Sound of the Saints is a fresh, new studio project from Audio Adrenaline which includes a reenergized lineup and marks the debut of frontman Adam Agee, as he seamlessly transitions into this new role where he's a perfect fit. The album is a unique collection, but with a timeless feel.
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Love was Stronger
Sound of the Saints
Out of the Fire
Saved My Soul
So Can I
Kings & Queens (ft. Adam Agee)[iTunes bonus]
Sound of the Saints (ft. His Little Feet International Choir)[iTunes bonus]
The Sound of New Life| Posted April 30, 2015
If you were to sum up the status of one of CCM's most beloved groups in social media terminology, it would probably sound a lot like "it's complicated."
Audio Adrenaline founder and former frontman Mark Stuart brought the band out of retirement back in 2012 with dc Talk alumnus Kevin Max at the wheel and an all-star cast of fellow bandmates to back his soaring vibrato chops, including Superchick's Dave Ghazarian, Bleach's Jared Byers and longtime bassist Will McGinniss returning as the only original member. Allowing fans a brief period to overcome the initial shock, the group released 2013's 5 star smash Kings & Queens. Thus, AA 2.0 was born.
However, it wasn't meant to last.
It happened steadily: one by one, members of the reconstructed group began to come and go with various faces taking their places as time went on. The most devastating blow came in early 2014 when Max announced his departure as lead vocalist after just 16 months. You could appropriately say that their heart was caving in.
Fast forward 10 months: It's 2015. After a brief stint as the worship band on the Acquire The Fire circuit (with former Abandon lead singer Josh Engler temporarily taking on vocal duties), it was announced that the group has reformed for the third time, introducing us to yet another new cast with no remaining members of the original band in sight. Needless to say, some fans grew frustrated.
That doubt didn't last very long though. Spirits began to change with the release of the born again Audio A's first single "Love Is Stronger." Hopes steadily grew as those opposed to yet another change started to realize that this new formation could somehow still work.
Now composed of former Stellar Kart frontman Adam Agee, Wavorly's Dave Stovall and fresh faces Brandon Bagby and Jack Campbell, Audio Adrenaline 3.0 is out to prove that there is still life left in this group with 2015's Sound Of The Saints.
With Agee at bat, I initially feared a Stellar Kart copycat where one of the most beloved bands in CCM would be morphed into a punk act (there's nothing wrong with that sound, but it's not Audio Adrenaline). Those nerves subsided as I dove into this album and began to realize that though the edge is definitely there, there is more this four piece than meets the eye.
"Move" and "Out Of The Fire" are blazing anthems that echo the unique spirit the group set forth all those years ago. Both will be incendiary tracks when performed live and are sure to set off the spark in listeners both old and new.
Meanwhile, the title track "Sound Of The Saints" turns the tables and proves that this group can also get raw and worshipful: "From the lips of those You've saved, a redemption song will rise / With a sound so full it cracks the skies."
While the first half of the album is full of strong moments both lyrically and melodically, it begins to flatline with some filler tracks as time goes on. There's nothing particularly memorable about the second half of the project, and while it has its moments, if you're like me you'll find yourself going back to repeat the first several tracks again to keep yourself interested.
I have mixed feelings regarding Sound Of The Saints. While I fully believe in the mission Audio Adrenaline 3.0 is out to tackle, I don't feel confident in this being the strongest material they could have put forth. I feel as if more time spent as a group could have better established their developing sound rather than releasing immediately to maintain momentum.
Still, there are several bright spots on this project, and each one speaks volumes to what may be to come from this talented group of underdogs.
Song To Download Now:
"Move" (Get it on iTunes here.)
The Sound of . . . Not Audio Adrenaline| Posted August 21, 2015
If anyone else has been disappointed with the direction Audio Adrenaline has been taking recently, please let me know. Since 2006, when original lead vocalist Mark Stuart decided to disband due to vocal cord damage, the Christian music world took a hard loss to one of the greats. Well, since then, the group has “rebanded” (more like rebranded), consisting of Kevin Max as the lead singer. The only original member had been bassist Will McGuinness. However, for 2015’s Sound of the Saints, the band is headed up by Stellar Kart’s Adam Agee, with no original founding members. Sound of the Saints (2015): 11 tracks, 40 minutes
Although this album is most definitely not Audio Adrenaline-esque, I like that “Love Was Stronger,” “Miracles,” and “World Changers” echo “Kings & Queens” and some other songs from the last effort. At least they’re being somewhat consistent. “Out of the Fire” and “Saved My Soul” have a fun, upbeat vibe. The electronic feel on “Move” doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the songs and “Rejoice” and “Spirit Burn” had me yawning. Nothing special on either of them, except for some decent lyrics. “So Can I” stands out mostly because of its keys-based nature.
There are some excellent lyrics on this record. “So Can I” is a great song all-around. “Out of the Fire” has a great message, “I want the world to know / There is an antidote / A cure for this disease / You are the remedy, You are the remedy,” while “Miracles” emphasizes a great point about how God works: “It's amazing how You move / It's not always parting oceans / Sometimes it's the little moments / When You show how close You are.” “Rejoice” reminds us of Job, when Adam relates, “Mysteries and trials test my faith / Questions without answers every day / Even when life takes away / And they all say to curse Your name / I will rejoice `cause Your light leads me home” and “Spirit Burn” pleads “Holy fire fall like rain / Mark Your church to bear Your name / Come in power, come and reign / Sanctify and stir Your saints.”
However, I do have some objections. I’m not going to say that I hate this album; I don’t. But, just like Kings & Queens, it’s not Audio Adrenaline. I won’t downplay that Audio A is doing great work with the orphans of Haiti through their Hands & Feet Project. I think that’s great. But I think they need to go back to their roots and pull out some classic sounds. On this record they feature a song called “Rejoice.” If you recall, there was a song on Lift that was also by that title and they sound nothing alike. At all. I think that should be illegal, even if it was thirteen years ago. A bonus track features the new lead vocalist, Adam Agee doing a cover of “Kings & Queens.” Would it kill you to do a cover of classic Audio A?
I admit, if someone bought me this, I wouldn’t throw it directly in the trash. Maybe that’s because I’m a music collector, but that’s beside the point. As far as I know, Mark Stuart is still in on the writing process, so there’s still a sliver of hope for Audio A yet. And maybe it’s not as bad as I make it out to be. I mean, there are some decent tracks on here, they just don’t sound like their namesake. That’s what really disappoints me. Maybe I should start a petition. 7.0/10