[12 September 2006]
PopMatters Contributing Editor
Formerly of the mildly successful nu-metal outfit Spineshank, vocalist/guitarist Johnny Santos goes from shamelessly ripping off Fear Factory to shamelessly ripping off every young metalcore band in America with Silent Civilian. It’s no surprise, then, that Rebirth of the Temple is just as bland as Santos’s previous band, only a little more contemporary. And by “contemporary”, of course I mean that Silent Civilian dutifully adheres to the metalcore formula of nimble guitar melodies swiped from In Flames and At the Gates, hardcore vocals during the verses, flaccid emo singing during the choruses, and plenty of kiddie-pleasing breakdowns. Technically, it’s all done rather well, Santos and Marcus Rafferty letting loose plenty of tight riffs, and some of the songs manage to hold our interest (the title track, for one), but there’s very little here to distinguish the band from all the other pretenders out there, going through the motions for a draining 64 minutes. The one thing this album does best, however, is show just how much better bands like Trivium and All That Remains truly are. Perhaps Santos should try mimicking DragonForce next.