It's hard to believe that it's already been 10 years since the Nashville-based hard rock band Red released their debut album, End of Silence. While most bands release a few independent albums or EPs prior to a label deal or mainstream success, Red simply appeared and began moving albums and selling out shows. Over the years, Red has continued to expand upon the hard, symphonic rock genre, but without significantly deviating from their original style. While it's not uncommon for bands to release 10th anniversary editions of their albums, such a move is usually ill-advised, and even in success, these endeavors are often met with a shrug at best.
As an album, End of Silence holds up surprisingly well. In fact, I would argue that you would be hard-pressed to find as good of a rock album released so far this year. The ballads such as "Pieces" are as emotional as ever and the rock anthems, such as "Breathe Into Me," just as energetic.
Now for the million-dollar question: is buying the remastered edition worth your hard-earned money? Well, from a technical standpoint of remastering, not a whole lot has changed. Overall, most of the adjustments revolve around altering the treble, either upping it or pulling it back on certain tracks. Frankly, it's hard to tell most of the time, but it really does shine through on occasion. In addition, though, and far more importantly, is how the volume levels have been "corrected" in regards to the string sections. The orchestral elements are much more balanced and are brought to the foreground this time, serving to create a better and more seamless flow. The difference is probably most apparent on "Hide," where a once mediocre song has become one of the best offerings on the album.
The album's bonus tracks are where this edition really shines through. The acoustic versions of "Already Over" and "Hide" are phenomenal, and the unreleased track "If I Break" is definitely one of the album's highlights. Finally, the seven-minute instrumental, which closes the album, showcases the band's talent with merging soft, flowing melodies and hard, gritty rock with grinding guitar work.
In terms of overall production, End of Silence: 10th Anniversary Edition sounds most similar to their most recent effort, Of Beauty and Rage. This makes sense, as the band has more experience under its belt (and more creative control). Ultimately, this album is worth the purchase, especially if you haven't already acquired End of Silence.- Review date: 6/5/16, written by David Craft of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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