With Death by Admiration, Christian rock cornerstone Seventh Day Slumber is delivering a combination sucker punch of pain and healing on their hardest-hitting album yet.
Seventh Day Slumber's 13th studio release was produced by Kellen McGregor of Memphis May Fire, who worked in close collaboration with Joseph Rojas (vocals), Blaise Rojas (drums), Weston Evans (guitar) and Ken Reed (bass). As a result, Death by Admiration is a collection of 10 songs that elevates Seventh Day Slumber's established sound to a brand new intensity, rich with searing guitar riffs and scorchingly authentic lyrics. The musical innovation speaks to the caliber of the musicians involved. The deeply personal lyrics speak to the way the band has always invited honesty from their listeners: by sharing their own story first.
"Death by Admiration is about a difficult time in my life when I was struggling with alcoholism," frontman Joseph Rojas shares. "I'm speaking to you, saying: 'I overcame this. You can too.'"
Death by Admiration is available on January 28 through Rockfest Records.
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Death By Admiration: Exemplary Christian Rock| Posted January 31, 2022 What You Need To Know:
This is Seventh Day Slumber's thirteenth album - Death By Admiration. It was produced and mixed by Kellen McGregor. The lead singer, Joseph Rojas, leads Rockfest Records, where Christian rock bands are being signed to and supported. This album comes only one year after the release of the band's latest contemporary album Unseen: The Lion and the Lamb.
What It Sounds Like:
The band takes the rock music that they have developed over the years and continues to shape with the modern rock sound around them. The guitars are toned low and take the focus of the mix, the bass chugs along, drums are commanding, and the vocals are gritty. Rojas' expert vocal range lends well to the emotional range of the songs. The record is one of their most aggressive rock albums too, with only 1 ballad, closing the album.
Seventh Day Slumber remains a consistent and influential voice for Christian rock. Biblical hope and foundations have always been at the center of their music and Death By Admiration is no different. Coming from a difficult upbringing, Rojas' songwriting often hits sensitive subjects, but hope is always near.
Here are some highlights in this lyrically deep record. With hypocrisy is a primary, about half of the songs are specifically focused on this theme. "Solemn Oath" targets hypocrisy with the cry, "I pray to God/that one day you will finally change!" Along with promises to not be like the hypocrite, this kind of empathy through pain is a great example of the love that only the Holy Spirit can bring.
"What I've Become" explores the guilt felt in being lost in addiction, which was also the lead single. "Halos" meets us within our pain in grief, with "I know it's not my fault/but I'm consumed with the thought of your last words." This song is also one of the heaviest musically and vocally.
The lead single, "What I've Become," is a prime example of Seventh Day Slumber's musical growth through the years while sticking to their guns. Some songs on the record show a heavier, experimental side, while others focus on the tried-and-true rock and roll that fans know and love from the band. So, "What I've Become" is highlight, as its foundations are in the band's bigger hits, yet shows growth in the sound.
The songwriting is close to Rojas' heart and powerful testimony to Christ, as it explores a broken life crying out, "Another night, I'm all alone/Peeling my skin down to the bone/My eyes becoming bloodshot/From the hands around my throat." Yet, the hope found in Christ is present, as it delivers hope, surrendering, "God, am I too late?/Oh, come and open up my eyes/I give it all to you tonight."
Seventh Day Slumber's Death By Admiration is a war cry against hypocrisy and heralds hope despite the pain and destruction around our lives. As expected, the band keeps a biblical hope as the foundation for songs that tackle sensitive themes.
The crisp mixing on the record sounds different and the hyper focus on hypocrisy as a theme might get old for some listeners wanting more variety in thematic writing. Though, it is a topic that needs to be addressed in a mature, biblical way, which they do well. After 25 years, they show that they can still rock and roll without losing their signature sound.