“What is the point of writing songs about the apocalypse and the inescapable future that’s drenched in darkness, when the media already do it better? Instead, with our new album HUNGER, we give you the light.”
At a time when tortured artists in their droves release introspective, doom-laden, pandemic-obsessed new material, Swedish captains of Goth-tinged post-punk, Then Comes Silence swim against the tide toward the light at the end of the tunnel.
“We need to oppose and challenge the prevailing mood and find a more positive way of life right now to stay sane,” explains founder member and frontman Alex Svenson. “Suddenly, it seems more important to address those little beams of sunlight slipping through the overwhelming gloom, that new kind of darkness most of us had never experienced before, leading to anxiety, fear, and isolation. An involuntary dullness and temperance seem to have numbed many of our creative abilities.”
During the early months of lockdown, Then Comes Silence streamed crowd-free gigs over the internet and release quarantine cover versions on YouTube. But as the months dragged on, they realised that it was time to move on. HUNGER finds Then Comes Silence showing the path to a brighter future, rather than reveling in the misery of the global pandemic.
The video clip for the soaring Gothic Rock anthem, “To The Bait”, the first song from the forthcoming HUNGER, depicts the band performing a masquerade concert. Displaying some sort of “party porn,” Svenson, notes: “It’s still not 100% safe for everyone to let go yet. Some will have to put up with it on video instead of practicing it in real life. I am guessing we will leave an age of reason where the authorities are telling us what we can’t and shouldn’t do and step into a new era where emotion, passion, and romance are more attractive guidelines. The Counter-movement is unavoidable after several years of isolation and having to follow the restrictions. It starts now.”
The track is passionate, earnest, romantic, and uplifting; capturing the crooning panache and dark and debonaire flair of something akin to a lost Damned circa Phantasmagoria.
Watch the video for “Rise to the Bait” below:
Then Comes Silence’s previous album MACHINE was released on the very day most of the world entered lockdown, but instead of simply lamenting their fate, licking their wounds, and withdrawing into their Stockholm bunker, the band stayed focused on maintaining an outlet for their creative passions.
“We had hoped to pick MACHINE up as soon as things gradually came back to life again, ” says Svenson, “but some time around the winter of 2020/2021 we realized that we’d have to leave it behind, carry on and start thinking about the next album. The band knew that they wanted to do something different from MACHINE. If that album was ‘ice-cold water running through a stainless steel pipe on a November morning’ then the next album, HUNGER would be warm like blood… again.”
In their own unique way, Then Comes Silence began their headlong approach towards this new project, resulting in the HORSEMEN covers, four EPs of cover songs released in October 2021.
“We did the HORSEMEN cover project as a study for HUNGER,” Svenson explains.“We went back to school to learn from others, but it was also a way to fill the emptiness of a long period without touring and playing live. The last cover version was recorded in February 2021, and the next month we started rehearsing the first new songs.”
Then Comes Silence drafted William Faith (Faith and the Muse, Mephisto Walz, The March Violets) and Swedish alternative scene legends Niklas Rundquist (Leather Nun) and Jörgen Wall (Whale, Thåström) for HUNGER; there are also contributions from current Scandinavian wave scene stars Gözde Duzer (aux animaux) and Mikkel Borbjerg Jakobsen (The Foreign Resort), whilst Karolina Engdahl (True Moon) provides backing vocals.
At the time of the previous album, Svenson stated, “There will not be any new Bowies, McCartneys, Ramones, or Lemmy’s for a long time. We have to be the Rhinemaidens guarding the Rheingold. Become the guardians of the holy grail until the day the new rock prophets are born,” a view he still stands by today. “That’s still relevant. Nothing has changed.”
“This album is the one that we will bring with us into the new changed world,” adds Svenson, “we need to bring back the energy and restore the passion, by taking a handful of rock music and throwing it to the world like a lifeline.”
HUNGER was produced by Alex Svenson and mixed by Tom van Heesch. It is due out the 1st of July, 2022 via NEXILIS, a new label under the flag of Schubert Music Europe, and Metropolis Records.
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