Friday, October 28, 2016

REVIEW: RED'S "END OF SILENCE"

End of Silence is the 2006 debut album from Christian rock band Red. Though the genre may initially sound niche at the mere sound of the name, Silence blends spiritual lyrics with hard-hitting rock influences that make for a surprisingly strong listen that bridges all genres.

The Content:

Upon a first listen, End of Silence makes its mark sonically among bands such as Linkin Park and Breaking Benjamin. The deep, lurching hardcore sounds nearly perfectly marks Red’s status as a Christian Rock band, and in doing so can appeal to both demographics with vast success. Though, personally, calling them a Christian rock band may seem to be a stretch during their first impression. Without a deep reading of the lyrics, they could almost be considered within the same topicality as the aforementioned bands.

Breathe Into Me, as an opening track, does its job well enough. Hooking its listeners with a throaty, god-thirsty chorus and soaring symphonics, the rest of the album seems to blend in blandness in comparison. But, despite the disparity, the album still makes a lasting impression even to those who aren’t acquainted with 2000s rock (myself included).

And yet, during some of the slower songs such as Pieces (a fan favorite amongst many), I still felt myself wanting more. It has substance, sure, but it feels spread too flat as opposed to rooted in the depth it could possess. That is, Pieces feels as though it passes up a lot of missed opportunities.

Despite these setbacks, the album still feels cohesive and consistent with a full run-through. While listening to this album, I never have the urge to, say, skip a track here or there or repeat a song over and over again. On its own, front to back, End of Silence is perfect for a straight listen during a strong study session, its modern-rock vibes making for some strong focus music.

Overall, End of Silence is a strong first entrance for Red. For good reason, it remains a fan-favorite to this day with highlight tracks (Breathe Into Me and Already Gone in particular) that are still played live to this day.

The Impact:

Though End of Silence was the first album from a band performing in a somewhat niche genre, the album would go on to be RIAA-certified gold.

To this day, End of Silence, particularly its lead single Breathe Into Me, remains a hallmark for Christian rock fans and casual rockers alike. The song continues to be a live staple and, arguably, is synonymous with the band itself. 

However, the album wasn’t written with the intention of mainstream success. Said band member Randy Armstrong, “When we made that first album, we didn't know anything about radio, we didn't know anything about anything.”

The album would go on to pave the success for their sophomore effort Innocence and Instinct. Released in 2009, the album would continue the buildup that led to their No. 2 debut on the Billboard 200 with 2011’s Until We Have Faces.

The Future:

Red’s most recent album, Of Beauty and Rage, released in 2015. Currently, the band is touring in support of the 10th anniversary of End of Silence. Red also released a 10th anniversary edition of the album, with two unreleased tracks and four acoustic renditions of original End of Silence songs.


Next week’s review: Thirty Seconds to Mars’ “A Beautiful Lie”

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