22 Oct 2018
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Silence The City - Album Review: Resilience

26 Oct 2017 // A review by Alex Moulton

In the New Zealand mainstream rock scene, releasing a full-length album is an achievement in itself. The digital age of the music industry and the geographical limitations of the country tends to push most young acts towards either the constant stream of single releases or shorter EPs in order to maintain their relevance in the music scene. Silence the City have finally broken new ground with the upcoming release of their debut album Resilience. With a playthrough time of around 45 minutes, I found myself in a situation where I had to actually had to put time aside to properly listen to the album in full; the length of the release meant there wasn't enough time to listen to the entire album on my usual commute. Setting time aside to specifically listen to music was something I haven't had to do in a long time, and I welcomed the opportunity.

Silence the City aren't wasting time with unnecessary intros, outros, or interlude tracks; the release contains 12 tracks including four previously released singles (Brave, Identity, Ruins, and We Are The Voice) and compiles the bands' creative works since 2015. The four singles are spread evenly throughout the album and provide an air of safety and familiarity when you listen to the album the first few times. The album starts with that well-known opening sequence of guitar and irregular bass drum from Brave. A strong starting track that showcases both Justin Pitt's unique "loud" vocal style and his well-controlled melodic softer tones. 

Justin's voice has distinctive inflections that make his voice incredibly easy to distinguish. Not dissimilar in uniqueness to the characteristic voice of Disturbed's David Draiman, Pitt has the similar challenge where the Silence the City's sound is largely determined by his voice, and he must, therefore, ensure he provides enough vocal variability that the songs don't fall into the trap of being "sameish" and too similar. The first half of Resilience toes this line with similarities in the vocal hooks, and strum patterns and tempo from Sam French on bass. It isn't until track six a.k.a. Ruins where we start getting some mixed and distinctive tracks, after Ruins unremitting speed and consistency. Standout tracks on the album come in the form of Satellite and The Heaviest Wave, with an almost pop-punk sound that gives Pitt's harsher vocals more power and passion, by comparison, giving tracks like Identity more punch, when you go back to listen again.

The back end of Resilience is where Silence the City truly come into their own. Demonstrating their ability to do more than create a hit single; instead, creating songs that compliment each other, as well as some cleaner riffs to show off French's prowess. The album ends on the longest track, Ender, with some beautifully clear vocals, and the inclusion of some backing vocals that give a very Chris Daughtry feel to the song. 

Potentially one of the top full-length releases of the year. Despite the track order feeling unbalanced and "heavily" skewed towards the initial tracks, Resilience is a comprehensive mix of heavy hitters and softer melodic tracks that will no doubt appeal to a wide audience.

 

Releases

Resilience
Year: 2017
Type: Album
Holdfast
Year: 2012
Type: EP

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