strong lineup (and a demo) emerges in local metal crew Silenize
Like the comely ex who broke your heart years ago suddenly appearing in front of you at the grocery store, life seems to take a certain circumferential glee in bringing us face to face with uncomfortable moments. Take, for instance, my online review of local metal act Silenize on Volume One’s Soundboard, almost a year ago: “they’ve got the croon/rasp balance down, though I was not as annoyed as I often am when metal bands play ‘peek-a-boo’ with their testicles.”
It is one thing to write this stuff from the anonymity of my home computer, quite another to be staring down the line of four grizzled maws – who collectively go by the name Silenize – in a darkened tavern. Thankfully, they are agreeable chaps.
“Yeah, we’ve put in a lot of hard work to get better,” says Greg, the drummer. Drinks, including mine, are raised in affirmation. The band is completed by Seth (bass), Chase (vocals), Nate (guitar/vocals), and Casey (guitar); the latter is absent tonight due to work and, as it turns out, a symbolic figure for the band’s quantum leap toward maturity.
“Although we consider our band as officially forming in 2008, when Seth joined, prior to this Casey was our original guitar player. Nate …” Chase is cut off by Greg.
“… who I discovered singing karaoke in a bar, some Pantera song, or was it Pat Benatar?”
Heterosexualized laughter and shoving abound before Chase continues, “Nate criticized Casey’s playing, so Casey left.”
Now, however, Casey is back in the fold, proving that time heals all wounds. Or does it wound all heels? “I couldn’t make that first practice, which was probably a good thing in retrospect,” Nate reveals. “When I got to hear Casey playing our songs it just clicked. We’re all in a different place now. It also helps that we practice more than two times a week and don’t consume 60 beers while doing it.”
This heightened level of consciousness has yielded the eight-song demo, Two Days in the Cellar. With influences as diverse as Tool and Metallica, and “basically anything but country,” it is difficult to define the Silenize sound.
“Our sound is catchy riffs and melodic parts, but we always bring it back to metal,” Chase says.
Nate concurs, “Actually, if it wasn’t for Chase, we probably wouldn’t be classified as metal.”
Chase laughs, recalling a moment in the studio when the final three tracks were being recorded. “The engineer is like, ‘this doesn’t sound metal,’ and then I started singing, and he was like, ‘OK, that’s metal.’”
With said recording in hand, Silenize is gearing up for a spot on the 8th annual Midwinter Meltdown, put together by No Loving Place’s Rick St. Germaine. In addition to these two acts, there will be Eau Claire’s Nameless Feeling, the Twin Cities’ lauded death metal act Outside the Murder, and hardcore group Revilwen.
“We are proud to be a part of this. This looks to be the best line up yet. Even if you don’t care about Silenize, the other acts are quality,” Nate promises.
As the end draws nigh, and I seem to have mended my bridges with the band (having avoided what they refer to as being Gregged), I have to ask about the meaning behind their moniker.
They all look to Seth who gets himself off the hook with, “I just joined the goddamned band and they already had the name!”
Greg offers, “It’s better than Dead Tooth!”
Nate says, “To me it means to make silent, like ‘shut up,’ like we might say to all our critics.”
Midwinter Music Meltdown • Feb. 6 • House of Rock, 422 Water St. • 8pm • $6 • ages 21+ • www.house-of-rock.com