When you think of Christian music, the name Trent Reznor doesn't usually pop into your head. However, it's no secret that Trent and his experimental music project, Nine Inch Nails, is one of the biggest influences for Josh Dies and his band, Showbread. While older Showbread only had hints of NIN, shades of the mainstream nu-metal act can be heard all throughout the new double disc odyssey, Anorexia Nervosa. The first half of the set, Anorexia, is more like NIN than Nervosa is, with lots of electronic sounds and eerie vocals, but it still has a lot of the aspects that drew people to Showbread in the first place.
An important thing to remember about the lyrics for both albums is that they are meant to go along with the story portion of the package. If you read just the lyrics, and had no knowledge of the stories or what they were about, you might question the band a little or be concerned for where they are in their relationships with Jesus - Not necessarily lyrics like in "The Sky Alpha," which is sung from Jesus' perspective ("But here I am, I say to you, though you turn away it is My will to love you for forevermore, peace be still, peace be still"). Rather, lyrics such as "My will is everything, my will be done" in "The Goat," or "Where is the light that I thought I was promised? Where is the truth, and the hope, and the way?...Is all there is just nothing at all? Is there anything that matters?") from "The End." What may seem like cries of despair from Josh and the other Showbread guys are actually just lyrics written as the soundtrack to the story of the girl Anorexia, the main character for the first half of the project. It's almost as if the guys had no desire whatsoever for the story and album to be separated at all.
The story of Anorexia is a good read, even by itself really, though without the music, it's a quick read and you don't really get the full effect. And to ensure that you are reading along at the right times, there are minute and second markers in front of each section of each chapter, and they indicate the approximate point of the song at which you should start reading that section. Sometimes you have to read fast, but most of the time you have plenty of time to read before hitting the next time marker. On occasion, there will be a lot of listening involved before getting to the next section of the chapter. In one instance, there is about a minute and a half of listening. It gets a little aggravating sometimes, as it may be a little difficult to keep the imagery of the story in your head, but thankfully this doesn't occur all too often on Anorexia.
The story revolves around a young girl named Anorexia, who one day decides to devote her life to building a huge tower in order to reach the sky. "To reach the glory of the sky, surely this is the greatest honor that there is to know. I will build a tower in order to propel myself miles above and beyond this horrible planet earth. I will be revered for this good work and the people down below will look to my tower, no longer seeing me, as I will have vanished into the clouds. This will be my life's work, with this deed I will discover the secret of fulfillment." During her increasingly tiresome labor, she is met by several different animals, who question, attack, or try to deceive her. After building and building, she finds that her work is for nothing, and has no choice but to give up. It's not quite the end there, but I just can't find it in myself to say anything about how it does end. It's a simply beautiful ending, and if you really get yourself involved in the story, and you let the music in the background move you, it will bring a tear or two to your eye.
Though the story/album combination is pretty much a necessity, I know there are still those who just want to jam out to the new Showbread album. Again, though the lyrics might be a little odd when they stand alone, if you can get past that, it's a solid album to rock out to. From the creepy child's laughter and xylophone at the very beginning, to the Project 86-esque guitar riffs of "The Sky" and the harsh screams from Showbread veteran Ivory Mobley in "The End," straight into the peaceful piano ending of "The Beginning," it's Showbread at some of its finest. Although, without the stories, some of the instrumentals just might not work out for you. However, it's still a project (and band) worth investing in.
- Review date: 5/8/08, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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uh-maze-in| Posted March 23, 2009
the best album u will ever hear, period. this band has a sound and lyrical message that is second to none.so refreshing considering the state of the scene these days,and all together ridiculous in every regard. a masterpiece.
F'Showbread It's Amazing| Posted July 29, 2008
I canít believe this album hasnít gotten more attention! They can play better then most metal bands and the best lyrics in the world. Yes the albums are a little creepy and address some things that small kids or sheltered people shouldnít read but they show the awesome power of Godís love. The music is some of the best out there get it right now.
Anorexia| Posted June 26, 2008
This cd and its counterpart completely blew me away. The unique thing about this cd is the story that goes with it, this story is so beautifully written it can make one cry. Besides the story there is sooo much other stuff worth exploring in the cd case. Reading the story while listening to the music will definitely enhance the experience, but the music can also be enjoyed by itself. Showbread has put together a classic.
incredible| Posted May 25, 2008
Anorexia Nervosa is an amazing artistic undertaking from a band who doesn't care about popularity and radio singles. They are making music and in this case stories for the sake of the art, the message, and the few who enjoy it. Kudos to Josh Dies and company. Anorexia is probably my favorite of the two. The Pig is amazing, among others.
Simply Amazing| Posted May 20, 2008
To get the full experience, take the band's advice and read the story along with listening to the album. It's not the same w/o the story, however, the album is great either way. If your not use to the music, some of the frequencies and stuff may get to you a little, however on a whole, this project by Showbread resulted in a great way!
Not just another music CD| Posted May 20, 2008
I'm not really that into Showbread, but when I found out about Anorexia Nervosa I was intrigued. This album was definately not meant to be seperate from the accompanying story. It really is an interesting story, too. And even if you aren't really excited about the rest of the album, the end makes it worth getting through. I'm definately going to put Nervosa on my list to buy next.
I know its not out yet but...| Posted April 29, 2008
I heard some of the songs they put up on myspace from the cd, and its sounds pretty cool. i am definately willing to give it a try.
It sounds a little bit different but they still kept who they are as a band.