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VIOLENT SILENCE

Crossover Prog • Sweden


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Violent Silence biography
Swedish act VIOLENT SILENCE was formed sometime after the millenium as the creative vehicle of composers Hannes Ljunghall and Johan Hedman. They have made two albums to date, their self-titles debut album from 2003 and their sophomore effort "Kinetic" issued in 2005. The current status and future of the band is unknown.

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Broken TruceBroken Truce
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Ais 2013
Audio CD$21.99
$14.99 (used)
Violent SilenceViolent Silence
Musea/Record Heaven 2003
Audio CD$65.61
Violent SilenceViolent Silence
Import
Musea 2003
Audio CD$10.83
$9.51 (used)
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VIOLENT SILENCE discography


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VIOLENT SILENCE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.80 | 17 ratings
Violent Silence
2003
3.84 | 31 ratings
Kinetic
2005
3.69 | 22 ratings
A Broken Truce
2013

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VIOLENT SILENCE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Broken Truce by VIOLENT SILENCE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.69 | 22 ratings

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A Broken Truce
Violent Silence Crossover Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

4 stars "Those keys! Oh, those keys!" That is what I say every time I listen to this album. Violent Silence is a band from Sweden with a penchant for unique and proggy music. "A Broken Truce" is their third album, and it actually took about eight years to get it made. That is understandable as the members have been busy in other endeavors. Both Bjorn Westen and Hannes Ljunghall, the primary keyboardists, had been busy with another group called Hidden Lands (if you get a chance to hear them, be sure you do!). So, the band is back together again, and they have come out swinging.

"A Broken Truce" is made up of only four tracks, all of them over ten minutes in length. These "epics", if you will, are lush, full, and never pointless. Indeed, there is no filler here at all. The band's promo sheet says that their music is "detailed", and for once I agree with a promo sheet. This music is layered, meaningful, and always moving, There are so many fragile subtleties that require keen attention in order to appreciate this album fully. Yes, I think headphones are required.

The band has a sound that few share. Active, cymbal-laden drumming meets with deep bass and amazing keys. There are no guitars here as far as I can tell. And you know what? They don't need any. The dual keyboardists sound amazing together, especially since they have such unique synth settings. They sound somewhat spacey, but lush and organic, too. It's a special sound that I just love, and "A Broken Truce" hands down contains some of the best keyboard work of 2013.

The vocalist has an interesting voice that never seems to sound the same. It is somewhat high-pitched, but he manages his voice expertly. He phrases his lines in strangely beautiful fashions, especially on my favorite track "Rim of Clouds". His voice is playful, yet focused; humble, yet confident. It's a voice that grows on you more and more with each listen.

Violent Silence's long-awaited album is no disappointment. It meshes amazing elements with mature ideas and performances to craft one of the most interesting albums of the year. Any serious prog fan should give this a listen.

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 A Broken Truce by VIOLENT SILENCE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.69 | 22 ratings

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A Broken Truce
Violent Silence Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars Violent Silence is a Swedish prog band from Uppsala, our fourth city. They have been releasing three record since 2003. Now ten years after they have released their third record "A broken truce" which is a quite rich record with a lot of symphonic tunes.

What's special with Violent Silence is that they don't use guitar. Insted they have a lot of keyboards in different varieties. On this record they show some fantastic ingredients to occupy your mind with. The keyboardists of this record explore the world of melodies and do it very well. I prefer the instrumental parts of it, even if the singer is worth praising for his inputs. The singer though perhaps should be more varied and I had wanted some more variation even from the melodies. I don't miss guitar, the keyboards do a perfect job.

I rate the songs: 7,6,7,6 and the best one is according to me the first one "Prism Path" but I also recommend "The Kingdom Below" which is wonderful in its own way. On "Prism Path" I think the singer sounds almost like Moon Safari and the music feels honest and free. They surely have their own style. "The Kingdom Below" contains an interesting part with drums and keyboards playing like shocks of power.

The keyboardists Johan Hedman, Hannes Ljunghall and Björn Westin, the drummer Johan Hedman, the bassist Anders Lindskog and the vocalist Martin Ahlquist shall deserve credit and the final review will be: "A good record". Three stars!

