Sometimes there are bands that prove that progressive rock not always has to be bizarre or twisted to have originality and not to fall into the standards of our loved genre´s styles and substyles. For example take a swedish band (that´s a very good starting point) formed by a drummer (Johan Hedman), a keyboardist (Hannes Ljunghall), a singer (Bruno Edling), and a bassist (Phillip Bastin). Hey, where are the guitars?. Yes, there are no guitars here. The lack of this important instrument is a added value that pushes the band to enrich the arrangements with the remaining instruments, and therefore the results have to be more interesting. I read somewhere that this kind of line-up without guitars is very innovative, but I´m afraid that there are other bands like TriPod (review´s coming) has the same kind of line-up.
Well, copyrights aside, the most important thing is that this album released by this guys from Uppsala is one of the most interesting CD's released in 2003. Far from Tolkien related music and softer side of progressive rock, but also far from the “let-us-play-two-hundred-styles”, Violent Silence´s music has a foot into “intelligent pop” (someone call it art-rock) and the other foot into futuristic styles that remind of Chroma Key, O.S.I., or, why not? Porcupine Tree (formerly a progressive rock band and currently an “intelligent pop” band). The lack of guitars is replaced by a hypnotic bass. Of course keyboards have a very important role, they´re not very bombastic but very effective, with an original vibraphone sound that leads the rhythms. So, keyboards provide the song with attractive and special atmospheres and lots of arrangements. In the same way, the words “progressive songs” have here a full sense with tracks like “Squeal Points” (5:19), or “The way of the exploding fist” (4:11), that could be broadcasted and enjoyed by all kind of audiences. Even the slower and most intimate tracks (“The sound of dying” (3:43), or the beautiful and strange “Curtains” (5:39)) can´t be easily labeled. There are also good instrumental moments (“War Ant” (4:31) & “Grey Fluid Earth” (8:02)) where the musicians show their skills. Fans of bizarre and avant-garde will enjoy a lot with “There are only people like us” (1:19).
I hope you´ve understood me when I talked about “intelligent pop”. Even I don´t like that label, I must admit that it fits into what you´ll find inside this album. If you love King Crimson 80´s trilogy, Mr. Byrne´s work, or spanish bands like Schwartz, everything linked with a particular way of understanding progressive music, Violent Silence is your album. Perhaps the only negative point is that the band creates a style and perhaps they repeat it a bit.. the vibraphone´s sound is very interesting, but sometimes the band overuse it. Anyway the album is very good and it´s fresh air into progressive scene. I hope they won´t deny his progressive attitude like Porcupine Tree, ending as a cult band for snob people.