September 16th 2011 sees Grönholm release their sophomore album ‘Silent Out Loud’ on Lion Music. Home to 10 tracks full of infectious vocal melodies over dynamic musical backdrops; ‘Silent Out Loud’ is an impressive collection of song craft all topped off with a powerful production and mix.
Grönholm the band is built around the song writing skills of Mika Grönholm (guitar, bass and keyboards) with vocals once again by Markku Kuikka (Status Minor) and drums from Tom Rask. This core trio of musicians are 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’ amongst others.
Whilst the new offering aside from a greater emphasis on guitar has a sound not too dissimilar to its well received predecessor ‘Eyewitness Of Life’. The new album sees Mika take a heavier approach to his song writing utilising a down tuned B tuning for all stringed instruments. On the change 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 heavy packed 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 flavour that is heard on the final 3 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 albums title.
Writing for the release began in May 2010 and was completed 4 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 3 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 3 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 made available on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?
CD RUNNING ORDER
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.
Mika Grönholm – Guitars, Basses, Synth, Backing Vocals.
Tom Rask – Drums
Markku Kuikka – Lead Vocals
Billy Sherwood – Vocals.
Marco Hietala – Vocals.
Zach Hietala – Guitar solo.
Janne Tolsa – Synth solo.
Michael Henneken – Backing vocals.
Jasse Merivirta – Piano/ Synths.