Today, August 20, 2017, makes 15 years since the release an album that would have a major impact on me: Silence by the Swedish band, Blindside. I was fully engrossed in my love of nu-metal when Silence came out. That’s quite an embarrassing statement to make, but if not for my love of nu-metal, I may have never discovered a genre that is still one of my favorites to this day, post-hardcore. You see, I was quite infatuated with Christian nu-metal heavyweights P.O.D. in 2001. So much so that I would take a trip to another state to catch their Satellite tour on Oct. 27th of that year, back when it was rare for me to venture over the Ohio river just to catch some tunes. Lucky for me, a band that I had listened to only a little bit, Blindside, was opening the show. Did I say opening? I meant stealing the show. They blew both P.O.D. and Fenix TX away. Blindside were also debuting their more post-hardcore sound, which really suited them. They had previously played a style of hardcore more akin to their Swedish brethren, Refused.
Fast forward to August 20, 2002 and P.O.D. had signed Blindside to their new Elecktra imprint, 3 Points Records and put out their new album, Silence. I don’t remember for sure, but I’m pretty positive I picked it up the day it came out. I would proceed to fall in love with the album and try to push it upon the ears of anyone who would listen. From the soft, but building intro of “Caught a Glimpse” to the gentle and fading closer “Silence”, I was absolutely hooked.
The next year one of my other favorite bands, Project 86, would go into a more post-hardcore, less nu-metal sound with Songs To Burn Your Bridges By. I too became obsessed with this album, but would I have been ready for this sound had Silence not won me over previously with its more radio-ready hooks? I can’t say for sure. Would I have been able to adore Thrice’s The Artist in the Ambulance, which I would discover a short time after that? Or how about New Medicines by Dead Poetic in 2004?…and on and on to more recent favorites like Behold by My Epic, Into the Sea by Attalus, and Types & Shadows by Wolves At The Gate? I can’t say for sure.
What I can say for sure is that this album made a real difference to me. It changed what I looked for in music. It made me realize that heavy music doesn’t have to all bravado, it can be emotional. It can be melodic. It can be powerful beyond how hard the drums and guitars hit.
Christian Lindskog’s vulnerable lyrics and shrieking, but melodic, vocals were very relatable to a young man like myself, who was wrestling with his thoughts about what he believed about God, and just liked loud music…but I’m clearly not the only one, as the band has been mentioned as influential and/or been covered by bands like Everything In Slow Motion, Wolves At The Gate, and Before There Was Rosalyn.
While Blindside may never get the critical respect that a band like Refused gets, or the massive exposure of a band like Thrice, to those of us who love and were impacted by them, they are truly legends. And Silence will always be the album that made me crave a different kind of new noise.