Released: 2005, Spikefarm Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Finally... fuckin´ finally, it is about time. It has been 3 long years since the last Rapture album (SONGS FOR THE WITHERING, on Spikefarm 2002), so this year seems to turn out to be a great year as far as new Metal –releases are concerned.
SILENT STAGE, the third Rapture album in order, is... how I should put it exactly, a very pleasing and rewarding listening experience. I am simply amazed at how Tomi Ullgren, the main song writer in Rapture, can always keep things on such a demanding and high quality level as far as his compositions for this band go. It could be said that his very gifted sense for immortal rhythms and undying melody lines in their songs, is beyond any competition really. He is probably one of the most talented and gifted song writers that is out there nowadays.
On SILENT STAGE the band basically continues from the same safe and familiar steps musically where they left off on their, to say at least amazing previous album SONGS FOR THE WITHERING. If you have heard them before, you already should know what to expect from the band’s latest album SILENT RAGE. Rapture is, in many ways, a unique combination of Death – and Doom Metal, being wrapped up with (Gothic) Rock –elements. This has proven to be a real winning recipe for them during the past few years. It cannot be denied by anyone who has become familiar with Rapture’s melancholic, beautifully sorrowful and overall rich sound that early Katatonia´s and Paradise Lost´s influence has quite undoubtedly played an important role for them. Let us draw a comparison for.eg. from the opening track called “Misery 24/7” off the album to the early days of Katatonia and it all becomes more evident for a listener where Rapture actually comes from. Besides being a very reminiscent of what Katatonia (or Paradise Lost for that matter!) used to be in the past, “Misery 24/7” strictly as a Rapture song, earns its place in my personal ´Top 5 Rapture songs of all time´. Its true value as far as how much catchiness has been involved into it, nearly cannot be measured at all, not by an experienced listener even.
But on the other hand, Rapture’s pleasingly sonical parade also continues unstoppable through the whole album, kind of reaching sort of a fulfillment of pleasure in the last instrumental song “Completion” which has been painted with different colors of sorrow and melancholy. Like it has tended to happen so many other times with Rapture songs, Tomi’s soaring guitar parts have this somewhat strange tendency to steal your immediate attention right from the first moments when you start spinning the album. I wonder from time to time what on earth he uses as a mixture of his morning coffee?
I also found one of the album’s two instrumental songs, “For the Ghosts of Our Time” a great piece of musical art due to its nearly dreamy and extremely melancholic atmosphere with some nicely fitting whisperings added into it as an extra spice. It also needs to be mentioned that the huge contrast between Petri Eskelinen´s bowel-deep death grunts and Henri Villberg´s clean vocal parts turns out to be such a perfect combination for their songs that overall it create more nuances and brings more colors out of the songs on SILENT STAGE. If one of the aforementioned elements went missing from Rapture’s sound, it surely wouldn’t be the same any longer.
Rapture can do no wrong, especially on the absolutley brilliant, SILENT STAGE.