The Knife began making Silent Shout
, their third album in March 2004. Recordings commenced in an old carbon-dioxide factory, then moved to the vaults beneath The Grand Church in Stockholm's Old Town. Olof and Karin planned to build a permanent studio underneath the church. But 15th century medieval brickwork and future-sounding art-synth-pop proved incompatible. "We had to move because of the poor sonics of the room," says Olof. "But mainly because it was so old the walls were falling apart so we had brick dust in our lungs." Retreating to the health and safety of their respective home studios, then a Stockholm studio complex, The Knife finished the album just as the huge exposure for "Heartbeats" was introducing the craft and magic of their song writing to a worldwide audience.
Silent Shout is an astounding achievement, intriguing and bewildering, enigmatic and engaging, and never less than compelling. "One Hit" is a gothic sea shanty, "Still Light" an electro/a capella hymn. "Neverland" is a thumping dancefloor anthem with a punchy lyric ("I'm dancing for dollars for a fancy man"). The twinkling starscapes of "Na Na Na" could be the work of a sci-fi Sigur Ros. The ghostly fairy tale atmospheres of "From Off To On" are utterly hypnotic, while the kinetic menace of "Forest Families" is frankly frightening. "They say we had a communist in the family, I had to wear a mask," sings Karin, to hair-raising effect.