shown is that in certain instances there can be life beyond supergroups and that that life can be a very happy and beautiful thing. This album is exactly that. From the nucleus of what has been before we have something that not only holds together what we loved from the past, it embraces the here and now in ways that blend subtlety and originality in equal measure. The musical elements are inspiring and get the juices pumping like it should and it is just incredible. Emigrate may well have been silent so long, but by God they are making noise now, and bloody good noise at that.

Download: Hypothetical, Eat You Alive, Silent So Long, Born on My Own
For The Fans Of: Megahertz, Rammstein, Stahlhammer
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 17.11.2014

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