What’s the deal with these green-colored CD’s? UNDEROATH presented me with one last year, and this year GODS and RAPTURE have followed suit. In any case, “Silent Stage” is a highlight – one not to be missed – amongst Melodic Death albums that have inclinations toward Doom.
During my RAPTURE listening sessions, the most immediate comparison, which came to mind, was KATATONIA during their “Brave Murder Day”-era. Of course, it goes without saying that the production is much more stable on “Silent Stage” than on the latter. However, the basic song structure, the dreariness that saturates the compositions, and the constant juxtaposition between clean and distorted vox allows one to draw many parallels between, as mentioned earlier, KATATONIA and their peers SLUMBER. “Misery 24/7” puts a new (or should I write that “nu”?) spin on the subject of misery, while the music is perhaps the most well equipped representation of what the band sounds like overall. The deep growls do suffice, though the actual instrumentation is where RAPTURE overtly succeeds. I feel like hoisting the group up on my shoulders after listening to numbers such as “The Past Nightmares” and “I Am Complete,” because the aforementioned are thoroughly gratifying in numerous, melancholic ways. The lyrics are just begging to be glared at, especially in a piece like “The Times We Bled (Closure).” Again, in order to drive my point home, the riffs contained on “Silent Stage” are so easy to become wrapped up in and – when they intertwine with the vocals – the complete package is simply irresistible.
Surprisingly, I was inspired to unearth KATATONIA and SLUMBER following my intense experiences with this band. This is yet another potential soundtrack to bleak days. Add the prefix “en” to RAPTURE, change the last “e” to “ing,” and the result is a word that perfectly encapsulates this record (and group). (Online September 11, 2005)