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Houses of Heaven — Silent Places
(Bandcamp Felte no#, 2020, LP / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2020-09-04

Silent Places Cover art

Layered synths, guitar, electronic percussion, and live drums — you could swear you were back in the 80s listening to a new album by New Order, Heaven 17, Gary Numan, Ultravox, or John Foxx. And you would be wrong! Silent Places, released on May 1, 2020, is the new album by Oakland, California band Houses of Heaven. Silent Places is their first full length album, featuring nine New Wave songs with a definite British sound. The album opens with “Sleep,” a post-punk darkwave song mixing in techno and industrial elements much like Attrition or Killing Joke. The remaining tracks incorporate electronic rhythms, metallic percussion, sequencers, and cheesy drum machines that clone the 80s, but don’t take it beyond the retro sound. Houses of Heaven have done an excellent job copying the music of 40 years ago, but to what end? I suppose that if you are a fan of New Order, Spandau Ballet, Yazoo, Depeche Mode, etc. you would find Silent Places of interest. Other than that, the nostalgia element may not be enough to carry the album forward.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Houses of Heaven

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