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Album Review: Turn to Grey // Silent Descent

Silent Descent recently released their first album in five years, Turn to Grey. The sextet have been around for a decade, but they suffered the setback of being signed to the deceptive record label, Rising Records. Despite this, the band remained a strong unit and their reputation has skyrocketed having played major festivals including Download and Bloodstock. Turn to Grey is an album that wears its heart on its sleeve, combining the bounce of nu-metal and the energy of electronicore. Silent Descent have a diverse pool of influences to call from, including Limp Bizkit and Enter Shikari, along with their own signature style. It’s an entertaining listen, showing that you can come out adversity with a bang.

The intro is reminiscent of Dangerkids, with its mix of downtuned riffs and synths. A hardcore scream announces proceedings, and then the title track is a mesh of chugs and a synth pattern that’ll make you want to get the glowsticks out. The lyrics are introspective and could talk about a mental breakdown: “Am I alive, or am I expired / Between sleep and consciousness I’m sick of being tired.” Musically, the transition from the addictive breakdown to the atmospheric synth, while predictable, works very well. A standout track on the album is the Pendulum-esque ‘Vortex’, featuring Bjorn ‘Speed’ Strid of melodic death metallers Soilwork. The track is a high-energy drum n’ bass banger featuring distorted drums, while the intergalactic techno synths blend beautifully with the heavy guitars. This track should brilliant live, the screams of “This is a vortex, this is a vortex” only amplifying the potential chaos.

As the album goes on, it’s clear that while the electronicore influence is obvious, Silent Descent have enough to stand out. Their passion is infectious, and they have the ability to write an addictive catchy chorus. An example of this is ‘Gravesend’, containing one of the strongest choruses on the album, the screaming complimenting the harmonious backing vocals superbly. During the middle-eight, the clean piano and strings suddenly drop into a gnarly post-hardcore breakdown, emphasising the track’s catchiness.

‘Path’s Winding’ slows things down, but it is filler material, not even the “wooaah’s” towards the end are enough to save it. ‘Back to Where I Belong’ picks things back up, being one of the more experimental tracks on the album. It starts off as an acoustic post-grunge ballad, with strong production so the instruments can be heard clearly, and then everything is brought together within the space of a minute. There’s Tom Watling’s stunning vocal performance on the chorus, showing brutal honesty and conviction, which is followed by another transition into drum n’ bass towards the end, keeping things fresh.

Overall, Turn to Grey demonstrates that Silent Descent are unrestricted and unafraid to break any rules. Transcending multiple genres, they’ve created an album that is mostly brimming with confidence, making them ones to look out for in the future.

Turn to Grey was self-released on 30th November.

Rating: 8/10

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

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