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Light is the Language - "The Void Falls Silent" (CD)

Light is the Language - "The Void Falls Silent" CD cover image

"The Void Falls Silent" track listing:

1. The Void Falls Silent
2. I Was Born A Vietnam Vet
3. Do You Wanna Play Bloody Knuckles
4. The Digital Wendigo Vs. The Little Guy
5. The Mating Habits Of A Blind Misanthrope
6. Occam's Razor
7. Letter to the (R)evolution

Reviewed by on May 4, 2009

"I credit Light is the Language for trying to do something unique, and step outside the shadow of the metalcore movement that spawned the band, but I don't think the near total abandonment of melody was the way to do it."

"How can you listen to that noise?" That was what I often heard as a teenager, as my dad passed my doorway, and I was listening to Death Angel or Motorhead. I'd then patiently try to form an argument as to how some metal is nearly symphonic, with different movements throughout the music — and a much higher level of virtuosity than, say, the Merle Haggard tunes he was listening to.

All that's to say that if I'd have been listening to Light is the Language's "The Void Falls Silent" when Dad made his "metal is noise" argument, I'd have probably just had to concede the point. I credit Light is the Language for trying to do something unique and step outside the shadow of the metalcore movement that spawned the band, but I don't think the near total abandonment of melody was the way to do it.

I'm also not such a big fan of the "sample songs" that bookend this album. In the title track, we get several spoken word parts over a synthesized soundscape. Musings on the meaning of math, like those on "The Void Falls Silent," don't really do it for me as lyrical content, I suppose.

Then, the band comes in on "I Was Born A Vietnam Vet," and for a moment, things seem to be okay. Jeanne Sagan and Nick Licitra play a jerky bass-and-drum intro that seems like it's on the verge of giving way to something more melodic. Unfortunately, it doesn't.

Metalcore's screaming vocals are usually matched with reasonably melodic guitars, bass and drums, but not in this case. Here, Ryan Meade's screams are accompanied by instruments that seem to come in out of nowhere, and change speed and style too fast to ever create a sense of coherent melody.

The one song that seems to escape from that pattern is "The Digital Wendigo Vs. The Little Guy," which actually does have something approaching a melody throughout, combined with some interesting guitar work by Donny Withington and Brian Toole.

As I said before, there's something admirable in the band's attempt to add psychedelic touches, (their name is from a Timothy Leary quote), to the metalcore sound that spawned them, but the songs just don't congeal — and only five of the seven tracks on this 27-minute disc qualify as actual songs in my book.

The only use for "The Void Falls Silent" that I can think of would be to agitate my dad back in the day. And even for that lofty goal, I'm not sure it would be worth listening to.

Highs: "The Digital Wendigo Vs. The Little Guy"

Lows: Most of the songs fail to achieve any sense of melody.

Bottom line: With songs that fail to create a sense of melody, this is mostly noise.

Rated 1.5 out of 5 skulls
1.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)