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 A Broken Truce by VIOLENT SILENCE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.69 | 22 ratings

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A Broken Truce
Violent Silence Crossover Prog

Review by cajapandora3

4 stars Third recording from the Uppsala group, which has three keyboardists to his credit and has no need of the guitar, an instrument that is not missing the conception of the music of the Swedes. Do not expect anything like ELP or some other group with prominence of keyboards. We cannot, or in this case we mustn't look for references in the music of this wonderful group, because the epic of his compositions doesn't seek anyone else. Possibly, we are facing one of the best progressive groups throughout the history of the genre in the Scandinavian country. Nor will we find extensive environmental spaces generated by the keyboards, as we will find a dynamic exercise of a bunch of musisicians as absolute protagonists of all music produced by this group In my opinion, they retrieve all the spirit that was missing in terms of musical exposure. And it is that we find powerful arrangements that do not disdain the possibility, at any time, to amaze the listener with elements of jazz, Canterbury, most progressive electronic music ... in short, a music made by and for the mind. To all this it must be added two key elements in the band's musical resolution. On the one hand, a powerful, professional and heartfelt rhythm section able to navigate the intricate progressive models that abound in the music of this new work, giving heart and soul to compositions, already monumental, exciting and fascinating. On the other, we must not fail to mention their singer, a spiritual guide and an effective common thread that serves the entire musical fabric of this Swedish combo. I couldn't certainty define this group, but what I'm pretty sure is that we have some true captivating creators magnetizing us from the first moment when listening this new production and they put a powerful seductive and addictive spell on the listener: two features that few groups can just come together and not only in this recording, but in a whole production over the years. In fact, I also strongly recommend their previous two recordings. Extensive songs, a varied musical spectrum, immense arrangements with an intricate character, melody, sensitivity and efficiency are inherent characteristics that define the intentions of an act that exudes imagination in abundance and show no symptoms of complacency, since they don't try to demonstrate, despite its technical and too obvious possibilities, that they are the best musicians, but the creators of a musical broad powers world. As musicians ten ... as artists they exceed any scale. Creators of a vintage flavor and fascinating personality, Violent Silence are the talent, the will, the consistency and imagination that, for a long, long time seemed to be forgotten and neglected.

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 Violent Silence by VIOLENT SILENCE album cover Studio Album, 2003
2.80 | 17 ratings

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Violent Silence
Violent Silence Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

2 stars Don't you just love press releases? Musea state that this is one of the best Swedish newcomers in years, and that the guitars just don't get missed. Okay, there is probably no room for guitars, as there are stacks of keyboards, as well as drums and bass, but personally I found the flat vocal style very wearing indeed. Some of the singing is so atonal that it really takes any edge that there was from the music. They do go through various different styles, but the result is that the listener just can't help but feel that there is something missing from all of it and although Musea do release some very fine prog albums, this isn't one of them. In many places it has more in common with early Eighties pop than prog, and this mismatch of styles certainly doesn't help.

Originally appeared in Feedback #78, April 2004

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 Violent Silence by VIOLENT SILENCE album cover Studio Album, 2003
2.80 | 17 ratings

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Violent Silence
Violent Silence Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Swedish act Violent Silence was formed back in 1999 in Uppsala and the first line-up included Bruno Edling on vocals, Hannes Ljunghall on keyboards, Phillip Bastin on bass and Johan Hedman on drums.So no guitars at all for Violent Silence, as the band moved on to the recordings of their self-titled debut for Record Heaven, eventually released in 2003.

Pretty hard to describe the band's overall sound, but if I was forced to make a comparison I would say that equal mixes of 80's KING CRIMSON, ENCHANT and TIEMKO or SOMBRE REPTILE would make a decent description.Very modern-sounding and fresh approach, which is quite satisfying, walking on the lines between Heavy Prog, Fusion and Electronic/Experimental Rock.One would expect the arrangements to be led by the keyboards of Ljunghall, but this is partly true.Bassist Phillip Bastin offers series of pounding, groovy and also complicated, heavy bass lines, really high in the mix and his performance is really conveincing.The keyboards of course remain the leading instrument.The album is filled with electronic loops, jazzy passages and light pianos, which give a very Fusion-like feeling to the work.Quite often Ljunghall's keys sound like glockenspiels or marimbas making the sound a bit experimental.However, when vocals added, the group obtains a really accesible atmosphere, similar to some ENCHANT ideas.The instrumental themes though are nothing like that, they have a complicated overall approach with multiple breaks based on the use of keyboards and electronics.

I admit I haven't listened to anything like Violent Silence in the past.The music is very fresh, powerful and dynamic, though the general atmosphere seems a bit sterile and dry, but for dedicated fans of the aforementioned bands I can see hailing this album as a top notch release.Warmly recommended

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 Kinetic by VIOLENT SILENCE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.84 | 31 ratings

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Kinetic
Violent Silence Crossover Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Top notch album

Violent Silence is five piece band from Sweden with 2 albums released so far. The second release from 2005 named Kinetic is true gem in prog filed. Quite original in many parts, this band sounds fresh and inventive most of the time. I'm not aware of their first album, but this one is really great from start to finish. This is the type of prog without guitar and instead the keyboards has an important role here, but don't expect something a la ELP, no, this is diffrent and is very good and original. The music is powerfull, intresting and has plenty of memorable passages, specially in pieces like Torrential Rains or Kinetic, very strong musicianship. What is intresting on this release is that they incorporated in the eclectic sound some very strong electronic keyboards, that goes very well here in this context. Quiet Stalker is a 18 min long tune with some fantstic instrumental passages, nice moods and twists here, the 2 keybordist done a very nice job, really great. Kinetic is one of the albums that needs a far better recognition world wide because they worth it big time. Original and inventive are the words to discribe this little album very unknown. Well done guys. 4 stars easy and recommended.

