Silent Voices are currently getting ready to release their brand new album Reveal The Change (our review of which you can read here), so we took the opportunity to extensively discuss it with them. Not only did we quiz them on the album itself, we also asked them to give us an insight into each track of the album. You’re not going to want to miss this!
About Reveal The Change – answers by Timo Kauppinen (guitars)
How was the writing and recording process of this album?
We don’t have any formula of how to write material. We wrote songs as usual by jamming the riffs and melodies that we brought to the rehearsals. We just jam until the songs start getting the right structure. Usually we record demo versions live at rehearsals and then listen to them and make some changes if needed and we recorded basic tracks, drums, bass and rhythm guitars for this album already in 2008. We didn’t have a deadline with this so that’s why this was quite a slow process. We just worked whenever we had the time.
As Michael left the band in 2006, we didn’t have a clue who will be singing these new songs so we just recorded all the tracks instrumentally. Later we figured out vocal melodies, lyrics and who will be singing them. Teemu Koskela sang all the demo tracks and we sent the songs to the guest vocalists who recorded them and sent them back to us.
Did it differ at all from previous releases?
Regarding the writing and recording of the album, not much. When we started the band back in 1995, it was just four of us and we played mostly instrumental music. All these years we’ve continued writing material for the new albums in quite the same way. First we write all the music and then we start figuring out vocal melodies and lyrics. So it was quite same as always, just this time we didn’t record the album in one short studio session. Musically, I think this new album is kind of a great combination of previous Silent Voices albums, progressive but very melodic at the same time.
Were any songs more of a challenge than others?
For me regarding the guitar parts, I always try to push myself in the studio and try to keep the high level according to songs. We all write our own parts so I think it’s the same with the other guys. I’d say all the songs were just the right amount of challenging, but maybe Burning Shine was a bit more challenging than others as there’s so much happening all the time throughout the song.
Which song is your favourite?
This isn’t easy to answer but I’d probably say Through My Prison Walls. It’s very epic and a great mixture of melodic progressive elements with heavier stuff. I really enjoy playing and listening to it, I can’t wait to get back on tour and play it live. I also wrote the lyrics for this one.
Are there any interesting tales from the studio recordings?
Unfortunately I can’t recall anything specifically funny or interesting from the recordings…except this time we played FlatOut with Xbox a lot whenever we weren’t recording or mixing. That’s probably one of the reasons why this album took ages before it was finished.
Are there any plans in the works for a single or video?
We have lots of plans for everything as always but regarding a single or video it really depends on our record label. Unfortunately at this point we really can’t say if there will be a single or video from the new album.
Track-by-track insight on Reveal The Change
1 The Fear Of Emptiness
Pasi (Kauppinen, bass): This one – beside it being the opening track for the album – is the very first composition as well. Actually, I played the opening bass chord tapping riff already on the Building Up The Apathy writing sessions but it never turned out to the complete song that time. After the break I composed all of the other riffs apart from the solo part before we started jamming the song. I really like this one, there is bass tapping, melodic, rush-style bass riff on bridge and even AOR stylish colors on intro and chorus. The solo starts with keyboard and guitar unisono before both of the solos. Teemu’s singing in this is awesome!
Henrik (Klingenberg, keyboards): Right when we wrote this one, we knew it had to be the opener for the album. I really like how it starts kinda mellow and then slowly builds momentum. This was also the only track that Teemu laid down vocals for on this album.
2 No Turning Back
Henrik: One of the simpler tracks on the album, I kinda get some kind of Ozzy-feel from this.
Pasi: This was the last composition for the album and the basic tracks were actually recorded in different sessions in the studio than the other songs. The arrangement wasn’t ready on first round and we made this separately couple of weeks later. This song starts with nice and mellow clean guitar with keyboard leads on it. Mats Levén totally shows how to sing both softly and heavily. The song turns to quite traditional rock/heavy metal riff after the first verse.
3 Reign of Terror
Pasi: This was named after the riffs. It was one midsummer fest weekend when I wrote the riffs on that. I finished all of the riffs in an hour after the intro riff was composed. It totally gave direction to the whole composition and as all of the riffs are heavy I wanted to name the song Reign Of Terror.
Henrik: One of two songs that I did the lyrics to. Pretty straight-forward heavy metal in my opinion.
4 Faith In Me
Henrik: This was the other one I wrote the lyrics for. Pasi came up with the name of the song and I just picked it up from there. This was the only track where we didn’t write the vocal melodies ourselves but pretty much gave Tony the instrumental version and the lyrics and let him come up with the actual vocal arrangement.
Pasi: Poppish song. The bassline is 60% of the song just the same two notes. I really like to play this one. It’s easy to play but making it work with the group is much more complicated. Just playing two notes isn’t enough. Guitar, keyboard, drums and vocals gives the diversity and character to the song because the music is arranged for them variating on the monotonic bass riff. As a bass player I have to keep focused on the song all the time, playing on different feelings of the song even though the notes are the same. I call this U2 song.
5 Black Water
Pasi: Instrumental. The ending is also one of the oldest compositions on the album. From drum solo until the end of our called Babylonian Slayer riff was also written somewhere during the Building Up The Apathy writing sessions or a little after that. When I wrote the intro riff and the main melody riff (verse 1) later on in the Reveal writing period and recorded the demo on my home pro tools, I just kept the recording rolling and just played what I felt after the main riff. The whole guitar and keyboard solo part came spontaneously on that take. I like coffee a lot.
Henrik: Originally we started out as an instrumental band back in 1995, so this is sort of a tribute to those days when it was just the four of us hammering it out. We’re much better musicians these days but the same spirit is still there.
6 Burning Shine
Henrik: This song revolves around a bass riff that Pasi came up with. I really like the up-tempo feel and of course Mats Levén does an amazing job on the vocals here.
Pasi: I wrote all of the riffs to this song using my really cheap and lousy acoustic guitar. On this song the 7/8 main riff also stays with a different arrangement from the intro to all of the verses. This is kind of a folk music style song because of the acoustic guitar. Definitely my favourite song of the album – lots of time signature changes and riffs from folk to thrash metal and the chorus opens really melodic with Mats’ gorgeous vocal performance.
7 Through My Prison Walls
Pasi: Epic. 10 minute mammoth with lots of progressive elements and melodic parts. Lots of playing. The opening riff, when the band hits in, is one of my favourites and the time signature on it is really cool. I had lots of ideas and riffs (also composed with my lousy acoustic guitar) before showing them to the others. One evening Timo and me made lots of coffee and composed basics for the choruses and all of the riffs to the instrumental part. It turned out to really cool and long song. Mike DiMeo’s very American style singing is like a cherry on top of the cake!
Henrik: One of the longer tracks on the album, on this one we had the possibility to experiment a bit and I got to use all kinds of keyboard sounds without spoiling the song which is always nice 😉
Reveal The Change is out on November 29, with a single to precede on November 27 and you can purchase your copy now from the Inner Wound bigcartel, if you haven’t done so already.