Recommended Aussie Band:HORIZONS EDGE | Melbourne Power Metal | Listen

Album Reviews : Quiet Child – The Coming Storm

By on August 5, 2013

a0090751164_2If you’re like me, a really good film has to have a degree of unpredictability. Not all over the place so it doesn’t make sense, but where you don’t spend the whole time waiting for the ending you know is coming after all the events you know will take place. Of course it needs to be well acted and directed and the dialogue and action need to be good, but there’s a certain satisfaction from the freshness and unpredictability that only some films can give you.

Similarly, only a few records each year provide a deep sense of journey through not just variety, but an intoxicating unpredictability, all the while retaining cohesion. There’s nothing quite like that sense of being swallowed up by a record and at different stages wondering “hang on, how did I get here?” The Coming Storm is the latest album from Adelaide’s progressive rock quartet Quiet Child, and it does just that.

From the opening trickle of ambient sound to the majestic climax, you are taken down dirty, smelly alleys, through quiet moonlit streets that betray the dark secrets behind closed doors, across lush park lands, before being taken by the neck and violently drowned in the River Torrens. It’s a tale of despair, of dead relationships, of the comfort of misery, and above all of a loneliness that eats at you even when you are not alone. It’s not a new story, but one told with intense emotion as it holds you in its vice-like grip.

As good as the last two Quiet Child albums were, these new songs see the band shed their skin and emerge with a more considered, crafted and confident sound and a better overall feel to the album. The vocals exhibit a greater range including the sweetest ethereal tones in the more ambient tracks, and such smoothness and emotion across the record. It’s one thing to sing with strong emotion, as vocalist Pete does for the most part, but quite another to convey an emptiness and lack of emotion without actually sounding lifeless, something he does so well when required.

Style-wise we start with atonal autoharp(?) and contrasting, haunting, orchestral strains woven with vocals of opener “Dawn Brings Warmth”. From there it’s the thunderous metal riffage of “Cannonfire March”, to the counterpointing glitchy and melodic electronics of “Hotel Shade”. There’s the very prog and dreamy “0400” that ends abruptly, and the dramatic light and dark of closing track “Conditions”, with a beautiful piano section tying the halves of the two-headed monster together. No fade-out here – the record hits a brick wall and leaves you to deal with the explosive tension that creates, leaving you to write the epilogue, to change the future.

The Coming Storm is one hell of a ride. It’s a storm we create for ourselves and then stand in, wondering what the fuck is going on as world crumbles around us. It’s a storm that Quiet Child have captured and reproduced with the utmost skill and understanding in one of those rare gems that are better each time you listen, and just incredible the first time.

Artist: Quiet Child
Album: The Coming Storm
Year: 2013
Genre: Progressive Rock
Label: Independent
Origin: Adelaide, Australia
http://quietchild1.bandcamp.com

Track list:
1. Dawn Brings Warmth
2. I’ve Found Some Poison
3. Ghost Town
4. Cannonfire March
5. In Out
6. Hotel Shade
7. Without Borders
8. 0400
9. The Coming Storm
10. Conditions

About

A relatively recent convert to more extreme metal (not exclusively), I've always preferred non-commercial and progressive music to mainstream. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where in my youth I lived for every new Greasy Pop Records release. I also write for ech(((o)))es & dust and ThisIsNotAScene but it's good to start contributing to an Australian metal site.