Johnny Santos spent six years fronting Spineshank. Though that band would never escape their ‘baby Fear Factory’ tag they did write some killer tunes. Santos jumped from the sinking nu-metal ship a couple of years ago but is now back in action with Silent Civilian and this new group are a heavier prospect all round. At the centre ‘Rebirth of the Temple’ is the sort of heavy metal that’s made Machine Head’s name. Unfortunately though, instead of concentrating on power, energy and writing defiant anthems, the ‘Civilian favour more of the fashionable metalcore flavours that have been heard already. By everyone. Everywhere.
It’s not terrible stuff. ‘Funeral’ kicks things off as neatly as anything from the last Trivium, God forbid or Caliban albums but therein lies the problem. There is nothing here that hasn’t already been done better somewhere else. The kick drums go into overdrive for the bludgeoning intro to ‘Divided’, there’s great Metallica-esque twiddly bits on ‘The Song Remains Un-Named’ and Santos’ knack for a vocal melody creeps through during ‘Bitter Pill’ and ‘Blood Red Sky’. But, there’s always that awkward feeling that the band have been reading over metalcore’s shoulder and stealing what they think are the right answers. And, at 13 tracks, some pushing seven and eight minutes long, it doesn’t half go on a bit. Hell, even Spineshank were smarter than this.
So, while there’s nothing really wrong with what Silent Civilian have done here, ‘Rebirth…’ is destined to sink without trace.
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