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Language of Silence

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Album Review

After Numb released Blood Merdian, there appeared to be few directions this act could grow besides evolving into power electronics and noise. With Language of Silence, Numb have proved that sometimes the best way forward is not to push through, but instead to cut back. The main difference between the two releases is that Language of Silence is a much tighter, refined collection. Synth sounds have been sharpened without losing any of their viciousness, while melodies have matured, forming a new blend that allows the complexities to show through in a way they have not in previous Numb releases. Where Blood Meridian was largely aggression, Language of Silence proceeds with a more quietly sinister quality, obvious in the delicately tortured feel of tracks such as "Deviation." "No Remorse" shows that restraint and using fewer, fuller sounds can be a binding way to build and release tension. Suspense and its release is a theme for Language of Silence, as tracks flow well into each other, and elements take their time in building up to a paced crescendo of falling bass and broken dance beats (as they do in "Closer"). This effect is heightened by the build up by tracks that flirt with orchestral elements ("Illuminated Rounds," "Defiler"). On the whole, this release balances well between high energy, more reflective moments, and on rarer occasions, pure breakdown and noise. Each of the tracks on Language of Silence stand well on their own, but every track has its place in achieving a larger feeling. This places it in a slightly different category from some of the releases by Numb's contemporaries such as Suicide Commando. Language of Silence is not 60 minutes of hard electro aggression, but instead something that has a rather different goal — and achieves it.


Formed: 1986

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Numb has featured an assortment of lineups from its formation in 1986, and Don Gordon has proved to be the one constant. He formed the group in Vancouver, and the cassette-only album Blue Light appeared in 1987. After a self-titled album was released locally in 1988, Belgium's Kk Records reissued the record in 1992. The Christmeister LP was released on Oceana in 1990, and Numb then moved to Re-Constriction for 1992's Death on the Installment...
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Language of Silence, Numb
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