Broken Silence - Discerning the Times (Alfa) 1995
1. "Streets of
the Empty Soul" (4:03)
2. "Higher" (3:30)
3. "Not Love At All (It's My Heart)" (4:58)
4. "Naked" (5:07)
5. "Ready to Go" (4:43)
6. "Free" (3:59)
7. "Innocent Kill" (3:35)
8. "Break the Silence" (4:24)
9. "Seasons" (4:12)
10. "Hard Times" (3:26)
11. "Follow the Leader" (4:31)
12. "If I Love" (4:04)
13. "Broken Crowns" (4:23)
"Discerning the Times" is the one and only album from melodic metal band Broken Silence. Formed in Hawaii, USA in 1989, they quickly rose to local fame. It was in Hawaii that they met Daryn Hinton, the former manger of Stryper and Holy
Soldier. She worked with the band on their first. independent EP and introduced them to producer David Zaffiro, who had also produced Holy Soldier, as well as being the former guitarist from Bloodgood. The album was then picked up by Japanese label Alfa and released as a full length album with modified cover art. For reasons unknown to me, the full length CD was never released outside of Japan and quickly became a collectible.
Broken Silence are one of the greatest melodic heavy metal bands that most people have never heard. Every song on "Discerning the TImes" has a killer hook, jaw dropping guitar solos, crunchy guitar tones and phenomenal vocals. Musically the band bridges a gap between the progressive flair of early Queensryche and the edge and grit of the early Skid Row and Dokken. They also remind me of another fairly unknown, underground band, Seventhsign. For the most part, the songs rock hard. Tracks like "Streets of The Empty Soul", "Naked", and "Innocent Kill" are all heavy rockers. Others tracks like "Break the Silence" and "Follow the Leader" are more slightly melodic. "Not Love At All", "Seasons" and "If I Love" are the ballads, but good songs nonetheless. "Not Love At All" in particular is a soaring power ballad.
Vocalist Daniel J. Ysais has a fairly smooth voice with just the slightest hint of grit to keep him from sounding too poppy. At times he reminds me of Stryper's Micheal Sweet, though I hear equal parts Mark Slaughter (Vinnie Vincent Invasion/Slaughter) and Louis D' Augusta (Mass).
Though "Discerning the Times" was fairly impossible to find for nearly a decade after it's Japanese release, the album was finally released in the U.S. on Retroactive Records in 2011. The music was remastered, but is not dramatically different from the original release, which already had stellar production. The Retroactive re-release is packaged in a 6-panel digi-pack with lyrics. There is no booklet included. The original Japanese release has a 20-page booklet.
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