Christian hardcore

Spirit and the Bride

Linda | February 9, 2018

Josh screaming, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is just awesome to me.  I enjoy the “core” genres of music. Spirit and the Bride, is a Christian hardcore, metalcore, melodic hardcore band who is passionate about things of God. Their latest album “Dry Bones” has Christian based lyrics through and through. It’s heavy, with Josh effectively screaming truths of our being in the bloodline of Christ, Armageddon, perseverance in Christ, leaving a legacy of praise, God’s kingdom over everything, one true faith, putting on the armor of God and so much more. So many great biblical reminders presented through passionate, heavy music that moves you to do something about it.

The band began in 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. There have been a few band member changes but original members include Josh Simmons (vocals) and Adam Simmons (drums) and Josh Summerville (guitars), who just recently left the band (November, 2017).  The band is looking for a new guitarist. Jeremiah Medley started as the bass player in 2013. They are signed to “On The Attack Records”.

Spirit and the Bride’s discography consists of With Eyes and Ears to See and Hear (2016) and the most recent, Dry Bones (2017). The band is clearly passionate about their faith.  Talented musicianship is displayed, with creativity in the delivery. While hardcore can become far too repetitious at times, Spirit and the Bride know how to keep it interesting, taking you with them in a worshipful rendering of hardcore music. The Dry Bones album gives me a hopeful, reflective outlook and an enjoyable ride musically. This is a really solid album in every way.

I give it an 8 out of 10 rating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linda Fau

Owner/Blogger

With a passion for Rock and Roll with a purpose-driven message, I've dedicated myself to providing you with all the best news and resources possible for Rock 'n Roll with a Purpose. Rock on!

Islander, Power Under Control

Linda | February 12, 2017

I became obsessed with Islander’s Power Under Control when every song drew me in and kept me engaged. The songs vary in genre being described as alt-rock, punk via hip-hop inspired,  alt- punk, emo, second wave nu-metal, modern with some retro undertones and likened to a Deftones, POD, Afghan Whigs and Incubus. The album is wonderfully chaotic but comes together with a characterization of finding someone wrapped in a life of selfish hedonism and taking them by the hand to a more hopeful existence. Every song drew me in and kept me engaged. I loved the energy and every time I hit the last track on the album, I wanted to hear it again soon. When this happens, I know it’s going to be one of my journeys of complete album immersion. Power Under Control is such an album for me.

Islander signed with Victory Records and have released two EPs, Side Effects of Youth in 2012, Pains in 2013, a studio album, Violence and Destruction in 2014 and this album Power Under Control was released in 2016 with the band’s new line-up. Only Mikey Carvajal, the frontman for the band remains from the original band.  The current bassist is ex-ForeverAtLast bassist Ezekiel Vasquez, the drummer former is Arin Ilejay formerly of Avenged Sevenfold and guitarist J.R. Bareis, from Love and Death,  Brian “Head” Welch’s (Korn) band. Mikey revealed what he feels about the shift in band members, “I truly believe that what God tears down, God rebuilds,” says the singer, who, like Fieldy and Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch, is seriously devoted to his faith.” (Rolling Stone) The title of the album comes from the New Testament theme of power under control, realizing the power we possess as believers, but using that power in meekness.  The songs follow the adventures of a character that starts out angry, selfish and hedonistic and gradually learns the value of love and sacrifice.

The band has been reinvented into an exciting, eclectic combination of sounds bringing them a wider fanbase. When asked if there is a theme to the album, Mickey told Audi Ink Radio, “Absolutely. This album is a concept album following a character on their own path. They learn how to harness their energy for something good rather than having energy spewing out of their life in all directions. It’s all about being focused and at peace. That doesn’t come without a struggle though.” He also explained in another interview that “each song brings an attitude that represents the next step of the progression.” At the end of this road this progression, the power under control  is found.