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 Kinetic by VIOLENT SILENCE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.84 | 31 ratings

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Kinetic
Violent Silence Crossover Prog

Review by progpositivity
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Prog without guitar has been done many times but never quite like this. Crisp electronic synth patches shine like polished chrome, "playing off" one another in modern counterpoint. Although beautifully lush moments are not infrequent, the real surprise is how often this music powerfully flirts with the borderline of hard rock and even metal.

Without sequencing ahead of time, it would take more than 2 hands to perform this music live. Good thing they have 2 keyboardists in the band! Bass Guitar and a real drumkit successfully conspire to retain some measure of organic warmth.

One cautionary note: although the compositions vary, the "sound" never strays too far from a relatively focused timbral range. (Perhaps that is a plus for fans of "continuity!) With a combination of coloration and style as unique as this, I can't say I blame the band for staking this sonic territory as their own. I am left wondering, however, at what point, might this 'signature sound' impose boundaries upon their range of expression? That, however, is a question for future albums. For now, I simply cannot consider this as anything less than a major breakthrough for the sound of modern progressive rock.

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 Kinetic by VIOLENT SILENCE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.84 | 31 ratings

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Kinetic
Violent Silence Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars An interesting band from Sweden who have a fairly unique sound. That's in part to the fact they have no guitarist and two keyboardists. The vocalist has a modern sound to his singing which i'm not really a fan of. I do like how melancholic this album is, I just wish there was some of that Lifeson style ("Permanent Waves") guitar instead of just keyboards. Still this is a pretty good album that has been getting very good reviews.

"Morning Star" opens with soft sounds as reserved vocals join in. Synths and keyboards only end it in a melancholic manner. "Kinetic" is where we get some energy with drums and synths leading. Vocals a minute in. I like the instrumental section 3 1/2 minutes in. Vocals are back a minute later. A calm after 5 minutes to end it again in a melancholic way. "Torrential Rains" opens with synths before the heaviness takes over followed by vocals. "Night Lights" is a short and sad soundscape with synths and organ.

"Sky Burial" features drums, keyboards and vocals. A laid back and at times dreamy tune. "Subzero" is one of the few tracks where I can hear the bass. Again synths, vocals and drums standout. "Quiet Stalker" is the epic at 18 minutes. It's dark and experimental early. I like it. Drums and vocals after a minute. Not a fan of this though. The instrumental section before 5 minutes is better and more intense. Vocals are back unfortunately. It's heavier after 9 minutes with drums and synths. "Homesick" is the short conclusion. Synths build slowly as soft vocals join in. Kind of cool.

It seems like the critics and fans love this album so take my 3 stars rating with a grain of salt. And why do I have such a hard time saying the band's name ?

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 Kinetic by VIOLENT SILENCE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.84 | 31 ratings

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Kinetic
Violent Silence Crossover Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

4 stars One record to check.

Check it out, man. Even if you don't dig the reviews, be sure to at least listen to one song (Kinetic would be a good gauge) in case you really like it. Because if you do, you'll probably think you've discovered something unique and exotic.

This is nothing like I possess in my collection. Just like Carptree a few months ago, Sweden once again gives us tremendous innovation with Violent Silence. This band has a sound that's 100% fresh. Althought the band chemistry has been used in bands like Fürhs Shick and Fröling (2 keyboardists), Emerson Lake and Palmer, Triumvirat or Trace, this has nothing to do with them! Honestly, maybe a blend of the 'Vespertine' album by Björk and Boards of Canada could give you an idea. To me, this is 2005's freshest pick!

Yep, not one inch of guitar. 2 keyboardists and a drummer is enough to create a whole new sound as well as a new world. Sometimes you're caught in a harsh snow storm, the other it's gazing at snowflakes slowly falling down a cloudy day. The atmosphere is easy to taste, but I cannot use another word but 'freezing' to describe a theme of winter. Many times the keys reminds me of video games tunes (especially Mega Man series) I used to like, maybe the xylophone and vintage sounds are in for something? A real sense of nostalgia is emerging, I hope you'll catch it too.

