Silent hail from Mexicali in California and have been assaulting the senses since 2015, delivering their debut A Century Of Abuse the following year. Their sound is a musical blending of post-punk with elements of hypnotic dream pop, grizzled americana punk and a splash of goth rock.
Like most things in 2020, Silent’s musical output was halted due to the pandemic, as their sophomore effort was due. However, the wait is over as Modern Hate has now arrived.
To be honest, it is difficult to talk about Modern Hate without wanting to explore the entire album -it’s that good. This isn’t an album which holds its punches, and it certainly isn’t an album which loses steam. The remarkable thing about Modern Hate is its undeniable replay-value that’s hauntingly beautiful and visceral.
Throughout the ten tracks, you’ll find yourself unknowingly lost in the ruin that Silent has wrought as a response to the state of the world, channelled through their experiences and perception of injustice.
Make no mistake, Silent scream at the top of their lungs from the word go as Modern Hate begins with a rightful surge of rage; emulated in the galloping guitars that crunch as the bass pulverises and battle cry vocals swoon, making the opening track “End” an illustrious display of emotion and musicianship.
After the rampant display of the opening track, Silent waste no time in continuing the musical bludgeoning. “A New Slave” somehow ups the ante of its predecessor. The song is drenched in tension and that tension is unwound in a melodic thrash of guitar rhythms and drums as the chorus explodes.
Although the opening tracks are aural assaults, Silent do switch gears a couple of times on the album, most notably with “Hands On The Wall”. “Hands On The Wall” takes a slower, dreamier approach. However, don’t be fooled as the song itself is a goliath.
Opening with razor-sharp guitars that ooze distorted desolation alongside a slow rumble of drums mimicking a war march, Silent gradually twist the knife. The song builds and builds ending in a spectacular finish, with the emotive vocals and instruments coming together in a knockout fashion.
You would think after such a display, Silent wouldn’t have much up their sleeves. Well, guess again.
Modern Hate ends with an absolute gut-punch, thanks to its final two songs, “Empty Spaces” and “No Heaven”. “Empty Spaces” is an urgent, malicious anthem with a bassline to die for, its ferocious and chaotic chorus is not only an instrumental highlight, but a vocal one too.
While Silent are turbocharged throughout, it culminates in one of their best performances on the album and that’s “No Heaven”. Its oppressive atmosphere is juxtaposed by gorgeous guitars that strum effortlessly beneath a bone-chilling vocal display soaked in pain and reverb.
After my first listen, I was stunned by what I had just experienced. There’s so much to take in, from the musical finesse to the emotional weight behind each song. Make no mistake, this isn’t an album you can turn away from and I immediately played it again, and again… and again.
Silent have created a monolithic release that sets a new standard for post-punk, partly because it’s so much more than the trappings of the genre. Modern Hate is a declaration of war on the world that influenced it, and ironically, Silent refuses to stay quiet in a world where silence is forced, and I am glad they used their voice.
Modern Hate by Silent is out now via Three One G Records, purchase it here and stream it below.
Words by Jake Gould