"There is a constant discussion between those who study theosophy (the philosophy dealing with the nature of divinity) about if there is a God how can God allow so much evil to happen. Writers throughout time have suggested, in poetic terms, that the state of universal chaos and moral entropy leaves us only to assume that God may have simply "fallen asleep." Garrett Russell, vocalist of the Los Angeles based sextet, Silent Planet, engages with this quandary on the band's forthcoming debut record.
That album, The Night God Slept will be released via Solid State Records (Fit For A King, Demon Hunter) on November 10th. Co-produced by the band's guitarist Spencer Keene and Daniel Braunstein (formerly of the band Volumes) musically it contains some of the most frenetic metal-core put to tape. However as possessed of tremolo picked guitar fury and double-bass attack, there is a balance of melody, moodiness and ambient sections making it a well-rounded and well-paced auditory experience.
Though using aggressive and energy inducing riffs in their music, Silent Planet brings a fresh insight and message of openness as a band. Lyrically, Russell (a self-professed 'history nerd' who holds a Master's Degree in clinical psychology) acts like a theosophist who seeks to understand the bonds that unite humanity and the divine. On The Night God Slept and their previously released Lastsleep (1944-1946) EP the main lyrical thrust is songs through the eyes of women protagonists throughout history.
Spanning from the dawn of time ("First Mother" Lillith) to the bombing of Hiroshima Japan ("Darkstrand" Hibakusha) to the modern day crisis of Sex trafficking in America ("XX" City Grave), the validity of these tales are reinforced by Russell's choice to add source footnotes that further the literary experience of the album by citing historical and literary references.
Speaking on this direction Russell says "we see a lot of cultural misogyny in music, certainly in heavy music. Women in heavy music are caught in a binary - they are either written as a 'good' moral, ideal woman or a 'bad' sinful, tempting woman - but almost never written from their own perspective. What links all of the women in our songs is that they ultimately have to make difficult decisions under the systemic oppression of their coercive ruling forces. Forces which include government, authority figures and the society they live in."
Though a voracious researcher, Russell admits that working at a counseling center for the past year gave him new insight into other people's struggles to tackle these subjects. "I interacted with many different people of gender and sexual orientation who certainly represent people who are part of our music scene and the same age as our audience. I believe everyone has their own narrative to tell and hopefully giving these characters a voice can open people's minds and invite new thoughts into our scene."
Rounded out by Alex Camarena (drums), Thomas Freckleton (guitar, keys), Igor Efimov (bass) and Mitchell Stark (guitar) geographically Silent Planet includes natives of California, Russia and Canada within their ranks. Originally forming in 2009, the band's debut EP, Come Wind, Come Weather, which was produced by Matt Goldman (The Chariot, Underoath) was released in 2012. Since 2013 Silent Planet has completed several national tours including with such notables as Sleeping Giant, Impending Doom, Fit For A King, Gideon and Phinehas.
Still unsigned at the beginning of 2014, the Lastsleep EP was initially recorded just to have something new to sell on tour while writing this full-length album. However the reaction to the material was staggering and reached far beyond those who already knew of the band. Examples of this include HM Magazine's Editor In Chief, David Stagg giving the EP a perfect five star review and calling it "a perfection of the metalcore genre" and not hearing anything like it since "some random band called August Burns Red released Messengers." Also impressed was Solid State Records, who stepped in to add the band to their roster and bring their musical message to the masses.
On November 10th, hear the band that is shaping up to be a major voice in modern metal-core.
Progressive Metal band from India, started 2008 as a solo project by guitarist Keshav Dhar under the name 'Hydrodjent'. Renamed to 'Skyharbor' in February 2011 to avoid confusion with the 'djent' music genre.
In 2011 two additional musicians joined: Nikhil Rufus Raj on bass (until 2013) and Anup Sastry on drums (until 2015). Daniel Tompkins from 'TesseracT' and Sunneith Revankar from 'Bhayanak Maut' were featured both as vocalists on the 2012 double disc release 'Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos' on each disc respectively.
Goddess Gagged bassist Krishna Jhaveri replaced Nikhil Rufus Raj in 2013 and in 2015 both singer Daniel Tompkins and drummer Anup Sastry left the band and were replaced by the US-American singer and producer Eric Emery and drummer Aditya Ashok.
