Having said of his last project that it was in an artistic league of its own, I was more than excited to get lost within this brand new album from Seth Angerer. Somehow the creative manages to surpass any expectations yet again. Away From The Silence is more than just an album, this is a conceptual journey through a specific story-line – one that brings together fiction and genuine reflections on life and the realities we build in our minds.
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“Away from the Silence is a concept album about Gnaiih, a squidlike creature dwelling in a nameless ocean far away from our galaxy. After spending years of his life in a sleepy reef, Gnaiih eventually grew tired of the calcuability that had taken over his daily grind. One day, when the time was ripe, he worked up the courage to swim towards a feared abyss. A few moments of hesitation passed, until the desire to rid himself of the brawly silence hit its peak – and he allowed himself to sink.
What for some dwellers may have seemed like Gnaiih‘s end, turned out to be the beginning of his lucid awakening. By entering a realm where all that he had learned could be confuted in a heartbeat, he realized that not only his, but really everybody‘s concept of knowledge, personality and even life itself was built on sand. There is nothing that can be considered ‘reality’, for we build our own world inside our heads every day. Your personality is merely an incoherent cluster of concepts.” – Seth Angerer.
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The Unsung Vastness as an opener grows to be unexpectedly brilliant, beginning with a few simple piano chords and a sense of familiarity, yet in true Seth Angerer fashion evolving into something much more hard-hitting and emotionally loaded. You’re back in the thick of it, and you know that Away from the Silence is going to be everything its title promises and more.
The album’s title track follows the opener and sees a dramatic change in direction occur – an overwhelmingly heavy and dark composition emerges, a thick rock vocal that screams and roars it’s way through a chaotic and explosive soundscape. The journey is intense, close to seven minutes through the depths of turmoil – boasting lines like Screeching – mind’s lavation / I’m reaching my salvation suit the cinematic progression of the track well. This mood rings loud throughout the rest of the album. While there are flickers of intricacies and intensity that connect back to Seth’s previous album, this is a completely new experience, which is actually really refreshing – you wouldn’t catch many filmmakers creating the same movie twice.
Dwellers of the Reef presents much more weight and darkness, a manic pace and a sense of unsettled anguish that refuses to resolve – apart from these occasional, almost Irish Folk-like instrumental breaks that rain down in between the screams. A Link to the Overworld fortunately does offer a moment of calm after this, there were flickers of dolphin-like sounds on the opening track and these return to help build something beautifully ambient – setting the scene well and perhaps marking this crucial moment of realization. Contrast is mastered let this musically stunning composition hit with memorable impact. The speed again is phenomenal – Seth’s work always presents the absolute height of musicianship. Though the weight and the vocals continue down the pathway of coldness and story-telling, there’s a progressive sense of theatre to much of it, which helps keep things relevant and inclusive.
Weightless and Meek is another beauty, leading with a hang-drum sound and plenty of space – the composer makes the most of contrast again and utilizes every second; not a moment is wasted, nor is it rushed. This track gives your mind a moment to reflect on what came before, and gives your heart a chance to calm down. Indications in the Stone afterwards offers an immense eight-minute outpouring that’s musically masterful and an absolute highlight of the whole project.
Gnaiih [feat. Nate Miller] adds a moment of acoustic softness, a poetic and heartbreaking song delivered in a bare setting and with an unexpected level of intimacy and vulnerability; representing beautifully the creature at the heart of the tale. Dusk Upon the Depths then sees a hint of raw indie-rock emerge – where the rest of the project seems precise and organised, this track introduces a live element to begin with; prompting you to consider a live performance of the entire project – surely something that would be powerful and indeed mesmerizing. An element of rising anticipation haunts here, before falling away to lay bare another beautiful and spacious moment of simplicity, then returning to those depths of intensity.
One Word to Say It All ends the project in a wonderful way, offering shiver-inducing musicality and effective melodies, simple lines that cut straight through to the point. Poetry and quiet fall in stark contrast with power and volume. The operatic nature of this and the way it progresses marks the end of the story with might.
The thought and effort that has gone into crafting this audio experience is immeasurable and the results are incredibly impressive. Seth Angerer does what many barely consider, and he does it with creative freedom, passion, and professionalism. A thought provoking story with a striking musicality to match. Absolutely worth