Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sent By Ravens - We're All Liars


Band:  Sent By Ravens
Song:  We're All Liars
Album:  Mean What You Say
Genre:  Hard Rock

One of the things that bugs me about pandering lyrics is that they don't usually have anything hard to say.  That's a bit of a generational thing to be fair.  Gen Z (about 20 and younger) all really want things to be raw and open and that's just not something that people really enjoyed as much before this.

Before I get a mountain of my church peeps linking me to all those articles I see them share about how Millennials need to stop church bashing, that's not what this post is about, even if it sounds like it.  I love most of my church community, and as such I'm more critical of things I love than I am of things I hate.  I'm human, sue me.

There's always songs here and there about not forgetting the people that you might not notice.  While I'm sure a lot of people have their eyes opened by stuff like this, there's a lot of people legitimately hurt by overly judgemental Church folks.  I for example am a 6ft tall guy with a shaved head and tattoos who wears a lot of black.  I don't get the nicest looks everywhere I go, and at this point I'm kinda resigned to it.  People don't notice subtle judgement like that though, it's just one of those things we do without really thinking about it.  I know I'm guilty of it from time to time too.

And there's a lot of songs about people doing that too.  Plenty of songs about that.  There's not as many Christian songs about it though, and that's one of the things that bugs me.  Granted, we need to display as united a front as possible and don't want to advertise we've got issues, but some people need to wake up to the fact that what seems like casual normal things to them actively push others out.

This song is about a guy who was hurt by the church.  As the song goes on the realization is made not only are people fallible, but there's accountability on both sides, yours included.



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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Haste The Day - Fallen


Band:  Haste The Day
Song:  Fallen
Album:  When Everything Falls
Genre:  Hardcore

One thing that tends to drive me crazy is when Christian bands constantly pander to their audience with church phrases and sayings.  You can single bands out pretty easily that musically might stand apart, but then once the singing starts you hear those church/bible phrases that immediately label a band really harshly.

I'm not saying this is a bad thing.  The reason Christian Contemporary Music is a genre at all is because there's so many bands that do this.  It's turned it into a whole thing and it's great for people who like that.  Not me, but I'm not about to write off an entire genre because I don't like their imagery.

Here's the issue though.  When that's the only style of music available you're going to have issues.  Me for example.  If I was a new believer one thing I'd really chafe at would be a lack of music for me to get into.  Music, as I'm sure y'all might have noticed, is a big deal to me.  If I came in and found that not only am I being told I have to give up all my old music (totally separate issue there) but that all I have to replace it is Casting Crowns, Aaron Shust, and Jeremy Camp I'd have some issues to address right quick.

Just cause a band has the religious label attached to them doesn't mean they need to be less good than their secular counterpart.  I know a lot of this is because people aren't familiar with a lot of what to give people to listen to, but I'm gonna make it a minor mission to let people know where to find the good Christian Metal stuff.

If you are of a religious background and don't believe me, go ahead and check the lyrics for the songs I'm posting during this whole rant week I'm on, please.  They're all pretty solid.



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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Impending Doom - Death. Ascension. Resurrection.


Band:  Impending Doom
Song:  Death. Ascension. Resurrection.
Album:  Baptised In Filth
Genre:  Deathcore

Here's the best way for a Christian band to do well though, do they know what genre they are playing?

There's a lot of Christian acts that don't know where their sound is supposed to be.  Like, I would be pissed if I went to see an Impending Doom show and it turned into a conventional worship set.  I'd love to hear it happen cause I feel like they'd have a really cool take on a lot of the music, but at the same time that's not what I paid to see.

This isn't really an issue in the Christian Metal community, but a lot of the Rock acts will sometimes slip stuff like that in.  I'm reasonably convinced that there will never really be any good Christian Rock because of stuff like this.  There's a huge difference between a whorship act and a Rock act, and those boundries need to be respected for a band to be a solid crossover.

In the Hardcore community there's basically no cares about whether a band is religious or not.  The fans are solidly of the opinion that if the music is good they'll be happy.

Look at Impending Doom again as my example.  Their lyrics are incredibly obviously religious from the very beginning, but since musically they are one of the titans of Deathcore nobody really cares.

The musical quality majorly affects how I judge the band.  For the most part Christian Rock can be picked out of a lineup really easily, so anything that helps separate them from the masses is a win in my book.

On the band though, they're almost done recording a new album and I'm really freaking pumped.  I have their logo tattooed into my skin, so you could say I'm a bit of a fan.  It's supposed to drop this year, so look out for an album review of that one for sure.



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Monday, July 17, 2017

Demon Hunter - Crucifix


Band:  Demon Hunter
Song:  Crucifix
Album:  True Defiance
Genre:  Metalcore

Gonna do a switch up on music for a little bit.  For the next few weeks I'm only going to post Christian artists that I find to be actually good.

I feel I have made it very clear that I generally despise Christian media since the whole trend of settling for a slightly lesser product started strong in the 80s and 90s and is only starting to change recently.

One of the criteria I judge by is whether the group is a crossover success into the secular music scene.  If a band manages to please both audiences they generally are a really solid act.  There's opinion based objections to that rule of course, but all in all it's a solid rule of thumb.

One of the things that can keep a really solid Christian artist from being a solid crossover act is how open they are about their faith.  Skillet is a solid example of stradleing the line.  Their live shows are very obviously Christian events, but their music is solidly middle of the road enough to give them a fan base that spans both sides of the line rather nicly.

After that a lot of my sentiments are more opinion based, but I'll give you one tomorrow that'll offer a different option.



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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Disciple - 321


Band:  Disciple
Song:  321
Album:  Southern Hospitality
Genre:  Southern Rock

Apparently when I first started listening to Disciple I was listening to the wrong stuff.  This is the album I had access to first and honestly, I wasn't too thrilled with it.  All in all it was ok, but it didn't grab my attention the same way the other music I was given at the time was.  Demon Hunter, Haste The Day, and Impending Doom managed to majorly beat these guys out.

Now my brother is way into Disciple though and directed me toward some of their better tunes.  I'm finally actually starting to listen to them and I'm rather happy I've finally made the effort to do so.  They're a solid group that I'd advise you check out.  If you don't know where to start, check their newest album, Long Live The Rebels.



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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Dethklok - Crush The Industry


Band:  Dethklok
Song:  Crush The Industry
Album:  Dethalbum III
Genre:  Death Metal

Firstly, I'm really pissed that Adult Swim didn't allow another season of Metalocalypse to be made.  I freaking loved that show and all I get is the unfinished product that it ended up being.  Still good, but also not quite completed.

But hey, musically we got 3 great albums that showcased Brendon Small's rise from just kinda caring about what he was doing to actually getting good at it and knocking the performance out of the park.  Dethalbum III was a great example of his vocal work improving from the first one especially.

Good work Brendon.



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Friday, July 14, 2017

Men At Work - Down Under


Band:  Men At Work
Song:  Down Under
Album:  Business As Usual
Genre:  New Wave, Reggae Rock

While I can't really say I've ever listened to other music by these guys and actually enjoyed it, I love all the Australia in this one.

What can I say, I find stereotypes to be funny.



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