SILENT CIVILIAN
"Rebirth of the Temple"

(Mediaskare)

01. Intro - Call to Arms
02. Funeral
03. The Song Remains Un-Named
04. Rebirth of the Temple
05. Divided
06. Bitter Pill
07. Force Fed
08. Lies in the House of Shame
09. Wrath
10. Dead to Me 2006
11. Blood Red Sky
12. Falling Down
13. Live Again

RATING: 7/10

I've got to admit, based on the snippets of music I had heard from SILENT CIVILIAN's "Rebirth of the Temple", my first thought about the idea of reviewing this one was, "Christ, not another growl-n-croon emocore band!" As it turns out, "Rebirth of the Temple" does feature a healthy does of those sparklingly clean melodic vocals you hear so much these days, but also a rip roaring metallic attack. Founded by former SPINESHANK vocalist/guitarist Jonny Santos, SILENT CIVILIAN for the most part succeeded in winning me over, despite the shiny emo moments, thanks to a sincere approach to its craft and some absolutely scalding guitar work.

I would be less than honest if I said that I was awestruck every time those soaring, sometimes cliché, choruses kicked in. However, I am inclined to chalk it up more to personal preference than any kind of inherent weakness in the band's style choice. On virtually every track, the group meshes attacking riffs, searing solos, brutal drumming, and melody-drenched bombast. Songs like "Force Fed" and "Bitter Pill" seem to go for an ATREYU-esque vibe in the way the arrangements are assembled, but the thrashy metal foundations are rock solid and the overall sense of melody, while a little too over-the-top at times, is generally satisfying. The approach only becomes irksome when it is apparent that songs such as "Dead to Me 2006" could stand on their own without the injection of the clean stuff, especially when one hears a skull-cracker like "Falling Down", which pummels from start to finish without any hint of vocal pleasantries.

By the time "Blood Red Sky" rolls around the delivery becomes a little formulaic though, almost making me think I was listening to BEDLIGHT FOR BLUE EYES during the chorus. However, when the politically charged (as are many of these songs) "Lies in the House of Shame" clobbers you over the head with pure metal conviction and a passionate vocal performance, or the catchy title track embeds in the brain, it becomes apparent that the boys are competent and convincing. "Rebirth of the Temple" may not be a grand slam, but it is definitely a pleasant surprise and strong first effort.

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