Silent Planet re-release ‘XX (City Grave)’ & ‘Wasteland’ from debut LP redux

‘The Night God Slept’, remade anew in 2020. 

Silent Planet’s debut record, ‘The Night God Slept‘ arrived on November 10th, 2014. With the LP having now turned five, the Californian Christian band is celebrating this half-decade milestone of their first full-length by re-recording it all from scratch, breathing new life into an important release for Silent Planet that helped propel them into being modern metalcore favourites. This fresh redux of ‘The Night God Slept‘ (with its artwork seen above) will arrive January 24th, 2020 if this Amazon listing is to be believed.

The beginning of this updated release starts with two re-recorded and re-mastered songs, one of which the band has kept in their live shows for quite some time: old fan-fave and one of their strongest tracks overall, ‘XX (City Grave),’ as well as ‘Wasteland (Vechnost)‘. Both songs sound bigger, more “full”, rawer in their songwriting as reborn versions. Everything lands harder and heavier, hitting a sweet spot between the sound of the group’s second and third records. Revisiting these two songs with fresh ears and now a new coat of mixing paint makes a lot more sense for how Silent Planet sound nowadays. It feels less “mechanical” and more real; more alive if you will.

While I’ve always preferred 2016’s immaculate ‘Everything Was Sound‘ and 2018’s solid ‘When The End Began‘ LP over their 2014 predecessor, that album was where it all really started for Silent Planet. The techy guitar runs, the poignant tones, that cold sense of ambiance, the deeply thoughtful and spiritual lyricism – it all began there. All growing into a far more impactful extent after their earlier EPs, something that the band would later cultivate to stunning degrees on the two albums that have followed since.

For instance, on that latter note of lyrics and themes, that first LP dealt with many issues facing women, children, and innocents today and across history. ‘XX‘ deals with the epidemic of sex trafficking in America; ‘Native Blood‘ discusses the history of Native Americans and their mistreatment; ‘Tiny Hands (Au Revoir)‘ is based on the story of Marguerite Rouffanche, the sole survivor of the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre; ‘Darkstrand (Hibakusha)‘ tells the story of a mother and a child enduring the bombing of Hiroshima, partly named after the Japanese term used to describe the survivors of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombings; and the other of these two redux singles, ‘Wasteland (Vechnost),’ deals with the USSR’s religion, politics and the Soviet’s morality surrounding their victory set in stark contrast to the nation having suffered more casualties than any other country during WWII.

Silent Planet had a pretty damn busy 2019 with them touring more, reaching their tenth year as a band, returning to Australia under Northlane, and releasing their kick-ass B-side, ‘Shark Week.’ The band has also mentioned back in October via their social media that they’ll be returning in 2020 with new material and in their “final form”, but that they may look and sound different when it comes to that future content to finally manifest. It remains to be seen just what that implies and what those changes will be.

In the interim, hear the originals of ‘XX (City Grave)‘ and ‘Wasteland (Vechnost)‘ and then go compare them to the updated versions below. Honestly, I much prefer these two new updated tracks over the original takes.

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