I miss going to live shows. I miss supporting the bands on the road by going to their shows, as I'm sure many of you do, too. But, hold fast. We have hope in the Lord that what is going on in our lives and in our world is only temporary. He will set all things right, and in fact, is in total control of the present and future. I will rest in Him and wait for concerts with anticipation. I hope this content is helpful and encouraging for you.
New Artist: A Moment In Pompeii
A Moment in Pompeii, or AMIP, is a metalcore act that strikes a balance between technical and melodic songwriting. They feature heavy down-tuned guitars and bass that holds down rhythmic breakdown sections, and fast aggressive leads. Their melodic choruses are mixed in for good measure. The lyrical content of their music often touches on the struggles we face that others don't see–in our hearts and in our heads–while also exploring the concepts of renewal and recovery.
A Moment In Pompeii recently released its second musical release, Empty Eyes, an EP with four very heavy songs. Their first album, Burden, is fantastic. If you're looking for a much heavier faith-based band, AMIP has you covered.
Rockfest Records Sampler
Due to the lack of concerts and music festivals, I will be swapping out the New Tour spotlight with other news until they return. Rockfest Records is getting to be a well-known record label in the Christian-based rock and metal scene. They have been releasing albums from new artists, as well as releasing solid albums from already-established bands. The list of artists and bands include The Persuaded, Amongst The Giants, Zahna, The Protest, Seventh Day Slumber, Random Hero, Relent, and soon to be The Letter Black.
To celebrate their success and give fans new and old a taste of what they can do, Rockfest Records released a sampler album with 21 songs from each artist (except The Letter Black). Check it out for yourself. And, send it to a friend who likes rock or metal to share a message of hope.
Kutless Rock EP
Kutless is making a new rock EP. That's something I didn't expect to say again since they moved from rock to a more contemporary sound years ago. I'm ecstatic about this because their earlier albums were foundational in the Christian rock scene of the mid-2000s. Their post on social media says it all.
"Hey fam, we love you. We are excited to update you about the new Kutless album. This year has been kind of crazy, for all of us. Originally, James was planning on co-producing this album with Josiah Prince from Disciple, and they were hoping to get started around mid-March. Then James broke his ankle in January and has been recovering since then, unable to travel or even walk, then this whole COVID-19 thing happened. The good news is that "life stuff" has settled down enough that James and Josiah finally got started on the new Kutless album. We are planning on this project being an EP (approximately six songs), and it is going to be very heavy, like heavier than Hearts of the Innocent. Who's stoked for a new Kutless album?" I am stoked, Kutless. I hope you are, too."
Throwback: Manafest, The Chase
Until the release of this album, Manafest had written four primarily rap and hip-hop driven albums, with occasional rock elements, specifically when Trevor McNevan from Thousand Foot Krutch was on guest vocals. Those songs were a success. And, I imagine Manafest wanted to see how fans would like a rock-driven album. The result was The Chase in 2010. With three songs with Trevor and one with Kenta Koie from Crossfaith (on the Japanese and YouTube alternative version) on "No Plan B", the response was clear: Fans love the rock elements.
Manafest's single, "Avalanche," reached number four on the contemporary hit radio (CHR) charts in September 2010. This was followed by the single "Bring the Ruckus," which reached number one on the CHR charts in August 2011. The single "No Plan B" reached the top spot on ChristianRock.Net's charts, while "Bring the Ruckus" made it into their top five, as well. The Chase launched Manafest even further into fan's hearts and minds across the world. Since The Chase, he has continued to make rock-centered albums rather consistently. Check out this major album in Manafest's now fourteen-album discography.
Devotional: Nine Lashes, "Guilty Hands"
Nine Lashes' 2014 album, From Water To War, is a personal favorite, as it was one of the first Christian-based rock albums I bought and listened to all the way through. I liked their Ascend album, though it didn't have the sound I grew to love from them. Now, they are back and heavier than before, with "Guilty Hands." The song is heavy musically and deep lyrically. "Guilty Hands" is a plea to stop bearing the weight of your guilt. You can stop running, stop fighting, and come home.
Nine Lashes shares some greater depth on the song themselves, saying "We have all been to the place where we try and do things ourselves and through our on visions. It's kinda silly really when we believe and know God sees the best path for us. One of my favorite lines in the song: "Is my name not forgiveness?" No matter how distant we are God is ready to welcome us home with open arms and forgive us. We are all back together as a band and really have been having so much fun writing these new songs. We all gathered together one day at my house and over a great meal. We decided on a new vision for Nine Lashes. We felt, for now, God has really set things up for us to be able to get this music out and the message of each track needs its own spotlight."
Ryan Adams grew up in Idaho and currently lives in Ohio. His high school best friend introduced him to heavy music and fell in love with it ever since. He loves sharing his passion for heavy music with NRT. // Photo by Mantas Hesthaven from Pexels
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