The first song on the album “Darkness” picks up with a turbulent sound with rhythmic rapping and alternate singing that starts you off on this wild ride. The subject matter takes us to people that most of us know,  have known and in many cases have been who are admittedly hedonistic and selfish, just living life whatever way they choose with no thought for others and no apologies.  This song introduces you to a character running on the extreme end of “darkness”.  A sarcastic look at such a character makes you realize how empty that kind of life is and just plain void of any meaning or purpose. Have you known people who celebrate their bad behavior and just don’t want to change? Have you been there? This character refuses to look at their soul in the mirror to see how gross it really is. They use their self-destructive lifestyle for bragging rights. I can remember living life in the shadows, for only me. My experience wasn’t as extreme as this character but a walk in the dark to any extent is enough to remember how completely turbulent this type of life is. This brush with “Darkness” makes you want to cling to the light that Christ shines in a life surrendered to him and hang on for dear life. I remember having dreams as a new believer where I found myself slipping back in the darkness and it scared me to death.

Bad Guy starts with one of Mikey’s characteristic shrieks. I love that. It makes it feel natural. This song could have mainstream appeal and addresses a role that we all have to play at times. You know how sometimes you have to be the “bad guy or gal” and call out a friend on their bad behavior. It could be something that’s hurting them or those around them and someone has got to call it to the table. Nobody likes doing it but a true friend will play the bad guy if they have to.

This is something that I don’t wanna say
But I’m gonna say it
You better believe it

Green Slime Man is a quick 1:09 minutes long, starts out with a moody guitar intro, then steps into fast paced rhythm with hard hitting lyrics,

“because they’re all neon, and their all scary and mean”. What is the green slime man?

I tried to put it together, the Green Slime Man,  but I couldn’t figure out what the song is talking about. If you know what it means, maybe you can fill me in.

Take a ride with me to a Better DayWhen things get dark, we can go back and remember the good days. Deep down inside we know we can go back to those better days.

Cause you’ve been waiting for a better day (Waiting for it)
To come along and love you like it used to
Mend the pieces of your heart
Cause you’ve been waiting for a better day (Waiting for it)
To come along and love you like it used to
Mend the pieces of your heart
You’ve been waiting for a better day, a better day
(To love you like it used to like it used to)

The feeling of invincibility that often goes along with the teen years and for some sticks into adulthood can shut us off from sound advice and from building bridges with authority figures. The song’s characters, feeling powerful and independent, they don’t need anyone.  All these characters need is the crowd they run with and their music (punk rock). They run their own lives, separating themselves from anyone that tries to interfere.  All We Need reveals this mentality.

Out on the streets they’ve been calling the shots. But not for long because we run this block. On the grind, we’re on the clock. All we need is our punk rock.

Devil Red starts with the sounds of a party that goes into heavy metal guitar riffs described as “sneering punk meets hip hop meets emo meets proto-rock by Blabbermouth and then the musical sound of a warning that you would expect in a movie when something bad is about to happen. This leads into a detailed description of this Devil Red. The accuser of the brethren is being called out for his dirty deeds as ruler of the darkness. I love the intense feeling of the subject, yet the musically fun tone of the song. I love Mikey’s screams that totally fit the mood of the song. My favorite lyric in the song is,

You’re a mislabeled poison with a bitter aftertaste
They call you the lord of the flies….AHHH, Devil Red

It makes you want to go gang up on that demon of red and throw him into the pit ahead of his time.

A Boat Going By is a moody, short, instrumental that to me feels like a transitional time, taking you from darkness to a better day.

Starting out with music almost resembling church music, the lyrics to Beelzebub start out with a statement with shock appeal but musically carries a softer tone.

I know the church is a whore, but she’s my mother and I love her
There’s not a thing you could say, or price you could pay to make me think any less of her

Addressing problems in the church has left many with a dismal feeling of frustration. Recognizing the problems but keeping the love for God’s living organism, the church intact is something we all have to deal with. The song also seems to address government (taking away guns) and those that are aligning themselves with Satan, although they may not think of it that way.

You’ve got an engagement ring shining on your finger
You’re waiting to be married to hell
You’ve got an engagement ring shining on your finger
It’s beautiful
It’s beautiful as hell

Ready to crack a few dance moves, Think it Over gets you bopping. It is a hopeful song, encouraging and learning how to put that power under control into action (THINK it over).

Take a good look in the mirror, and tell me what you see
All I see is potential staring back at you and me

Embrace the good in life and run with your dreams is the message here. Celebrate the light. I love it, let’s go!

