Silent Planet

Humanity has always had a therapeutic relationship with music. Its ability to shatter man-made
walls, create a platform for expression, and illuminate perspectives, has helped ground some
and liberate others. We build national anthems out of songs, we immortalize first dances with
songs, we cry because of songs. Music—when breathed into with intention, intellect, and
purpose—can restore and unify. If you need an example, listen to Silent Planet’s newest album,
Everything Was Sound.
Silent Planet—comprised of Alex Camarena, Thomas Freckleton, Garrett Russell and Mitchell
Stark—writes with purpose. The LA-based band’s first album, The Night God Slept, gave voice
to characters victimized by systemic oppression. The album used historical settings and the
characters within it to magnify their marginalized perspectives, resulting in a musical
accomplishment outfitted with quality instrumentals, rich storytelling, and a mouthpiece for the
silenced. Their second full-length project bears consistent fruit with their first.
Everything Was Sound, the sophomore release on Solid State Records, is unrelenting in its
endeavor to marry its sophisticated metalcore sound with the quiet voice of the alienated. The
band’s vocalist, Garret Russell, walks us out of their first album’s story and straight into this one:
a metaphorical prison housing society’s misunderstood. The panopticon (both a psychological
concept and a physical space) is a many roomed, doorless prison equipped with one, concealed
guard. Without the ability to see where the guard is looking, the construct effectively controls
each inmates behavior. Russell uses this theory (designed by philosopher and social theorist
Jeremy Bentham) to represent the societal imprisonment culture places on the mentally
wounded. He walks us through nine rooms, with nine varying prisoners, and tells their stories.
“So many people feel completely alone. This album was inspired by the people I’ve interacted
with who feel like nobody can or wants to understand them. It’s very evil to leave people isolated
like that,” explains Russell. “Our goal is to make people’s stories visible, to give words and to
give music to things that aren't often talked about.” Take the track “Panic Room” for example.
“God gave me a vision, in a very mystical way, of my friend who suffers with PTSD. I wanted to
tell his story in a way that honored him.” Lyrics like, “this is war: A child stumbles from the
wreckage holding his salvation - the trigger to cessation - to end us all. I took a life that takes
mine, every quiet moment we collapse,” paint a panicked and painful perspective, but one that
gave healing to the friend who inspired it. From the song “Understanding Love Is Lost,” about
the wreckage of suicide, to “Nervosa,” about the destruction of eating disorders, Silent Planet
intentionally introduces us to the struggling souls surrounding us.
And that isn’t all they’re intentional about. The instrumentals, the lyrics, and the artwork are
unanimously designed to, in Russell’s words, “challenge intentions, stir the subconscious, and
offend assumptions.” Whether it be the enneagram of personality that marks the cover art, the
inkblots within the liner notes tethered to each archetype, or the cited sources laced within each
song, you’ll feel what Russell says is a “dance between wholeness and oblivion.” The theme
weaves itself—through color, word, sound, and design—into all aspects of the project.
Silent Planet’s pursuit is perhaps best stated by the two instrumental tracks within the
album—“Tout comprendre” and “C’est tout pardoner”—whose combined titles mean “to
understand all is the forgive all.” In the final song, the prisoners escape bondage and unite,
planting a new tree of life in the center of the panopticon. “People have been inhabiting inside of
their wounds,” explains Russell, “and I believe they can come together to be healed. Step out,
see each other, and find freedom in being seen.”

My Epic

The soundtrack of a hopeful youth shimmers inside the unassuming three piece that is My Epic. Deliberately penning lyrics to subvert all basic human nature, My Epic have become the unforeseen antidote to apathy with song after song evoking raw emotion wrapped in a palpable tenderness. Soaring refrains and dynamic vocals breeze in and out of carefully sculpted songs with alternated softness and exuberance. The often heart rending melodies roll and rush around vocals that threaten to sweep you off your feet. Lyrically stunning, vital and rebellious in the most captivating way, My Epic has staked their claim on Beauty as certainly as they have taken their stand against the unremarkable. When inspiration comes from beauty the result is anything but ordinary, and for My Epic the results are unforgettable.

Comrades started as a post-hardcore band in Virginia in 2008 under a different name. Since then, we've had many ups, downs, 50-some tours, and the opportunity to meet so many awesome people and make so many amazing friends across the country.

Our music is, like any art, an outward flowing of what is within us. It has always been influenced by our faith, and something we all feel strongly about is trying to reconcile the differences of well-intentioned people on both sides of that fence, and simply trying to be the example our faith has taught us to be. We hope that we can be a light, and give encouragement, hope, and provoke thought, no matter what your worldview or affiliation.

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