Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Broken Silence hails from Hawaii and before this disc arrived in my mailbox I can honestly tell you I don’t ever remember hearing of them before. However it seems that many others have, which has really left me on the outs as I’ve pondered how did I miss these guys back in the day.

This release by Retroactive is the first proper issue of this 13 song album here in the United States. Originally produced by David Zaffiro (at least that is what I’m deducing no official credit is listed, but in the liner notes it mentions he was working with them back at the time this album was put together 1990/1991 perhaps?)Discerning the Times is finally seeing the light of day on this side of the Pacific Ocean having first been released in Japan over 12 years ago.

With a strong metal sound that strikes me as a weird cross of Dio/Queensryche (to my ears anyway) and Holy Soldier this album is first class. The production aspects of tone quality and sound spacing are very good. The performances of this four piece metal outfit also exceed expectations.

The song structures smack of Sacred Heart era Dio and Operation Mindcrime/Empire era Ryche. The balladry type songs have a more L.A. type vibe, but this isn’t a ‘hair band’ by any stretch. With much more depth to their songwriting and arranging (courtesy of Zaffiro I’d guess) Discerning the Times is a much more satisfying listen than other albums of that era. Perhaps that’s because it’s not stuck in the clichéd trappings of that era.

No ‘rock for the rock’ lyrics here or typical three chord progressions that end on E. This was a release I had to work for and truly listen to in order to digest all that is going on. Much like an oil painting, where much can be missed on the initial viewing but after spending time processing it a deeper appreciation is found.

From Byron Jacobs’s guitar playing, the strong vocal performance of Daniel J. Ysais and solid rhythm section of Ace McFadden on drums and bass player Ric Rodeheaver these guys were the real deal. Top flight musicians who all knew there way around their prospective instruments. For you fans of metal this album features strong guitar playing with knock out vocals.

Lyrically this album is deeper than most. Spiritual issues are discussed without the four spiritual laws every 30 seconds. Personally I find this very refreshing and much more engaging.

Broken Silence, Discerning the Times is another gem of a release for Retroactive Records. Grab your leather jacket, bullet belt and make your way to the front this one is sure to please.

9 axes

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We are simply blown away by all of this! Byron,Ace,Ric,Zippy (David Zaffiro), and myself spent many sleepless nights trying to get it right. To have it recognized now is pure blessing!

Daniel J Ysais