ALBUM REVIEW: Iridescent, by Silent Planet – Another Emotionally Exhausting, Lyrically Creative Album from Metalcore Giant


Silent Planet are a metalcore band based in California, and if they are known for anything at all after their past three albums it’s that they know how to pack an emotional punch. Each record released has been chock full of passionate lyrics with a narrative through-line pulled front to back. Their fourth release, Iridescent, refused to fall short of that promise.

112 serves as an introduction to this fourth album. It’s a dark, abrasive, cinematic approach to the start of the listener’s journey, sending us rocketing off to another dimension as we crash land into the second track – Translate the Night. Accented by powerful metalcore riffs, Garret’s signature erratic, rhythmic harsh vocals pull us into the vivid lyrical world, once again brimming with emotional language, “I try to speak, but some thoughts are too loud for words. My lungs collapse into the cadence of the earth”, all accumulating to the ending crushing vocals/breakdown that will leave you equal parts breathless and grasping for a meaning, “We will translate the…NIGHT. Aftermath is zero…wrapping me in oblivion.

If you’re a long time listener of Silent Planet, you’d more than likely know of their use of annotations when releasing music. Much of their lyrical content is based on real people, or real events, or books, and being who they are – they annotate all of those things for their listeners, so you can reference the material and learn about these events/people. This release, however, changed that – Trilogy, the third song on this album, and the first single they released, is about Garrett’s time in a mental hospital, and he wrote the lyrics based on that time. On Instagram, the vocalist said, “I wrote these lyrics while I was in a mental hospital – all in one go. It’s about my experience of anxiety and the events that preceded my hospitalization – the events that threw me and the band into a place of uncertainty. But we’re still here. I’m beyond thankful that we’re all still making music together,”. It doesn’t get much more emotionally exhausting than that premise, and the song delivers in full. The part that stands out the most on this track is the breakdown, leading into it gently, but unsettlingly, with Garret just barely mumbling, “It’s always red…the static in my head..

Full of weight and atmosphere, Second Sun carries itself with an achingly powerful chorus of, “I feel it all, I feel it all. Why do I haunt my body?” before hitting us with a slow, melancholic verse that can’t not tear your heartstrings, “We made our peace with make-believe. So stay and count the ghosts with me, cause they might haunt but they won’t bleed.”

Their fourth track was another single they released a few months prior, Panopticon. Though the lyrics in this song reek of trails already blazed, being about a society being played and mislead by mysterious people behind veils, they more than make up for it by being full of chunky, technical riffs, and being lyrically written extremely well, despite the subject matter. The title itself is observant enough, the definition of panopticon being, “a circular prison with cells arranged around a central well, from which prisoners could at all times be observed,”, and lyrics like, “Analog heart flat-lined and digitized. A shell for a skull and a body to commodify. Under the light we survive inside this between. But we lose ourselves and retreat to screens,”. Silent Planet never fails to write in an interesting way.

Alive, as a Housefire – despite being the 7th track on the album (needing to pull a lot of heavy weight to keep audiences active this far in) – manages to be one of the most aggressive tracks, lyrically dealing with America and its corrupt tendencies, starting us off with, “Identical America: The beautiful land of control. See the cages. Freedom/Fiction. Hear the fascist, or ask yourself – ‘Will my anesthetized half-lies still suffice to stifle what life we hoard till we die?’”, and ending with Garret actually cursing, repeating the line, “FUCK THE SYSTEM” over and over.

Just when you thought the album would become strictly political, they go and hit you with their 8th song, Terminal (released as a dual track with the 9th song Terminal/ (liminal) ). As the title suggests, it’s easily the most emotional song on the album. Opening incredibly soft, with Garret, who usually does harsh vocals, singing almost under his breath the line, “The hourglass is vacant. Sand turns to medication. You can fill me but I’ll never be full. I’m slipping to sedation… the seconds are contagious. Can you tell me if I’m terminal?”, before striking us in the heart with a searing release of musical energy.

I’m always incredibly interested in how a band chooses to close their record, and Silent Planet chose to do so with an absolute punch. Iridescent, the 12th, final, and titular song, is explosive. Incredibly emotional, incredibly personal, and incredibly heavy. My favorite song off this release, bar none. “As the moon waved her goodbyes, I saw you in a thousand lights. Eternity, in a moment: Iridescent”.

Silent Planet continue to change what it means to be a metalcore band, each release piling on itself and ever-evolving. Iridescent is no exception. Each song drips with innovation, each line bleeds with life. Blending the best of each genre, from metalcore to pop, Silent Planet’s fourth album holds nothing back as their vocalist’s passion and sense of theatrics pull us along through a world carefully crafted.

Silent Planet – Iridescent
Out 11/12/21 via Solid State Records

Track list:

Translate The Night
Second Sun
The Sound of Sleep
Alive, as a Housefire
Till We Have Faces

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