Sweden's Violent Silence have eventually resurfaced with their fourth full-length offering, and it's full to the brim of very marvellous new musical offerings! Another lengthy gap since their last album, 2013’s ‘A Broken Truce’, which was delivered eight years after 2005’s ‘Kinetic’, Violent Silence are a band seemingly in no rush. But it’s quality release after quality release, so more than worth the wait. Their latest effort, ‘Twilight Furies’, is no exception.
Main man Johan Hedman remains the central creative force carrying the Violent Silence name into the third decade of the twenty first century. And his multi-instrumental efforts (drums, keys, etc) are supplemented by further keys from a returning Hannes Ljunghall, as well as bassist Simon M Svensson and vocalist Erik Forsberg. The results? Tracks that range from 20 seconds to over 16 minutes in length, but all immediately recognisable as Violent Silence. The band’s personnel might be largely different, but with Hedman continuing to steer their creativity, the unique prog aesthetic forged all those years ago is refreshingly intact. I realise there’s a paradox somewhere within that last sentence… a progressive band that doesn’t progress? Kind of, but they already transcended the notion of prog all those years ago. One of the rare few genuinely progressive bands out there, rather than another clone of the generic prog machine perpetuated by all those bands who lazily copy hegemonists of the scene, from the 70s onwards, to convince themselves there is actually a genre of ‘prog’. There’s your paradox right there… there should never be a ‘genre’ of prog.
Anyway, I digress. Violent Silence have never lazily appropriated prog’s tired old idioms, and have actually progressed… yes, actual musical progression, peeps! The distinct lack of any guitar helps, which is, bizarrely, still not noticeable in their music, as other instruments provide the sonic flesh on the rhythmic bones of the compositions. And the rhythmic backbone of each and every track is not merely groove territory for the sake of. Rather, drums, as always, add to the feelings of each piece.
While ‘Twilight Furies’ is said to be “more enigmatic and aggressive” than its predecessor, I’ve always found Violent Silence to have perfected elements of both in their music. I think the added aggression here, though, resides within Forsberg’s vocals, which alternate between smoother toned, and a rasped-up delivery. In fact, the raspier side of his voice brings a kind of dissonance with it at times, where the slightly off-key singing brings a layer of mildly unsettling artistry, which weaves surprisingly well within the layered tapestry of super-melodic keys.
All in all, as with Violent Silence’s previous works, ‘Twilight Furies’ benefits from repeated listens to be able to start connecting with its true emotional core. Some of the instrumentally driven virtuosity starts peeling away after a few listens and the essence of the songs reveal themselves. Brilliant stuff again from Hedman and co. Very well produced, mixed and mastered too, I must say!
Open Mind Records
Review by Mark Holmes
27th November 2020
1) Fair Warning
2) Tectonic Plates
3) Scorched Earth Path
4) Dance of the Shuriken
5) Lunar Sunrise
6) Beyond the Pass
7) Twilight Furies
8) Perilous Borders
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"Brilliant stuff again from Hedman and co."