"What is immediately striking about Violent Silence's 'Kinetic',
and fairly unique for music in this genre, is the total absence of guitars.
Not only are there no guitars whatsoever on the album, the Swedes have
two keyboard players alongside the usual bass, drums and, of course,
vocals. What is perhaps
more astonishing is that a couple of minutes into the album and the
guitar lack is not given a second thought as 'Kinetic' draws you in
with its alluring musical charms and absorbingly progressive finesse.
Ranging from the down tempo tranquillity of the entrancing 'Sky Burial'
to the frantically engaging sounds of the more up tempo 'Torrential
Rains', the keyboards of Hannes Ljunghall and Björn Westén
are the prominent musical force during particular passages, thoughform
only a constituent part of the whole. The bass has a fully resonant
sound which perhaps partly compensates for the guitar absence and adds
depth to each of the songs, while Johan Hedman's drumming impresses
with his progressive
beats providing a solid backbone to the incessantly changing time signatures.
Bruno Edling's vocals instill a degree of 'normality' into the songs
with his fairly traditional prog-rock singing and he generally has an
appealingly versatile voice that fits both the euphonic and more cacophonic
music. 'Kinetic' is also testament to the fact that a band doesn't need
to, and shouldn't always, rely on distorted guitar
to be 'heavy' as Violent Silence achieve genuine 'heaviness' through
the contrasting polarity of mellow/heavy (and everything in between)
throughout the album. Loaded with polyrhythmic song structures and melodically
original compositions, the talented Swedes have managed to record a
genuinely progressive album. 'Kinetic' is highly recommended for anyone
wishing to hear something different in the progressive genre that is
all too often self-imitable and only progressive in a generic sense.
'Kinetic' will not be to everyone's taste, but is refreshingly original
and surprisingly accessible. In short, a work of indisputable musical
"Because of the bands uniqueness in sound
some things on the album might take a while to sink in. But I plead
to anyone reading this to give this great band a thorough listen. Whether
or not you prefer 70´s prog, prog metal or art rock. I promise
you that you will not be disappointed. In
a perfect world this would sell by the bucketload because to me this
is nothing short of a future classic. Needless to say this is one highly
recommended piece of music."
Rating: 5 of 5
"Unholy testicle Tuesday! What a damn nice
surprice this is! Violent Silence is a different Swedish
5-piece for sure, a band playing a very intriguing and quite original
kind of progressive rock that makes the hair on my back curl in amazement!
These guys are cooking up something special, doing stuff a different
way and boldly going where few others have gone before them.
5 guys but no guitars, wow
, now thats weird isnt it?
I wasnt too eager to put on this album after reading the promo
sheet following this cd. Im so happy I did, and Im so happy
I heard them over and over and over again, because this has grown into
one of the best prog-rock albums Ive heard in quite some time!
So, no guitars, what can possibly be so good about this then? Well,
theres a vocalist thats quite out of the ordinary. He catches
your attention immediately with a very soothing yet dynamic voice. There
are two keyboardists that perform together, but one with a different
approach than the other. Also there are incredible stuff going on in
the rhythm section, a drummer and bassist that know what theyre
doing for sure.
The complexity of their music can often be compared to King Crimson,
but of course, focused on keys instead of guitars. Other than that I
guess you can say that when talking about melodies and extended use
of keyboards, bands like Greenslade, Camel and Genesis comes to mind.
The sound and production on Kinetic is not of the vintage
type, but rather more contemporary with a modern touch.
So if youre into complex prog rock and dig wild keyboard playing
nothing like you hear in modern power metal
), a solid
and tight rhythm section and with a soulful and moody vocalist with
a very unique style Violent Silence must be your cup of tea!
