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Reflecting on Spoken's Legacy
Posted March 18, 2024
By RyanAdams_NRT, Staff Reviewer


What You Need To Know

Reflection is the Christian metal band Spoken's tenth record in its incredible 28 years. The band released this record in a new partnership with XOVR Records, founded by Brian "Head" Welch, the lead guitarist and co-founder of the famous metal band Korn. Reflection is one of Spoken's largest albums, clocking in at just under an hour and featuring 14 songs.

What It Sounds Like

Spoken proves they have retained their edge after many years in the Christian metal scene. Besides being one of the largest, Reflection is one of the heaviest records to date--especially with some gnarly, aggressive vocals that will impress fans new and old. There is no shortage of adrenaline-pumping metalcore music with intense guitar riffs and nasty breakdowns. The heaviness is comparable to, maybe more, than 2013's fan-favorite Illusion album.

Spiritual Highlights

After building a legacy in the metal world, Spoken is known not just for lead singer Matt Baird's iconic vocals and excellent metalcore musicianship but also for their upfront, Christian-influenced songwriting. This record is full of mature and introspective songwriting, written from a biblical foundation.

The opening song, "Echoes," declares our eternal hope beyond the pain on earth. "Hourglass" proclaims, "Faith is the only thing I have," after lamenting lies taking over our lives. "In The Dark" is a softer song that questions, "Do you believe surrender changes everything/there's more than pain in your heart." The whole album is full of this hopeful, impactful, bold songwriting.

Best Song

One of the lead singles, "Sleeper (featuring Demon Hunter's lead vocalist Ryan Clark)," is one of two songs with a guest vocalist from Demon Hunter. The other is "Anymore (feat Brian "Head" Welch)," and it is the better of the two.

"Sleeper" is one of the heavier songs on the record, and Ryan Clark lends both clean and unclean vocals alongside Matt. It's a reflective song that explores our human nature compared to our awakened souls in Christ. 
The vulnerable admission of feeling lost is, "I was/That I thought was my own/Torn apart by the wolves/Where no mercy is shown." Much like the rest of the record, "Sleeper" is relatable and lost in a world that echoes our desire to grow and mature with a hopeful future in mind.

For Fans Of

Wolves At The Gate, War of Ages, Convictions

Bottom Line

The number 10 is often connected to a monumental occasion, whether years in the business or the number of albums made. For Spoken, it's far more the latter than the former. Yet, even after nearly 30 years, Spoken may have created their best record, number ten. Reflection runs longer than usual, almost an hour long. The album would have been more cohesive with fewer songs. But there are catchy, mid-range songs that many fans can enjoy and relate to, while some of the most intense songs in the band's history explode in your face and prove their expertise in the metal world. Ultimately, Reflection provides heavy songs that guide us through reflection on our pasts and look to hopeful futures in Christ.
 

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