Dance Dance. Party trance
Get on the floor and take a chance
Move Move. Bust a groove
Get so crazy that you lose a tooth

Accepting the fact that some things in life change, they don’t Last Forever and others take time. Be it relationships, bands, families going their own separate ways, people leaving this earth or a host of other things, acceptance is key. We have to move on to the place God is taking us next. We can’t get stuck in the past.

And here I go again
Dreaming of the end
The beginning of my forever
No fear
I’m wanting more and more of what I have in store
A dream I’ve had since before I was born

One of my favorite songs on the album, Casket has a powerful message. It takes a good hard look at death and where it will be taking you. Putting your arm around a friend and helping them to see the two choices before them is not an easy thing to do but its reality. How can we just ignore this. We’ve got to clue them in to the ultimate reality and meaning of life itself.

Would you rather be devoured by the hounds of hell
Or would you rather say…
You can put me in a casket and lay it in a grave
Write my name on a tombstone, but I promise I’m okay
Throw my body in a river
Or burn it up in the flames
Write my name on a tombstone
I keep asking death “Where is your sting?”
I said it.

I love it! Death where is your sting? The song ends with that and I love the way “Sting” is drawn out by Mikey as the last word.

Bringing friends around to the promise of eternity with Jesus is the greatest privilege we get to experience. Wait For It is a pretty song describing to a friend what they should do to embrace life, to transfer their name from the book of death to the book of life. Listen to the album below on Spotify (free streaming) and feel the journey. Allow God to speak into your heart the message he has for you in it all and then talk about it with your friends. Be a good friend, make a difference.

 

Enjoy this amazing album of commotion, drama, twists and turns taking you from the pit of darkness where Devil Red and Beelzebub dwell and leading you to the light.  Rolling Stone quoting Islander who shared their feelings about what fans want from music,  Johnny Cash once said, ‘The people just want four chords and the truth,’ and at the end of the day I think that idea still applies.” Islander works hard to please and to bring hope to their growing fan base.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linda Fau

Owner/Blogger

With a passion for Rock and Roll with a purpose-driven message, I've dedicated myself to providing you with all the best news and resources possible for Rock 'n Roll with a Purpose. Rock on!

Norma Jean, Polar Similar

Donn King | January 8, 2017

From my first listen, this album just blows me away. Most albums take me a few listens to fall for, especially hardcore heavy metal. I like to read the lyrics and then listen again but that was not the case for this album.  It’s a perfect blend of screams and melodic singing. Everything just blends together in perfect harmony, with the lyrics going deep throughout the album dealing with abusive relationships. The band is not afraid to call abusers the cowards that they are. Norma Jean rocks as hard as any band out there, but more than that this is definitely the most polished that I’ve heard hardcore metal.

I first discovered Norma Jean back in 2006 right after getting saved and listened to Redeemer. I was shocked that Christian bands could sound like this. Norma Jean is more Christians in a band than a Christian band with some controversy to the lyrics. In the song 1,000,000 watts, they drop the f-bomb at the end of the song. It’s hard to hear but it’s there. I don’t agree with using curse words and try hard to avoid it myself. I think our language is to seasoned with salt but not salty but I will not condemn this album for their use of the word.

Quite simply this is my favorite album of 2016 and it was a stellar year for Christian music. I cannot recommend this album enough and can easily give 5 out of 5 stars. It may not be everyone’s taste but if you like good, hard metal, give this a listen.

Linda Fau

Owner/Blogger

With a passion for Rock and Roll with a purpose-driven message, I've dedicated myself to providing you with all the best news and resources possible for Rock 'n Roll with a Purpose. Rock on!

Fit For A King – Deathgrip

Donn King | December 8, 2016

Definitely a heavy metal band with good screaming. This is the group’s third release and might be a little controversial as the lyrics are pretty dark and delve into the violence and sometimes hopelessness of today’s society. The first track is titled, “Pissed Off” and you might wonder what’s Christian about that but we should be pissed off at the violence in society. I don’t find the language is an issue. My favorite song is ‘Cold Room’ and the best lyric is “I know it’s hard to forgive yourself, but there is life beyond the pain.”
I think that’s what I love about this album, yes, it’s dark and life can be dark but we know we have a light in Jesus. I’m glad that don’t shy away from the tough stuff.
I’m giving them a solid 4 out 5 stars. Definitely check them out.