An exceptionally good album by a band not easy comparable to others
and with 8 strong tracks (especially the 18 min long opus Quiet
Stalker) offering something new and fresh to the progressive rock
genre of today. Thank you very much, Ill keep this one close with
"Kinetic, "Torrential Rains" and
"Quiet Stalker" deserve a very special mention, especially
"Quiet Stalker": this is the longest and most interesting
song, where the lack of guitar lines is balanced with the piano and
synths making a breathtaking duet throughout the track. Bruno Edling
sings so well the wonderful melodic lines and Johan Hedman is not really
a scholastic drummer.
Well, "Kinetic" is a recommended album
in my opinion, because of its highly inspired melodic lines, gifted
with an overall complexity but absolutely enjoyable by a large number
of progressive fans. Together with the Magic Pie album, it's definitly
the best Progress records album of 2005 and all my admiration just goes
to this swedish label, whose policy to put the quality before the quantity
is rewarding its job."
TALES OF WONDER
"Quiet Stalker" spreads galant over 18 minutes, offers the
typical scandinavian flair of melancholy and unfolds almost catchy melodies.
How long have they worked on this song? How many musical ideas must
have been tried out? For how long have they penned the harmonic structures?
In this epic everything seems clear-cut and understandable. Nevertheless
the piece is filled with great complexity in both dissonance and structure.
One must listen to "Quit" stalker" a couple of times
before it unfoldes, but then it sticks to you and you want to hear it
again and again. Hats off!
Kinetic is a dream come true. Wonderful music, extremely
well written and not too heavy. Very melodic but, at the same time abstract
and lyric. Fans of early symphonic rock music will most certain love
"Hats off, gentlemen!!!"
"The disc opens with the dreamy almost
ambient sounding, Morning Star which features gentle keyboard
textures perfectly matching the hushed vocal delivery of Bruno Edling.
This sets up the title track which begins with an almost techno style
intro before you become aquianted with the frantic and busy drum work
of Johan Hedman. I must say Hedman does a fantastic job all over this
disc, he is one of the busiest drummers around and the band along with
co-producer Carl Vikman managed to get a nice warm, brown sound on his
drums. It might have been a more logical choice for the band had they
decided to pursue a more synthetic sound, percussion wise to match the
duo keyboard attack of Hannes Ljunghall and Bjorn Westen, but it probably
would have left the music sounding cold, so in essence Hedmans
acoustic drums and busy playing creates a perfect synergy. In fact for
a band to employ 2 keyboardists, the sound throughout Kinetic has a
surprisingly analogue feel. I was expecting the sound to be a lot colder
as I mentioned, but both Westen and Ljunghall opt for a warmer feel,
keeping solos on the relative backburner, instead focusing more
on creating their rich soundscapes and aural tapestries, as if to emphasize
pure emotion over technicality, not to say any of these musicians are
anything less than extremely skilled. I was impressed at the different
textures they were able to generate such as the marimba styled intro
on Torrential Rains, actually these sounds pop up in a few
other songs as well. Hedmans drums along with Phillip Bastins
thick bass lines, drive the rhythm along underneath a short Tony Banks
like solo halfway through.
The fourth track Nightlights is a
short instrumental leading the way into my personal favorite off Kinetic,
the absolutely gorgeous Sky Burial, which lyrically seems
to deal with a sons finally coming to terms with the death of
his Father. The song is beautifully executed on all fronts, from Edlings
passionate vocal delivery to once again some fantastic, emotionally
moving keyboard passages. Kinetic basically closes with an epic 18 minute
track called Quiet Stalker, a song which finds the band
pulling out all the stops musically and features a few long, tasty keyboard
solos which not only highlights Westin and Ljunghalls stunning
technique, but also proves just how cohesive the whole band actually
I would definitely recommend this disc to SOT
listeners and if Kinetic doesnt yield the band some major attention
and give them a major push to the forefront of progressive music, then
I would be very surprised, not to mention disappointed."
Score: **** (of 5)
SEA OF TRANQUILITY
"Simply one of the best albums this year,
all categories!, and that taking the release of the double album of
SOAD in. Enjoy the different nuances for each time you listen to it.
I cant quite see that I will ever grow tired of it...ever."
