The first time I listened to Silent Scream (born from the ashes of Varjo, a mythical Finnish-based cult band) I got hooked on their sound hopelessly. I remember that "City Highrise" (taken from their debut album "In the Cinema" released in 2010) was blasting my CD player and I couldn't believe what I was listening. I deciphered that sound in seconds: a Post-Punk crucible in which the best pre-Goth and Old School material was being fused while throwing out the typical sound impurities from that era through a contemporary filter.
The Scandinavian trio has released their second full-length album in November this year: "Public Execution". Different from "In the Cinema", which is darker and conceptual (conceived as a tribute to the classic horror films in their own words), built around a hard rhythmical core but also with well-worked string melodies, the new Silent Scream's CD is even more energetic than their first stuff. The sound is more compact, strong and dynamic. Powerful and distorted guitars, devilish tribal drums, forceful bass lines constant assault... just the right sound frame for the lyrics which are now more vindictive. True Post-Punk attitude and harsh criticism that belong to the past times but even suitable to criticize the current social and political system.
"Rotten Days" is a good example of this belligerence. A call to set up barricades composed in an almost industrial key as a reminiscent of the early Killing Joke's recordings (one of the most influential bands in their sound); with Jukka Laine marking a relentless martial rhythm on drums, Antti Lautala shooting distorted and sharp riffs in a rather closed to the Crust Punk style, and Matthew Pallasoja shouting the repetitive title proclamation on vocals while playing the bass forcefully. Only some psychedelic effects and programming amalgam relieve the tension for a lapse (just when the sound virulence becomes unbearable), re-starting again in the last third of the track.
"Spirit Invocation" shows the other facet of Silent Scream, which is also their hallmark, far from the thunderous sounds from the aforementioned but also exhibiting orthodox and clean Post-Punk in the pioneering bands way: dizzying string and percussion lines inherited from Southern Death Cult, with a seventies brit-rock textured enveloping and a rhythmical core made up by distorted guitars and frantic tom-crashing. The special colour of Antti's vocals, extending the end of the chorus in an harmonic dialog with strings, gives an interesting New Wave touch to this song.
These pair of tracks are such a good representation of the "Public Execution" tracklist. The album is an injection of vintage essences that could provoke you an anaphylactic shock if you're allergic to the true old school sounds. Pure Post-Punk pills made in Finland, specially prescribed to fight the revival pandemia that is threatened us nowadays. I highly recommend them to you
Review by Billyphobia