Photo by Andreas Karperyd
That wait was auspiciously over on this portentous Friday 13th March, with the official release of ‘Nyctophilian’, or ‘Then Comes Silence III’, a truly worthy successor – the king is dead, long live the king…
Hailing from Stockholm, Then Comes Silence are Alex Svenson, vocals & bass, Seth Kapadia, guitar, Jens Karnstedt, guitar and Karl Nilsson, drums.
‘Nyctophilian’ means a preference for the night or darkness, and is synonymous with the twilight ambience that underpins the band’s “Psyche/Goth/Gaze” self definition.
My review of ‘Spinning Faster’ described Then Comes Silence as, “… an elemental force of stygian nature, conjuring shapes and throwing shadows that Goth Overlords, Bauhaus and The Sisters Of Mercy would be proud to call their malignant own.”
As a huge fan of Bauhaus and The Sisters Of Mercy from back in the day, I do not use these comparisons lightly. I would happily go so far as to say that ‘Nyctophilian’ could almost be mistaken for a “lost” Sisters album – however that could be construed as doing the originality presented here a disservice, so let’s call it a Then Comes Silence “found” album instead.
Cover drawing by D.K. Griftegaard.
There is nothing I love more than being sucked into a new LP within the first 30 seconds, and here with album opener ‘Strangers’, my desire is sated with it’s spirited, splintering Goth-eratic waves, murky chords crashing against some monolithic edifice; ‘She Loves The Night’, eulogises nocturnal desires; ‘A Living Soul Should Know’, laments humanity’s earthly shackles; ‘Spinning Faster’, as stated in my previous review, “is a pounding, tribal drums and nerve jangling, kaleidoscopic, swirling guitar Nótt fest”; ‘Feed The Beast’, evokes the leitmotiv of the Brecht/Weill scenic cantata, immortalised by The Doors ‘Alabama Song’; Side A closer, ‘Demon’s Nest’, unpredictably launches into what sounds like a didgeridoo and lamellophone underscored riff, eliciting vast barren snake-scapes, and haunted habitats; Side B kicks off with ‘Animals’, an uptempo, kick in the teeth, celebration of the forest spirits; ‘Death Rides’, unearths apocalyptic horsemen revelry, the ultimate unbridled release; ‘Wendy’, is a just short of two minutes, tripped out atmospheric, feral effect fest; ‘Everywhere And In My Head’, conjures the moribund, languorous somnambulist within us all; Album closer, ‘All Strange’, bounces black with nihilistic menace.
Despite the seemingly sombre timbre of these songs, I can only echo Alex Svenson’s words on death below and quote Jón Sæmundur’s tantric mantra, “He Who Fears Death Cannot Enjoy Life”. I, along with Then Comes Silence embrace and enjoy life to the full…
I asked Then Comes Silence a few questions;
What’s behind the LP?
Death. If we talk about death, sing about death and think about death regularly we might feel better and appreciate everything around us more. Maybe we could create a higher quality in our lives by embracing darkness. I think about death everyday and that makes me a nicer person I’m sure. I even live next door to a beautiful cemetery. I don’t get upset if someone brings the subject up.
We recently came back home from a tour in Germany. We’ve been there before and they seem to appreciate what we’re doing over there. This coming weekend we’ll do a show in Ljungby. It’s in the south of Sweden and known for the scene of the accident where Metallica’s Cliff Burton died.
What are you listening to?
I need to improve catching up with the new releases and new bands. For the moment I’m listening mostly to old stuff from the 60’s and 70’s electronic Moog era like Wendy Carlos and Mort Garson. Mort Garson’s Black Mass Lucifer from 1971 is a masterpiece. Hard to find on LP but the full album is available on Youtube. Besides that I listen to the classical composers like Beethoven, Offenbach and Dvorak.
I guess I should at least mention a couple of contemporary artists. The new Cherubs album “2 Ynfynyty” is a fresh mental floss. You should listen to Spectres album “Dying”. It’s a favorite!
Well, we have a lot of work to do with this album. I’d like to go back to Germany again soon. We’ve got plans for the UK and of course in Scandinavia too.
‘Nyctophilian’ is unleashed on the Novoton Records Label on March 13th…