When we were running Uber Rock at its peak, we used to get literally hundreds of new albums to download and review a week. So, how did we pick out what fitted best with our readership and most of all our dedicated team of writers, who let’s remember were effectively working for free? Well I found the best way to weed out the real crackers was via a technique I used to call “lucky track number seven”. It was something I’d used for years when test driving albums, ever since CDs were invented in fact, in so much that the first track of any new album I would play would be track seven. My twisted logic being that in the age of thirteen/fourteen track albums if a record could blow you away half way through then…it must be a great record.
So why am I telling you this? Well it’s through this technique I first discovered Swedish goth outfit Then Comes Silence. It was back in early 2016 that I first heard their third independently released album, ‘Nyctophilian’, (well it was track seven ‘Animals’ actually) and it immediately impressed the hell out of me sounding not unlike Sisters of Mercy might sound if; 1) they had a drummer, and 2) they actually still put out records.
Fast forward to 2017 and the band were snapped up by Nuclear Blast for the release of their awesome ‘Blood’ album and I for one thought that with the surge in popularity at the time of bands like Ghost that the arena stages of the world were just a hit single away for the band, and let’s face it that album had about six or seven tunes that could have been HUGE hits given the right exposure and a little bit of help from Lady Luck.
Which kind of brings us bang up to date, albeit for the fact that ‘Monster’ the band’s first for the Oblivion/SPV, Metropolis Records alliance still sees the band without that illusive mainstream breakthrough.
I’ll admit for this one I didn’t start with track seven, and in many ways, I actually wish I had, because it did initially take me a few spins to get under the skin of ‘Machine’, yet rather spookily it was ‘W.O.O.O.U.’ (the lucky seventh track on the album) that finally got me pressing the repeat button, and now I just can’t stop playing this gloriously dark thirteen tracker.
The pop hooks of ‘Blood’ are still present it’s just they take a little longer to become earworms, with the likes of ‘Dark End’ and the simply magnificent ‘Ritual’ (featuring True Moon’s Karolina Engdahl on guest vocals) initially half-masking their infectious charms in the shadows before finally getting around to sinking their teeth into your neck come chorus time. There’s an almost Mission goes industrial feel to ‘I Gave You Everything’ something Wayne and Co have tried to do on so many occasions and, in my opinion, have never quite pulled off, but here Then Come Silence do it with ease. ‘Apocalypse Flare’ likewise is possibly the best Mission song The Mission have never actually written.
In many ways Then Comes Silence are like Stockholm’s answer to Helsinki’s Grave Pleasures both bands painting a post-apocalyptic soundscape that melds together elements of goth and electronica for the next generation of khol-eyed musical vampires to fall in love with, and in the outstanding ‘Glass’ they could very well have their very own ‘Love Like Blood’.
‘Machine’ is the almost near perfect soundtrack for 2020 – please don’t let it pass you by, because it’s a simply stunning record that truly ‘Cuts Inside’.
Buy ‘Machine’ Here
Author: Johnny Hayward