A Relevant and Aggressive Highlight
Posted October 08, 2015
By JJFrancesco_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Opting to split their new album into 2 EPs, Seventh Day Slumber have returned to their rock roots with Redline, the first half of their new record. While last year's We Are The Broken began the reversal of their trend towards the rock worship sound, Redline cements the return to hard rock with the band's most aggressive collection of songs in years.
Lead single "Bring It On" is one of the band's hardest numbers yet, boasting a few screams, some near-rap verses and an aggressive message of resilience in the face of evil. That said, the tracks that follow might prove even stronger. "Gone" has more of a piano-driven base but still carries enough edge to be harder than your standard power-ballad, keeping the intensity of the EP building.
"Hunger Strike," a cover of the Temple of the Dog 90s classic, is a bit of a slow-builder, starting with a light guitar hook and exploding with a powerful rock finish and a guitar solo thrown in. Featuring guest vocals from Kevin Young of Disciple to keep the duet format of the original, the song tackles some tough issues of the evils of our day in a pretty unflinching manner. It's refreshing to see artists actually tackling some of the evils of our world head on (e.g. "But it's on the table / the fire's cooking / and they're farming babies / the slaves are all working / blood is on the table / the mouths are all choking / I'm going hungry").
Never shy to take a stand for Christ on social media, Seventh Day Slumber seem to be incorporating that into their music and the result resonates both lyrically and musically. Vocally, "Hunger Strike" is a definite standout. Lead vocalist Joseph Rojas has one of the most recognizable and gritty voices in Christian Rock, and adding Kevin Young makes for a stunning offering, with the song's climactic finish really giving both a chance to shine.
"I'll Bleed" reminds me of something that Demon Hunter might do, bringing back the energy and guitar power of the opening track for another round of rock-your-face off power. The EP finishes strong with "Lost in the Lights," boasting a catchy (slightly industrial) hook that feels like a throwback to some of the hits we were hearing from Christian rock a few years back. Yet another enjoyable cut, the song sends the EP out strong, keeping the energy flowing through every note.
It's funny how a year that has been largely underwhelming for me is offering so many memorable late-year standouts in the form of EPs. Redline is another of those highlights for the year that will outshine many of the full-length releases for me. There's a raw honesty here missing in much of today's music. Offering a much-needed dose of edgy rock and even more desperately needed lyrical honesty, Seventh Day Slumber truly have a release to be proud of. Here's to seeing what the second half looks like.
Song to Download Now:
"Hunger Strike" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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