Undoubtedly the main attraction for newcomers to Silent Civilian will surely be that of frontman/guitarist Jonny Santos, who was last seen in the now-defunct Spineshank. However, that is where Silent Civilian's ties to Spineshank end as "Rebirth Of The Temple" is an unabashed stab at the North American metalcore market.
Riddled with heavy chugging riffs, some thrash overtones and continual melodic interludes, the group's vision is impressively realized here. Admittedly there are expected similarities to the likes of Killswitch Engage and others, yet Silent Civilian invest enough of their own heart into their performance to avoid the more predictable trappings.
The songwriting is astutely metal-based and almost grandiose with fluent part changes and transitions. The riffs snarl and screech with harmonic squeals and chugging hunger; the vocals bark and scream before erupting into soaring harmonies; and the rhythm section provides a hearty portion of double kick beat downs and meaty bass playing that doesn't just relentlessly syncopate the guitar.
But still, while the first few tracks of the effort capture the energy and talent of the band, it is sadly around the second half of the album that monotony begins to set in. It's not that the songs are bad, but it is by then that the band have exhausted their somewhat limited arsenal and settle in to basically what everyone else is doing.
While this may not detract from the intensity or primal release of this album, it can make it a bit of an effort to push through to its conclusion. Yes, there are curveballs here and there, with numerous moments of unexpected melody and such. Realistically though, they aren't very inventive. Perhaps the biggest problem here is that so many of the songs are marred by long winded instrumental solos that often bump the tracks into 5 minute plus running length.
With a brisker pace and a bit less throwaway elements Silent Civilian could easily establish themselves in a hopelessly flooded genre. Songs like the album's title track quickly prove that they have much talent and ability when they put their mind to it. It's just a shame then that much of this album sees their mind wander and drag the listener along with it. A rebirth for Santos and his band mates to be sure, but the temple of metalcore ultimately remains unaffected.
(3.5 / 5)