In early 2010, Zachary Garren parted ways with his previous band, Dance Gavin Dance. While pursuing his solo project, Good Health, he crossed paths with drummer, Ben Rosett, who was playing with a local band called The Trees at the time, and had played with past hardcore bands such as Brutally Honest and Sarah Larsen. Ben, interested in starting up a new project, randomly asked Zac if he wanted to jam one day, just to see if anything cool would happen... Fortunately for us, everything went perfectly and "Strawberry Girls" was formed in April of 2011. We can't even remember how many times we've been asked "where'd the band name come from?" so we might as well get that out of the way. Go look up the hit song "Christine" by Siouxie and the Banshees. There you go.
Anyway, we jammed every single day for a week and wrote like 5 whole songs. Then we quickly recorded said songs because we were so stoked on them. There's a Live Demo 2011 on bandcamp, go find it.
After seeing the first live performance of Strawberry Girls as a duo with just Ben and Zac... Ben's previous bandmate, Ian Jennings, from local band The Trees (featuring Justin Stie), excitedly wanted to be a part of the new project. Ben and Zac, wanting to take the project to the next level, brought Ian onboard to play bass for Strawberry Girls.
After that, we sat down to try to record a good batch of songs, which ended up turning into Italian Ghosts. We printed 100 original copies in Digipacks. Needing more to sell, we printed another 100 copies, but before we printed more, we remixed and remastered the songs, inverted the album artwork, and added more text on the backside. If you have a physical copy of either of those versions of our original EP...consider yourself lucky. List them for $100 on Ebay and you'll see what i mean.
We played a ton of shows, good and bad. Started writing new songs. "Do Peace."...the last song on French Ghetto, but the first song that was written for the album. It's a good closer. We wrote and recorded French Ghetto at the now Spirit Vision Studios. Previous records were recorded in Ben Rosett's parents' house, in the garage.
During the writing process for their first album, a few demo tracks were released on Bandcamp titled, "Demo 2011", containing 5 live studio tracks. Months later, Ben, Zac, and Ian brought these tracks to life, producing the album at Ben's home studio. "Italian Ghosts" was released in August 2011 as their first official EP.
Soon after that, another demo was released titled, "Do Peace (EP)", comprised of two tracks "Do Peace" and "Fight Club". Those two tracks were recorded live in Ben's home studio as well, and were intended to hold fans over until their upcoming full-length album French Ghetto.
The long awaited full-length album, French Ghetto, was released on April 20th, 2013. The album was self-recorded and produced by Ben Rosett, who, along with being a drummer and multi-instrumentalist, has been a recording engineer/producer for about 10 years. Having recently moved into a professional recording facility, Ben Rosett finally moved away from the "home studio" thing. With drummer Ben Rosett and bassist Ian Jennings, both of Strawberry Girls, becoming the owners of Spirit Vision Studios, this allowed for the new Strawberry Girls album to be recorded way better than it would have if it were recorded in a home studio.
With the release of French Ghetto, Strawberry Girls was able to attract the attention of Tommy LaCombe, owner of Tragic Hero Records (A Skylit Drive, Alesana, He Is Legend). After a month of dealing with contracts and promotion content, we have officially signed with Tragic Hero Records. We are very happy to be a part of the Tragic Hero family and we all feel it is the perfect home for us.
Then we recorded American Graffiti at Spirit Vision Studios.
Then in 2016 we re-recorded the songs from our original EP Italian Ghosts.
WHO IS DENS?
Entwining thoughtful verses and anthemic choruses, DENS (formerly "The Worship Collective") is an indie rock band that delivers music that invites the listener to be a part of the experience. They eloquently weave instrumentation with lyrical content focused on the themes of hope, redemption, and grace. This four-piece released its first EP in 2011, its second EP in 2013, a Lithuanian-exclusive EP in 2015, and a full length in 2016.
With their most recent release, “From Small Seeds Come Giant Trees”, they teamed up with producer Jase Belcher from Honest Studios and The Ember Days (Nashville). “Working with Jase really helped to mature the songs, both technically but also emotionally,” said lead singer Shaun Hypes. Bassist Josh Tomlinson added, “This record really achieved our goal of capturing the energy of our live performance.” No doubt this is also a testament to the work of mastering engineer Sam “Lightning” Moses (Kari Jobe, Haste the Day).
According to Brandon Osborne (drummer), “DENS exists to create music that points to the beauty of God and the truth of the Gospel.” Josh Waltman (guitarist) sums it up, “We believe in being real and serving others. We love the music, but we also love the people and the relationships.” For DENS, the music is an honest vehicle for the message, creativity, and relationships. They work with venues, conferences, and churches (two members are pastors) to create an energetic and engaging live performance.