As all of you gothic rockers out there know, it’s currently a very healthy, varied genre. Indeed, labelling music does it few favours; you either dig a band or you don’t. You can’t force it. But if we must define a genre, Then Comes Silence are, no offence, way ahead of their contemporaries. Perhaps in part because Alex Svenson has been writing and performing for a long time, honing the sound and range of the band. 

This, their seventh album, is the first on the Metropolis label, who were no doubt impressed by the ‘Hunger’ album released in 2022. From the opening notes of ‘Ride Or Die’, their sound is instantly recognisable, whilst across the album the keyboards are more prominent than before, which keeps it interesting and gives the band more scope. Alex refers to their bond, their dedication to each other; “you read my mind, I’m right behind, together we die”.

‘Like A Hammer’ is even more infectious, it’s on regular rotation chez moi. Apparently, each of their albums has “an ABBA moment, a Ramones moment and a  Judas Priest moment”, and this is their ABBA one. They certainly have a knack with addictive chord sequences, so there is that similarity. The metronomic drumming of Jonas really drives the song along.

‘Feel The Cold’ wraps layers of sound around your ears, pumping synths and simple, effective melodies. Since Mattias left, Hugo handles all the guitar parts, and as they’ve shown on their recent tours, this works really well live in conjunction with the backing tracks. ‘Tears And Cries’ is a dark, glam duet with shades of the Glitter Band. ‘Stay Strange’ melds a punchy riff to an unexpected middle-eight, and ‘Stiffs’, with its refrain of “if I can’t have your soul, I can take your bones” should alert the local mortician, with an end like a haunted merry-go-round.

‘Blind Eye’ is the kind of tune that longtime fan Wayne Hussey would be proud of; sinister and catchy. As he said, they’ve got the tunes and the looks. And, of course, Alex’s voice. But the ace up their sleeve (sorry) is that they are greater than the sum of their influences. They have created their own personality. ‘The Masquerade’ proves this by sounding only like Then Comes Silence.

‘Never Change’ has a chiming, spacious riff, similar to Killing Joke, while ‘Dead Friend’ gets a little heavier on the guitars. ‘Runners’ is one of their most atmospheric songs to date, a sign of their desire for progression without losing their identity. With ‘Ghost House’, the album ends on one of their most commercially accessible songs, worthy of radio play, in an ideal world. I’d already preordered, knowing that Then Comes Silence always deliver quality tunes. With every new release, more people are recognising that this band are special. Join us. W.O.O.O.U, as they would say.

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Author: Martin Chamarette