Linda Fau

Owner/Blogger

With a passion for Rock and Roll with a purpose-driven message, I've dedicated myself to providing you with all the best news and resources possible for Rock 'n Roll with a Purpose. Rock on!

Theocracy, Ghost Ship

Donn King | November 20, 2016

This interesting band fits into the genre called power metal, which is more popular in Europe than in the US. It reminds me a lot of Stryper or from early Dream Theater from the secular scene. There’s no screaming and you can easily hear the lyrics. My favorite song is, “The Wonder Of It All.” A bit of the lyric is, “giving to receive, you’ll be exalted through humility. True freedom found through slavery. Behold: What a mystery. Last shall be first, a living water for eternal thirst. Two natures and a virgin birth, all woven in this story’s tapestry.” In Around the World and Back, they sing, “Grace has a way of building hope out of despair. Peel back layers of the baggage that you bear. And watch your great confusion vanish in the air.” Also give a listen to, A Call To Arms. There’s no doubt through these lyrics that this a Christian band, not simply a band made up of Christians. The heavy metal genre is filled with both, which each have their place. There is no doubt that Theocracy is a full-on Christian band wearing their faith from head to toe in their lyrics.

 4 out of 5 stars. Overall, very close to perfect. Give them a try.

Album Review by Donn King

https://www.facebook.com/theocracyband/

http://theocracymusic.com/

https://twitter.com/theocracyband

 

 

Linda Fau

Owner/Blogger

With a passion for Rock and Roll with a purpose-driven message, I've dedicated myself to providing you with all the best news and resources possible for Rock 'n Roll with a Purpose. Rock on!

Forfeit Thee Untrue

Linda | November 14, 2016

Brimming with talent and creativity, FTU, a metalcore band from South Africa got their start in 2006 in Benoni, Gauteng.  The band members are  lead vocalist and guitarist, Gideon Karsten, lead guitarist and vocalist, Mitch Pearson, bassist, Eckard van Tonder, and drummer and percussionist, Craig Palmer. Brimming with musical talent and creativity, Forfeit Thee Untrue has made quite a splash with their first studio full-length album, Cremationem Jesus Lacrimam (2016), with the Rottweiler Record label. They have revealed that the name of the album means “the cremation of Jesus’ tears”.

FTU is on the cutting edge of metal in South Africa, the live metal scene still being somewhat small. They enjoy playing with the local metal bands with no immediate plans to come to the US. Hopefully, a tour including the US will unfold as they gain momentum. The band’s first release was their Blood Soaked Splinter EP in 2013 with the Sanctus Gladius record label. As far as the metalcore/hardcore genre, there is real depth lyrically and musically to FTU’s music. There is a passion for excellence in the execution of each song that comes across the soundwaves and captures the spirit. The spirit of the music is encompassed by their heart for God. In an interview by Mace Beard with Mitch Pearson of the band, at the end of the interview was asked if there’s anything else he had to say, to which he stated “Just that we wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere near this far if it had not been for Jesus, our Lord and Saviour. We don’t take credit for this album or the band. It is for His honour and we do what we do only for the furthering of His Holy Word.”

What is behind the band’s name? In a interview by His Divine Shadow the band explained, “Forfeit Thee Untrue” comes from an idea, philosophy and band mission statement to get rid of the fake areas in one’s life; whether it be in one’s own heart, at school, at work, in relationships, in politics, in religion, etc. and subsequently to strive for being yourself and being real, to drop the masks and to be/become the person God created you to be.” What a great mission statement. If you haven’t heard Forfeit Thee Untrue, listen to the Cremationem Jesus Lacrimam, you can listen to the album playlist on You Tube using the link below.

CREATIONEM JESUS LACRIMAM by Forfeit Thee Untrue

Like FTU on Facebook.

 

Linda Fau

Owner/Blogger

With a passion for Rock and Roll with a purpose-driven message, I've dedicated myself to providing you with all the best news and resources possible for Rock 'n Roll with a Purpose. Rock on!

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