For Fans Of
Silent Planet’s first full-length, ‘The Night God Slept,’ originally released on November 10th, 2014, was a sleeper metalcore hit. A techy, riffy Christian-metalcore LP full of passion, personality, and poignant historical discussions interwoven with current pressing political issues all made for a forward-thinking, moving release. Though personally, ‘The Night God Slept‘ has always been my least favourite Silent Planet work. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad album, I just much prefer the songs off 2016’s phenomenal ‘Everything Was Sound‘ (my #1) and 2018’s solid ‘When The End Began‘ (my #2.) In fact, were I to review ‘The Night God Slept,’ if it was released today, I’d settle around a 70/100 rating. Yet with it’s recently released redux, new life has been breathed into its lungs, and that’s all been for the better.
There is a massive night and day difference to the production and mix of this redux and the original. Everything sounds “fuller,” feeling crispier and more alive. This big quality-of-life update to Silent Planet’s debut album makes the soaring guitar leads and technical riffs clearer, the melodies and ambiance stick better, bringing this LP closer in-line with their raw live sound and the feel of the two stellar records that would follow it two and four years later respectively. While that harsher, “wall-of-noise” feeling that the original contained was a much-loved factor for many, myself included, ‘The Night God Slept‘ sharpens its sonic blade to a deadly degree. I prefer this tighter take instead. TNGS has never sounded better than how it does now with this new iteration. It sounds more human, and less like a mechanical metalcore album that plagued the scene in the late 2000s and early 2010s, many of which honestly sound a little hollow and soulless upon returning listens.
This redux highlights just how far the vocals of both Garrett Russell and bassist Thomas Freckleton have come over the last five years, seeing the former’s spoken-word parts and beastly lows leap out with more clarity, sounding as powerful as ever. Whereas the latter’s clean singing sounds stronger and better-matched with what are paired around them in these heavy, dense compositions. This growth and experience from the two vocalists also means that the lyricism hits harder too. Which is really saying something, considering the already thoughtful and interesting lyrical content found across this LP about historical catastrophes, the intention of faith, religious schisms, war atrocities, sex-trafficking in modern America, and more. (As for the guest vocals from Being As An Ocean’s Joel Quartuccio on ‘Firstwake,’ Dayseeker’s Rory Rodriguez during ‘First Mother (Lilith),’ and Phinehas‘ Sean McCulloch in ‘Darkstrand (Hibakusha),’ they basically remain the same performances, just remixed and remastered to properly fit this new version. And I’d even go so far as to say that those features all sound clearer and larger under this context.)
For this review, I listened to both versions of TNGS in tandem, going song by song between both iterations, and as for any actual songwriting changes made, nothing major sticks out. The original structures and movements of this album remain untouched. If anything, it’s an incredibly faithful re-recording, staying bang-on to the original blueprints of these now six-year-old songs. It’s practically the same album that you know, love, and remember, except that now, it just sounds A LOT better is all. The interludes of ‘I Drowned In The Desert‘ and ‘To Thirst For The Sea‘ are more pronounced, as is the intro swell of ‘Wasteland,’ but that’s pretty much it in terms of any noticeable differences. Though I’m sure there’s maybe some other tiny detail that I’ve perhaps missed. Still, this is a beefed-up remake of Silent Planet’s debut LP. And for those who champion this as their best work, you’re in for a real treat.
Back in 2014, ‘The Night God Slept’ was a good, thought-provoking Christian metalcore album. Now in the current year, it is a greater, still thought-provoking Christian metalcore album that sonically lands with much more impact and somehow feels even more relevant and insightful in its messaging and themes. Hindsight is 2020, and added perspective and the passing of time has now seen Silent Planet re-do their debut LP, giving it an exceptional new coat of paint. They’ve rebuilt it; stronger, heavier, tighter, better. It now stands as an extremely well-balanced sounding record in terms of production, and I so wish that more bands would take the time to re-record or revisit their earlier works in some way, shape or form. Because this redux of ‘The Night God Slept’ highlights the great songwriting on display, re-affirming how it contains some of Silent Planet’s best songs; ‘Native Blood,’ ‘XX (City Grave), ‘Firstwake,’ and ‘Depths II’. While this is a great redux – giving new life and new legs to some truly solid earlier material of theirs – the future unravels before us, and that path sets us down a one-way journey towards the band’s yet TBA fourth record later this year. And I, for one, cannot wait to see what’s next.
- The Well
- XX (City Grave)
- I Drowned In The Desert
- Native Blood
- Tiny Hands (Au Revoir)
- Darkstrand (Hibakusha)
- First Mother (Lilith)
- To Thirst For The Sea
- Depths II
The redux of ‘The Night God Slept’ is out now: