Broken Silence - Discerning The Times as reviewed by The Phantom TollboothWith little notice or advertising, Retroactive Records brings another long-lost and highly sought-after classic heavy metal album out of obscurity.

Title: Discerning the Times (re-issue)
Artist: Broken Silence
Label: Retroactive Records
Time: 13 tracks/54:48 min.

Out of nowhere, Retroactive Records puts out this highly sought after collector's album. Like, literally out of nowhere – one day there is nothing, and then next thing you know this CD is available everywhere with no announcements, promos, or anything. Even the discussion board users that seem to know every inside detail were shocked when this re-issue appeared.

Broken Silence was one of those "should have been" stories from heavy metal history that we all know – with one exception: they did release an album. Only in Japan, of course – but they did at least get that far. Discerning The Times is this album – and it is one killer metal album at that. Broken Silence had a few connections with Holy Soldier... I would say that they both float in the same metal waters while still maintaining their distinct flavors.  They both have great air guitar-inducing hooks that are a bit commercial while still being progressive. They both have talented musicians in every position. They both have excellent (although ultimately different sounding) vocalists.

The 2011 re-issue has been re-mastered and placed in a digipack that has lyrics, details, and a bio. No bonus tracks, but with 13 tracks on the original there is no complaint there. The re-mastering sounds great to these ears (although I have read the original wasn’t that bad to begin with). So whether you have wanted this classic for years or are just in the mood for some great classic metal, you will find a welcome addition to your collection with this CD.

By Matt Crosslin  (June 29, 2011)