Death fascinates us as much as it terrifies us. I particularly remember one of the tales collected by the Grimm brothers, called Godfather Death. A poor man has a very large family and calls upon Death to help him. Death becomes the godfather of one of his children. Later, the young man becomes a doctor, and makes a pact with his godfather: during his visit to the patient, if the young man finds Death at the head of the patient, the patient will live. Afterwards, the doctor only has to rub the patient’s wrists with a liquid to cure him. However, when Death sits at the patient’s feet, the patient must die. One day, the king’s daughter becomes ill, and the doctor is called to her bedside. He falls desperately in love with her because of her beauty, but when he sees Death at her feet, he tries to deceive her, turning the sick girl over so that Death can be at her head and he can heal her. Death then takes him to a deep cave where thousands of candles are shining. Angry, he points his candle to him: it is very small, and he is going to die.
You’re gonna wanting to ask : why did you choose to talk about this tale to introduce Machine, the last Then Comes Silence’s gem? The answer is simple: the band chose to take Death as their muse, the death that awaits us all and that frightens us so much. The result is a well-crafted album with sophisticated compositions, where the music is haunted from beginning to end by this death, enhanced by Stefan Glaumann’s mix (Rammstein, Deathstars, Killing Joke).
While listening, we feel shivers at the sound of these icy guitars and sinister melodies, supported by percussive bass lines, where post-punk, gothic rock and shoegaze influences intermingle, like in “We Lose The Night.” On many occasions, the guitar makes raging irruptions, like in “Apocalypse Flare,” “In Your Name” or “I Gave You Everything.” There is also a certain primary energy in the drum beats of “Glass,” where the intro guitar sounds are reminiscent of the sound of shattering glass.
Two of the tracks on the album really fascinated me. “Ritual” stands out in particular and takes on a whole new dimension thanks to the duet between Alex and Karolina Engdahl, whose beautiful crystalline almost supernatural voice transforms this track into a genuine bundle of feelings ready to explode. For “Devil,” the simple chorus is particularly remarkable: the choir shouts “You should stay,” and Alex concludes on “With the devil you know,” creating an interaction.
In this world where mainstream is gradually consuming what remains of the underground culture, the members of Then Comes Silence, whose name seems more than ever relevant, take the role of guards. Like the Daughters of the Rhine, they protect what is dear to us, while waiting for other prophets like Bowie in his time to come and save the music we love so much. But perhaps one thing still eludes them now, and that is that they are part of those prophets already. Reminder: Then Comes Silence will be playing at DarkMad festival in Madrid in October.
Translation: Joanne Gagnon