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The Essentials: Spoken
NRT's Ryan Adams highlights some of the Christian metal band's best songs for fans new and old

AN NRT EXCLUSIVE ARTICLE, The Essentials: Spoken
Posted: June 11, 2024 | By: RyanAdams_NRT
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Spoken emerged as a beacon of authenticity and innovation in the hard rock scene in the early 2000s, captivating listeners with their dynamic blend of alternative rock and post-hardcore, later merging into metalcore. What sets Spoken apart is not only their infectious melodies and gritty vocals but also their unwavering commitment to sincerity and vulnerability in their music.
With a knack for crafting introspective and positively emotionally charged lyrics, the band invites us on a journey of self-discovery and resilience. Their music serves as a poignant reflection of the human experience, exploring themes of struggle, hope, and redemption with raw honesty and depth. Their newest album, Reflection, is a prime example of their talents.
I'm drawn to Spoken not only for their undeniable musical talent but also for their ability to connect on a deeply personal level, offering solace and inspiration in equal measure. Whenever I spin one of their albums, I walk away feeling encouraged in life and faith, and I hope you'll discover that, too, today. They're approaching 25 years of music and still put on energetic, powerful live performances, delivering hope and faith to their listeners, wherever they find them.
"Sleeper (Feat Ryan Clark")
Coming fresh from their newest, eighth studio album, Reflection"Sleeper" is one of the heaviest songs that Spoken has created. But it's much more than a hard-hitting song--it's an exploration of the human condition, our natural sinful souls awaiting spiritual awakening. The guest vocals from Ryan Clark from Demon Hunter are a great addition. Reflection is one of the best records from Spoken to date, and I love the modern mix on the record, too.  This song proves that lead singer and writer, Matt Baird, continues to utilize his nearly 25 years in the music world to write deep, thought-provoking, and mature songs that fans who seek real music find enjoyment and solace in.

From album number seven--titled IX--came two hit singles, "This Is Not The End" and "Stronger," both of which have resonated with fans as they inject positivity and encouragement into their lives. With "Stronger," we hear Spoken's vulnerability in songwriting which reaches hurting people. With relatable lyrics like, "Sometimes you hurt so long/you don't even notice the pain is gone/…you can make it to a place where you are stronger," it's no wonder why this song has become a fan favorite with more than a million streams on Spotify alone.

"Falling Apart"
Showcasing that Spoken has always been a voice for the hurt and lost, "Falling Apart" is sure to pull on your heartstrings although it's not a ballad. This is from the band's sixth album, Breathe Again. When Matt screams the chorus of "You wear your pain, you wear it well/So deep inside, no one can tell/That you are falling apart/So, I will be here for you," you can't help but know this is a pain that we have all felt at one point. The sympathy and hope that Spoken shares in songs like this truly come from a place of eternal hope.

"Through It All"
My favorite album (until Reflection began to compete with that position) is Spoken's fifth album Illusion. This record showcased the band's ability to evolve their post-hardcore sound and mold it into a more metalcore mix. Yet, despite the harsh vocals and intense music that the band had already proved their expertise in by this point, fans attached to the ballad "Through It All." By far the most steamed song in the band's history, "Through It All" resonates with listeners because it's an anthem of resilience yet places the source of that endurance in surrender to God in the bridge. This song deserves the recognition it has.

"Close Your Eyes"
In my opinion, Spoken peaked in their post-hardcore era with their self-titled fourth studio record. From the opening lines of "Close Your Eyes," you'll hear them come to live with emo-like screams and guitar tones that will take you back to middle school, screaming My Chemical Romance in the car. Make no mistake: Spoken's songwriting has improved over the years, but this single stands out for its raw sound and visceral screams.

A prime example of Spoken's timeless sound is found in their third studio album, Last Chance To Breathe. The influence of the song "September" is heard through the rest of Spoken's discography. The mix of melodic verses, catchy choruses, and relationship-focused songwriting. I think sometimes, in songwriting like this, the line can blur, leaving it open to interpretation on who it's written for. I often listen to these kinds of songs in the lens of my relationship with God, as I know Matt's faith in God influences his writing. This era of heavy Christian music was a breakthrough for many bands, Spoken included.


All the way back at the turn of the century, 2003 saw Spoken's second album, A Moment Of Imperfect Clarity, releasing, with "Promise" as the lead single. If the lyrics, "Things will get better, this I promise you/and I know/loneliness won't last forever," doesn't bring comfort, I don't know what will. This song continues to be one of my favorite Christian music songs of all time with such an encouraging message, sweet riffs, and those earlier, raw vocals from Matt.

Who would have thought that a band like Spoken would still be rocking 20 years later? I'm glad they are and making some of their best music to date with the release of their newest album Reflection.


Ryan Adams lives in Las Vegas with his family and spoiled rotten dog. He is an avid supporter of the Christian rock and metal scenes.

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