Published on Sunday, 04 November 2012 19:32
Band: The Silence Industry
Album title: The Maw Of Sleep [EP]
Release date: 25 September 2012
01. Insurgent Heart(s)
02. Global Spring
03. The Maw Of Sleep
04. Giants Over Broken Earth
05. Yours Is The Light
07. Living On Precarity
08. The Maw Of Sleep (Barbituate Reverb Mix)
The Maw Of Sleep is already the seventh studio release from this Canadian gothic rock outfit lead by Graham J.. After series of EP's this one doesn't bring anything particularly new regarding its predecessors, rather than that it's sticking to interesting formula of mixing different genres, from obvious gothic rock, to post punk, progressive rock, noise and even pop elements. On this EP you can find five songs, plus three bonuses what altogether brings around 55 (!) minutes of music and I just ask why is this release still considered as an EP. Even without bonus songs you have 35 munutes of music and regarding the fact that some bands release albums with lesser lenght this is quite a surprise, but it doesn't really matter, doesn't it.
There is a lot of experimentation inside the songs, still the sound is deeply rooted in gothic rock and it will mostly appeal to fans of this genre. The Silence Industry are capable to maintain a delightful drive and atmosphere without loosing it's pace, despite a lot of sound variations. The Cure must be the band which gave the main influence, but Bauhaus, The Sisters Of Mercy, Depeche Mode, Killing Joke from Brighter Than A Thousand Suns and many other pioneers of gothic sounds are also heard in those compositions. Yes, despite this fact The Silence Industry have their own sound, which is much more floating than from before mentioned acts and it's developing from release to release, I can say that is somehow modern. Songs are quite long, on average around six, seven minutes, some are almost epic compositions like the title song "The Maw Of Sleep" with its alternative vibe, just hear how the guitar sound is exploring new dimensions without causing the song to fall apart. Vocals are dreamy and atmospheric, with lots of echoes and whispers, yet perfectly mixed, gives a cold and melancholic feeling. Bass lines are very elaborated, with lot of reverb, just listen to kind of uplifting "Giants Over broken Earth". Guitar sound is a bit vintage, but not in a bad way here, sometimes playful, but most of times producing very melancholic riffs and passages, without losing the right dose of melody. No need to speak about great drum beats. Graham is not afraid to insert some elements that could be counted as progressive, but are not that evident. Once you get deeply into The Silence Industry sounds you are experiencing a true sonic adventure, no words are needed how beautiful and atmospheric are the highlights like opener "Insurgent Heart(s)", typical The Cure sounding, dreamy, romantic gothic rock tune "Global Spring" with great backing vocals, plus some rather popy elements, and atmospheric masterpiece "Yours Is The Light". The songs are developing slowly into final climax, the lyrics are well written, dealing in a marvelous, poetical, yet sophisticated way with worldly and nature problems. The final surprise comes with bonuses. "(Nightmare)" and "The Maw Of Sleep (Barbituate Reverb Mix)" which are exploring the most dark fields. Those two tunes can be defined as experimental dark ambient and can be compared to some works from bands signed to Greytone, Cold Spring or even Cold Meat Industry. On the other hand "Living On Precarity" is a nice atmosheric acoustic rock ballad with typical Grahams gothic vocals. In the hidden layers of The Maw Of Sleep there is still present post-punkish vibe, but is not that evident as on their previous releases. The production is good, but the mix and mastering of this record gives a lot of special points. On the first listen it could sound a little to palely, probably because it needs one sincere devotion to be experienced in its depth, yes, this is necessary with records like this, though to be honest a bit more of emotion wouldn't hurt. One negative point goes to the cover artwork, music like this deserves something better.
The Silence Industry are the band which needs your attention if you like unusual and yet complex gothic rock, still they are able to maintain everything flowing in a compact way. I enjoyed this voyage, it offers a lot and it must be experienced. The best from The Silence Industry so far and I'm recommending it, you can't lose, it's for free (without bonus songs) from their Bandcamp page. Gothic rock as a genre gets a lot from releases like The Maw Of Sleep and this year seems to be one of the highpoints in the later era of it.
Review written by: T.V.