Under Review

The Knife

Silent Shout (Rabid Records)

Review By Brock Thiessen

When we last heard from The Knife, they were donning neon jumpsuits and gifting fellow Swede Jose Gonzales with their mini-hit, “Heartbeats,” to be used in a commercial for the corporates. Since then, it seems as if this brother-sister duo has crawled their way into the ranks of the occult to record their third proper full-length, Silent Shout. Olof Dreijer and Karin Dreijer Andersson perhaps felt that with this shift in theology they should also relocate their studio into the vaults beneath The Grand Church in Stockholm, leaving Silent Shout a much darker and more surrealist affair than previous outings.
Through a digital wash of arpeggiated synthesizers and cold, crackling rhythms, The Knife evokes tales of solitary sailors, male-bonding support groups, frightened housewives and hopeless TV addicts. What’s most striking about all of this is Karin’s vocals, which have been stretched and pulled and manipulated into a wide array of characters to suit the atmosphere and eccentric world of each track. At times, this can leave the listener feeling a bit squeamish, especially when her voice is lowered by several octaves and comes out sounding like Linda Blair in the Exorcist, but overall the effect is completely enthralling. With Silent Shout, The Knife has definitely surpassed previous accomplishments and has left us with their finest, most focused work to date.