It is once again music review Tuesday and today I am going to review an album by a Christian rock band again. As an Amazon reviewer put it “every year or so a new band or CD comes along that somehow stands out among the rest”. “For Red, End of Silence is one of those CD’s.” This is their debut album and it was released over a year ago but it has been making it’s footprint among rock music fans everywhere. The album was nominated for a Grammy in the category of “Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album” at the 49th Grammy Awards. The album’s first single “Breathe Into Me” peaked at #15 on the US mainstream rock charts. The song won the “Rock Recorded Song of the Year” award at the 38th annual GMA Dove Awards in 2007. The reason for the band name Red is that it symbolizes the blood of Christ. Mike Barnes who is the lead singer also says that it “represents passion and pain, but ultimately it represents redemption.”
Since the release of “End of Silence” the band has toured extensively through February of 2007. They have gained many fans with over 21,000 MySpace friends in just over a year of having the site. The album itself is a combination of gnashing guitars, and passionate vocals. Many reviewers have said that their album contains potent lyrics, and I would have to say that they sing about some deeper things than most Christian rock bands but I would love to see more theology in the lyrics. I guess I may be expecting too much. I have not seen them perform live but from what I’ve read in more than one other review they get pretty excitable and rowdy on stage. At one point in their tour the guitarist Anthony Armstrong swung his guitar and it smashed into Mike the singers head causing him to require seven stitches. They say that they really want to connect with their fans. That may be true but they sound like they are definitely connecting with each other.
The album begins with “Breathe Into Me”, a passionate song about looking back into your past with regret. Although this is not something the Christian should make a practice of a doing, the song does focus on Who can turn it all around and where the source of redemption comes from. The song will rock your face off sound wise. The next song “Let Go” sounds a lot like Chevelle with some orchestration added. The next song is called “Already Over” and it is part one to a two part song on the album. It begins with piano and drums and climaxes with distorted guitars in the chorus and bridge. Lyrically the song is well written and is about the struggle with knowing God. (I think He is found in the scriptures) It could have come right out of the Psalms. Part two basically uses the same lyrics but with a positive spin. The song “Pieces” is another deep song about the mighty Creator reaching down to put the shattered pieces of a life back together. It is a very quiet and pensive sounding song. “Break Me Down” is also about being dependent on God to break the humanness we sometimes resort to as fallen beings. Musically the song is very diverse. There are acoustic guitars, piano, and the bridge has some great crunching guitars.
I could go on and on about the album but the highlights are “Breathe Into Me”, “Already Over” parts 1 and 2, “Pieces”, “Break Me Down”, and “Wasting Time”. The band has the perfect formula for what I like in a band, crunching guitars, great lead vocals, a mixture of orchestra effects, and piano. I give this album five stars. I know, big surprise. I can’t wait to see what they follow up with.
Also check out the video for “Breathe Into Me”.