Nothing melts my frozen heart as much as the current resurgence of Post Punk sounds. (You say post punk I still like to say Goth). With bands like Beastmilk and Publicist UK coming out of the dry ice in the last decade followed by the glorious Californians The Wraith things look gloomy and great for manufacturers or hairspray and eyeliner around the world.
Then Comes Silence have had more than a dalliance with fame. Nuclear Blast sensed the dark winds of change in 2017 and released the Swede’s album “Blood” to some acclaim. It appears that this time with NB caused some issues for the band and they shed a few members and gained a few before getting back in the rehearsal cave and writing Machine for SPV.
Then Comes Silence mesh electro rock with Euro Goth, big guitars, overblown dark atmospheres and vaudevillian vocals. It is everything that modern goths desire.
The subculture is 40 years old now with elder statesmen Bauhaus due to tread the boards again while Pete Murphy’s cheekbones are still as cutting as the bottles he throws at his audience members. Then Comes Silence have four decades to plunder for their musical muse and quite the back combed pirates they prove to be.
Opener “We Lose the Night” sounds like it could have sashayed straight off The Crow soundtrack – bits of Cure, Love and Rockets and Joy Division with some LA cool show these Swedes know their Batcave from their Hot Topic. “Devil” has the same dark tones that The Wraith peppered their release with last year and has a similar danceability to it. There is a definite punk edge to the rhythm section and the baritone vocals of Alex Svenson Metes fit right in. He has a very European vocal with a slight American twang but it fits perfectly with the music and is reminiscent of Kvohst from Grave Pleasures. “I Gave You Everything” opens with a bass riff that has Gary Numan written all over it and this is a delicious slice of dark gothic electro pop worthy of swirling velvet and lace around in Whitby. The guitars are beefy and jangling like Rickenbackers on steroids – some wonderful Banshees moments in there. They really do wear their influences on their puffed sleeves. This is a track that would delight old school Goths as much as the new baby bats at any darkwave club.
The fact “Ritual” opens with the blueprint of “She’s Lost Control” throws me for a moment and I stop myself Ian Curtis jerk dancing enough to sit back and listen. Alex is joined by Karolina Enghdal from True Moon. Her warm bluesy voice is a good foil for Alex and this duet works well with new guitarist Hugo Zombie dropping those big gothic licks alongside Mattias Ruejas Jonson – both new recruits. Long stay sticksman – who looks like a cross between Billy Duffy and Larry Mullen Jr keeps the back beat steady as he does throughout Machine.
“Apocalypse Flare” is a straight up mid paced dark rock track – little bit filler but good none the less. W.O.O.O.U intrigues me before I put it on. Will the lyrics give the abbreviation away? TO my relief it does Wicked One, One Of Us, this has a big sound. Big production. It reminds me a little of Interpol. A little too polished perhaps but the tune has got me in its thrall and the wailing guitars welcome me like an ice-cold snakebite and black. There is more of the same on “In Your Name” and “Glass” with the latter backed by a funky bassline that may throw off some of the more traditional undead disco dancers. “Kill It“ drops the pace a little and we are even treated to some Bono style singing which compliments the backing. Which takes us to the Sisters styled “Cuts Inside” – well at least the chorus is. In fact The Sisters Of Mercy are not a bad comparison for Then Comes Silence – not that they are copies or even stylistically that similar. It is more that the polished dark rock sound is what Mr Eldritch started aiming for on Floodland and then obviously on Vision Thing and these Swedes aim for a similar clean produced pop rock sound. I usually prefer a little more grit in my foundation but they certainly have something here and I would like to see them live. Some definite floor-fillers within this Machine.
(7/10 Matt Mason)