This is not electronic prog per se, but it comes close in terms of feeling. Amateurs of Mogwai, Tortoise or Boards of Canada in the legendary album 'Music has the Right to Children'. Some sites thought this is hard to get into, I frankly have to say that to me, this has benn a natural move; jumping from symphonic to electronica.

Different, moody and exquisite.

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 Kinetic by VIOLENT SILENCE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.84 | 31 ratings

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Kinetic
Violent Silence Crossover Prog

Review by tobi.sasco

5 stars I remember buying the debut from these Swedes after reading some very positive reviews on different progsites. I was intrigued by the fact that they had no guitarist in their line-up and that almost all the reviewers mentioned quite different bands they were supposed to sound like: Anglagard, late King crimson, Rush, Police, Gentle Giant, Elp, Mars Volta, Uk, Landberk and Anekdoten. When I listened to it I found it good and absolutely unique but a bit samey and impenetrable at first. But there was something about it that made me come back to it. After some more listens it finally clicked with me and I now consider it one of the best records of 2003.

The sound of the band is indeed hard to describe. The swirling synthesizers often play contrapuntal lines with the sound of marimbas which gives the music a floating, hypnotic and very dense impression. The rhythm section, which is one of the strongest I´ve ever heard, play steady, heavy and sometimes quite jazzy rhythms. And it´s all topped off with the very good voice of singer Bruno Edling, who also surprises with some great and very memorable vocal lines over the complicated rhythms. Sometimes the music is very heavy and dissonant almost bordering on progmetal, sometimes it´s very mellow and melodic. Sometimes it´s extremely complex but they never lose sight of what constitutes a good song, dense arrangements or not. The second album Kinetic finds them adding an additional keyboardist and new textures and sounds to their already unique music. What´s more is that this time the results are even more extraordinary.

1. Morning Star (10/10)

A short, very quiet and melancholy intro with some great melodies and some odd twists and turns. A very dynamic little song with a sublime final section, which soon gives way to.

2. Kinetic (10/10)

.the ridiculously fast and heavy titletrack. This is one track which makes it impossible for me to sit still. The energy level is extraordinary and is topped off by some eye- poppingly fast and off-kilter virtuosity courtesy of the fantastic rhythm section. Great melodies as well. After the intensity level reaches boilingpoint, the song calms down for a heavy and very majestic final section.

3. Torrential Rains (10/10)

A very appropriate song title as this track with its heavy use of marimbas really conveys the sound of a storm in effect. The music in the first two verses are heavy, strange and brooding and gives way to a fast and very melodic chorus that will stay in your mind for days afterwards. Once again the rhythm section shines like a lighthouse, especially drummer Johan Hedman. Not to take anything away from the rest of this great song but the midsection is absolutely blinding.

4. Night Lights (8/10)

A nice little intermission that almost feels like its too short. A very good and atmospheric piece of music nonetheless.

5. Sky Burial (10/10)

After the energy of the first half of the album the band drops it all down quite a few notches for the slow, sluggish and spacey Sky Burial which carries some of the best melodies I´ve heard in quite some time. The hypnotic trance of the keyboards is spellbinding. The icing on the cake are the very touching lyrics and a dreamy and melodic mid section. Pure genius.

6. Subzero (10/10)

After the brilliance of the first five tracks you´d be forgiven for thinking that this level of songwriting can´t last. Not so as the band launches into Subzero, the most melodic track on the album. I´ve read in an other review that this would be a hit if it was released as a single in the seventies. I couldn´t agree more. Great chorus and an insanely fantastic midsection where the keyboardists duel it out.

7. Quiet Stalker

An ominous intro gives way to the very strange chords underlying the quite hard-to- grasp vocal lines that open the albums 18-minute centrepiece Quiet Stalker. It´s one whale of a song which covers every mood and every aspect imaginable of prog or art rock or whatever. Initially it is a daunting and not so easy task to figure out the piece because of the ingenuity and the complexity of the writing, but when you do the rewards are staggering. The highlight is the long instrumental mid section which is too great for words. I´ve always found it hard to find a long track that is as good as Close to the Edge, Gates of Delirium or Supper´s Ready. This time I´ve finally found one. True Genius and one of the greatest pieces of music I´ve ever heard!

8. Homesick (7/10)

A floating and peaceful outro that puts the final stamp on the blinding quality that oozes out of this monumental work as a whole.

Because of the bands uniqueness in sound some things on the album might take a while to sink in. But I plead to anyone reading this to give this great band a thorough listen. Whether or not you prefer 70´s prog, prog metal or art rock. I promise you that you will not be disappointed.

In a perfect world this would sell by the bucketload because to me this is nothing short of a future classic. Needless to say this is one highly recommended piece of music.

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