Lion Music has set a September 16 release date for GRÖNHOLM‘s sophomore album, “Silent Out Loud”. Featuring 10 tracks full of infectious vocal melodies over dynamic musical backdrops, the CD is an impressive collection of songcraft topped off with a powerful production and mix.
GRÖNHOLM is built around the songwriting skills of Mika Grönholm (guitar, bass and keyboards), with vocals once again handled by Markku Kuikka (STATUS MINOR) and drums from Tom Rask. This core trio of musicians is joined by “special guests” Billy Sherwood (ex-YES) and Marco Hietala (NIGHTWISH, TAROT), who add some extra dynamics to backing vocals, and in the case of Sherwood, help add his trademark lush “YES-style” vocal harmony sheen to the likes of “Out From The Nest”, among others.
While the new offering, aside from a greater emphasis on guitar, has a sound not too dissimilar to its well-received predecessor, “Eyewitness Of Life”, it sees Mika take a heavier approach to his songwriting, utilizing a downtuned B tuning for all stringed instruments. Mika comments, “All the songs on ‘Silent Out Loud’ are tuned down to low B. Sometimes B-tuning is used for roaring vocals or lighting fast guitar parts, but no, not this time. With this tuning I was seeking more power and energy to my riffs.”
“Silent Out Loud”‘s first six tracks are all up-tempo numbers where the new tuning is given a fine showing between the hard rock riffs with some prog-influenced melodies.
As the album nears its conclusion, we see an instrumental offering in “Giant Step”, which clears the minds palette for the acoustic flavor that is heard on the final three tracks, with album finale, “Away”, also getting an orchestral arrangement.
Lyrically, Mika Gronhölm drew on “silent” thoughts in his head and once put onto paper in lyric form become “out loud,” hence the album’s title.
Writing for “Silent Out Loud” began in May 2010 and was completed four months later. Mika‘s approach was to “simply sit down and record riffs and ideas to an mp3 player and those riffs that maintain attention on repeated plays get worked on into bodies of songs.” Once the tracks had taken shape, the recordings took place in January 2011. In contrast to the debut, Tom Rask‘s drums were recorded first this time round and Mika then built the final tracks around the drum work. Markku Kuikka recorded his vocals in his home studio in a short three-day stint. March 2011 saw the arrival of the guest vocal tracks from Billy Sherwood (chorus parts on “Cross” and “Out From The Nest”) and Marco Hietala (lead vocals on “Vanity”). The band then had to wait until April 2011 for Janne Tolsa to become available to mix and master and the results show the wait was justified. Mika then mixed the last three songs at his home studio “because they were easy and quick to do.” In addition, a promotional video for the opening track, “Cross Of Mind”, has been shot and can be viewed below.
“Silent Out Loud” track listing:
01. Cross Of Mind
02. Distorted Eyes
03. Under My Star
05. Out From The Nest
06. Race Is On
07. Giant Step
08. Set The Stones
09. Dawn Of A Dream