Today, my album review is Red’s first album, End Of Silence. It only seemed fitting since that’s where I got my blog name. End Of Silence was released on June 6, 2006, through Essential Records and End Of Silence: Deluxe Edition was released on November 13. 2007. Michael Barnes did lead vocals & Background Vocals, Anthony Armstrong did rhythm guitar & BGVs, Randy Armstrong was bass, piano, & BGVs, Jasen Rauch was lead guitar, Hayden Lamb was drums, and Rob Graves was additional piano, guitar, BGVs, and producer for both albums. Although Lamb was noted as drummer in the album liners, he did not record any drums on any albums. The original version contained 11 tracks:
Track 1 “(Intro) End Of Silence”: A brief instrumental focusing mainly on piano. A recording of Rob talking to Anthony is also heard in this track.
Track 2 “Breathe Into Me”: This track made Red famous in both secular and Christian rock industry. In “Breathe Into Me”, Red sings about Christ catching us when we fall and reviving our souls with the Breath of Life.
Track 3 “Let Go”: This track is about the struggle to overcome our everyday temptations, to take control of your life again. This track goes from heavy guitar riffs, accented with aggressive growls and angry unedited screams from Mike to a gentle acoustic guitar solo. While some people might find this annoying or even scary, I find the passion in this song overwhelming. What Mike can pull off with his voice is incredible.
Track 4 “Already Over”: Another one of Red’s most popular tracks. This song talks about giving Christ back your soul and letting Him wash your sins away. This track is a beautiful reminder that God is always there for you, and willing to forgive.
Track 5 “Lost”: Ah, one of my favorite songs to play on my guitar. I love what the band said: “This song ultimately is a love song to God. God’s love is so rich, so mysterious, yet so deep that it envelops us to the point where we get lost in Him. (Romans 8:38-39)” [Taken from Jesus Freak Hideout, http://jesusfreakhideout.com/lyrics/new/track.asp?track_id=4877] Yet another beautiful track about Christ’s love.
Track 6 “Pieces”: “Pieces” is about how we try to live our lives without God. We are human, we are not perfect and never will be. We can try our hardest but we are nothing without our Savior. Without Him, we are “a broken mess, just scattered pieces….” Only God can make us whole. This is definitely End Of Silence’s most slow and melodic tracks.
Track 7 “Break Me Down”: The meaning behind the blasting riffs and fast paced acoustics is how we find our identity in Christ. According to Red, finding our true identity, “…sometimes requires Him to break us down, so He can build us up into who we really should be. (Galatians 2:20)” [Taken from Jesus Freak Hideout, http://jesusfreakhideout.com/lyrics/new/track.asp?track_id=4879]
Track 8 “Wasting Time”: This track is about our never ending battle with Satan. Satan does not control us unless we let him. We can end it by declaring that we won’t be commanded or controlled, and that our future won’t go on with him in control of our souls. (Yes, I just quoted Greg Holden’s “The Lost Boy” from Sons of Anarchy.) It will end when you make it.
Track 9 “Gave It All Away”: “Gave It All Away” is about someone who is going through hard times and you could help them so much, but they won’t let you. You just have to let God work. This was actually what happened to someone or someones in the band.
Track 10 “Hide”: This track is about trying to hide from God when we feel the guilt of sinning. The inspiration for this song came from Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve tried to hide from God. This is one of my personal favorites.
Track 11 “Already Over, Pt. 2”: An acoustic version of “Already Over”. Much slower and more vocalization.
Deluxe edition includes a bonus track of “Lost” (also known as “Lost In You” or “Lost (Acoustic Version)”, and a bonus DVD. The DVD is so worth buying!! It is one of my favorite things I have ever purchased. The DVD has the “Breathe Into Me” music video (Their music videos have changed so much!), a photo gallery (Eh, it’s okay.), a concert they recorded in Nashville (That’s pretty good. I liked seeing how they looked back in 2007.), a mini documentary called “Drops Of Red” (Which briefly gets into the history of all the band members and you get see them in the studio. I also like this because Rob and his wonderful sarcasm is brought into this as well.), and the best of all, the video blog.
The video blog is over 20 minutes of their most goofy moments on tour. Whether hunting supposed ghosts with Randy and Hayden in the bathroom of a old venue, playing with lizards and frogs, eating cake with Jasen and Mike, or deciding what Indian tribe named Milwaukee with Anthony, the amusement almost never ends. It was, and still is, my favorite part of the deluxe edition.
The music, though few years younger than I am, is still amazing. The guitars have a great sound, the piano is beautiful, the mysterious drum player (Which, I should note, were two drummers. The original drummer Andrew Hendrix who came up with the name and Steve Brewster on “Pieces”.) did a good job, and Mike sounds exceptional. Listening to this album and listening to Of Beauty and Rage (That will be reviewed soon!!) back to back will definitely show you how Mike’s voice and singing style has changed in nine years. For a band’s first album, this is a remarkable album and they have certainly have kept up the excellence in almost every other album. Over all, I’d definitely give it five stars out of five for great music, song meanings, and the incredible bonus content!