Whenever Evergrey’s Tom S. Englund and acclaimed US-based pianist/composer Vikram Shankar (Redemption, Lux Terminus) come together to merge their creativity, the result is magic. Now arrives the next product of this fateful encounter, as the Swedish-American cinematic-pop duo releases its third album, Dormant, on September 1, 2023 via Napalm Records.
Continuing on the atmospheric path of Scandinavian melancholy charted on their previous full-lengths, Nectar (2022) and Satellites (2020), the brainchild of Englund and Shankar features stunning piano melodies, atmospheric keyboards, lush and expansive soundscapes, and hauntingly beautiful and intense vocals on 10 original compositions, accompanied by bonus tracks, covers of well-known classics by Iron Maiden, Linkin Park, and more, dressed in matchless emotional elegance.
The opening track “Construct” calls for the listener to join the two musicians on a soulful journey, building the atmosphere to a sublime conclusion, before continuing along a darker, brooding and intense path in the yearning “New Life”. Englund’s heartfelt vocals speak directly to the soul, while balancing perfectly with Shankar’s thoughtful instrumentation, driven by tender piano and elevated by an engulfing production. The harmonious “Churches” and pop-inflected “Just Above The Clouds” – the latter featuring a compelling solo from Leprous/Musk Ox cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne – build up to a mesmerizing daydream, leaving the listener lost in the wonderful nuances that Dormant has to offer.
The calming and profoundly introspective “Reset” and “Tides” envelop the listener in seemingly endless melancholic soundscapes, whereas the poignant “The Real Me” is imbibed with electronic hues that yield a brighter, more modern atmosphere. Throughout these tracks, Silent Skies’ work is characterized by deep and thoughtful expansion of their signature sound, where analog synthesizers, intricate programming, meticulously constructed soundscapes, and stately piano melodies are paired with the introspective vocals of Englund, who delivers profound lyrical sentiments with thoughtfully expressive character.
The deeply moving “Light Up The Dark” and the serene atmosphere of the title track “Dormant” are followed by the glimmering hues of “The Last On Earth”, the last original composition on Dormant, in which modular synth loops and moody piano reflections are paired with chiming guitars that encapsulate the duo’s commitment to the development of their sound.
Silent Skies’ third offering is melancholic and calming, yet effervescent and incandescent, expanding the duo’s sonic universe in every direction – it is the result of brave sonic experimentation married to the tastefully artistic aesthetic that defines the group. Throughout the varied peaks and valleys of their compositions, it is their powers of expression, and reflection on the human experience – in their own words, “conversations with life, about life” – that give their music the power to speak to a vast array of lived experiences, and reach people with diverse tastes, as long as they are interested in appreciating art as a reflection of life itself.
SOURCE: Official Bio