The End of Silence

Rollins Band / Henry Rollins

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The End of Silence Review

by John Franck

With the exception of 1989's Hard Volume, Henry Rollins' solo profile had been relegated to the minor leagues following his departure from neo-punk stalwarts Black Flag. But with the 1992 release of The End of Silence, Rollins' first official effort for the burgeoning Imago label, everything changed, partly because The End of Silence was launched with the appropriate bells and whistles normally reserved for well-established acts. Rollins Band was paired with Andy Wallace, an established producer capable of bringing the Rollins vision to fruition, who intuitively placed the singer's voice at the forefront of the album's incendiary mix. The dead-on, ultra-separated, compact sound of The End of Silence went a long way toward broadening the singer's potential audience. Not only is the record a full-blown sonic assault, delivered with typical, deadpan Rollins honesty, it delivered in the songwriting department as well, making it the singer's most focused record to date. The first single, "Low Self Opinion," was bludgeoning and menacing, Rollins' visceral, introspective commentary taking no prisoners. On other songs like "Grip" and "What Do You Do" (which clocked in at just under seven and a half minutes), the singer furthered a vision that launched a hundred imitators. "Tearing," the record's excellent second single, was also a boon for the vocalist, benefiting from some substantial airtime on MTV Headbanger's Ball; it further cemented Rollins' profile with yet another audience: metalheads. Rollins released other solid records, but The End of Silence remains his best.

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