GUEST COMMENT AT SEA OF TRANQUILITY
"Good progressive rock without lead guitar is by no means an easy
accomplishment, but the Swedish guys of Violent Silence have without
any doubt succeeded in this matter. The band was founded by drummer
Johan Hedman and keyboard player Hannes Ljunghall back in 1999, in 2003
they released their debut album on the Record Heaven label. The response
was not that overwhelming, but this could change with the album Kinetic.
This release has plenty of complex arrangements, varied with melodic
parts, the technical abilities of the musicians is obvious, especially
the drummer has made an extraordinary delivery, in this sense you could
compare it with their fellowmen of Anglagard.
The electronic and ambient sounding Morning Star
will perhaps give you a wrong impression, although the first reference
point to UK can already be found in this track. But the first notes
of the title track show immediately the complexity and the aggressive
play, the link to King Crimson can be easily made, without guitars naturally.
From a vocal point of view as well as in the symphonic parts the seventies
touch of super group UK is very present. But keyboards have the biggest
contribution, but without a too strong emphasis on the solos. The strength
of their music lies mainly in the complexity of the arrangements, the
virtuosity of the drummer is also one of the key factors. Sky
Burial seems to be a point of rest on the album, an atmospheric
spacey track with excellent synthesizers, both keyboard players are
creating an entire unique sound, that has not many in common with neo
prog. The short up-tempo Subzero sounds very melodic and
could have reached the charts in the seventies. The longest track Quiet
Stalker contains almost everything atmospheric art rock could
offer nowadays, a perfect mix between melody and complexity. The singer
has a very pleasant voice, comparable with his fellow singers of Progress
Records (Liquid Scarlet, Magic Pie, Brother Ape).
In a nutshell, this is once again a very surprising and high standard
release from Sweden, we are getting used to it little by little. Surely
recommended for everybody who is not too much into guitars. Progressive
rock with balls!"
"...one of the most original and most astonishing
albums of the quarter and thus a group moreover to follow."
"Again they made a strong keyboard orientated album. The album
has a fine mix of uptempo tunes and slow ballad like tracks and most
of all -it does not include any weak songs. Nothing seemed to be wrong
on this second release. I did find it hard to label their music but
their record company compared their music to bands such as Genesis,
UK, Greenslade and late King Crimson. Sure we can hear certain traces
of those mentioned bands. But it still make it difficult to label them."
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
"The absolute highlight is however the long track Quiet Stalker,
very bombastic, yet dynamic and with a very long instrumental mid section,
which reflects the definite listening pleasure. Wow! Very pleasing.
Result: Violent Silence is another highlight from the Progress Records
label, which apart from it's rather neoproggish releases presents, with
Magic Pie, Brother Ape and now Violent Silence, completely new ways
to relate to the past. Kinetic offers progressive rock, of the somewhat
more special kind, not too complex however, and nevertheless in keinster
way mainstreaming. Great album, very talented musicians and one of the
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
"Really, this is definitely among the best prog moments of
CONCLUSION: 8 out of 10
"I - after after repeated listenings - rate
"Kinetic"as a kanditate for my personal Top 10 of 2005. Drummer
Hedman is the secret star of the album. The melody-basic instruments
are naturally the two keyboards, which develop far surfaces and unloading
sound mountains, in addition, break out into fast icorporated soloing.
Frequenltly marimba/vibraphone-like keyboard playing is one of the dominating
characteristics resulting in a self determined and strange, but uncommonly
fascinating sound structure. Noticeable is that there is no guitar here,
but that is nothing negative. The very suitable vocals of Edling is
the icing of the cake. "Kinetic" surely carries inspirations
from bandssuch as UK or ELP, but Violent Silence create their completely
own both moderna and timeless sound."
"Track 5: Sky burial shows just
how versatile these guys are!! A lingering tune with keys abound...the
whole vocal arrangement are brilliant...its actually beautiful!!! This
band really shows how keyboards can rule the overall song. Marimba,timber,synths...a
beautiful sounding unit...this is supreme progmusic!!!