Silent Shout is the third album from Swedish siblings Olof Dreijer and Karin Dreijer Andersson under the name of The Knife. Past releases have found them pulling off a couple burners per disc, but coming away with less-successful results in other places. In terms of overall mood and feel, this newest release from the group is easily their most cohesive yet, with a heavy weigh of eerie unease running through the entire disc.
One of the ways the group takes the electronic dance pop formula and tweaks it ever so slightly is with their use of heavy filtering on just about every single piece of vocals on the disc. Combined with the austere production, it makes for an album that keeps you at an arms distance while inviting you in for the freakshow at the same time. The album opens with what might be the best track on the entire disc with the album titled "Silent Shout." As an acid-tinged arpeggio dances across the surface threateningly and filtered male/female vocals deliver their lines in an icy tone that keeps the dark track on edge throughout.
From there, the album moves in a couple different directions while keeping with the same sort of feel. "Neverland" slams along with repetitive beats, dirty synth stabs, and wince-inducing lyrics about Michael Jackson that don't do the song any favors. "The Captain" runs six minutes, taking up half that with some cold analogue washes before lurching off into a second half that seems melodically influenced by Eastern music and more bizarre vocal treatments.
In addition to the opening track, there are a couple other songs on the disc that truly standout and stick in your craw. "Like A Pen" again bumps the BPMs up a notch and layers some deceptively simple synth melodies into something seriously catchy while "Forest Families" is another relentless keyboard-arpeggio burner that keeps on pulling you closer. Elsewhere, though, the over-the-top vocal antics (especially on tracks like the flat-out goofy "One Hit") make it sound like the duo were simply trying a bit too hard to stand out from the pack. When they keep things a little more subtle, Silent Shout is outstanding, but in other places it's just sorta there.