Ever since Disney purchased Lucasfilm, pop culture has been flooded with anything and everything Star Wars, and the Mouse House has promised a new Star Wars film every year for the foreseeable future. Aside from continuing the Skywalker storyline with additional episodes (The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, with Episode IX due out next year), the franchise launched its first standalone story in 2016 with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. But these "standalone" movies actually fit within the known, existing Star Wars saga. Rogue One led directly into Episode 4, A New Hope, while the newest entry, Solo: A Star Wars Story takes place sometime after Episode 3, Revenge of the Sith and before Rogue One.
It's risky business to be so bold as to cast someone in such an iconic role as Han Solo - a character that has only been played by Harrison Ford for 40 years. While I'm sure he's thrilled that someone can take over the role from him (since he has wanted to be done with the role for years), it's still bizarre to see someone else playing his character. As a child of the 80s myself, and Empire Strikes Back being my...
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The Christian music industry is obsessed with worship. Every year, a myriad of worship projects jump head-first into the fray. Studio projects are becoming passť while church bands promoting new material live are turning into the norm. Adding their voice to the crowd is The Church Vessel with their sophomore release, The Outcome. Shorter than some live albums usually run, this project centers around themes of liberty brought about by Christ, but is plagued by songs and music that fail to stand out and are hampered by some questionable lyrics.
About half the songs here are good and could work well in multiple contexts. Opener "You Are" is fun, catchy, and infectious. "Home" stretches into more poetic territory, while "My Yes" offers a contemplative prayer of submission to God. "Traded" works as a passionate reflection on what Christ accomplished for us on the cross. "It Is Finished" also does this, but that phrase is overused and may need to be retired for a while...
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Ever since their breakthrough effort, 2013's Creation/Destruction, Fit for a King has become one of the most consistently exceptional acts in heavy music in recent memory. Their ability to balance crushing breakdowns with technical precision and an ear for melody made them stand out in a genre that has, unfortunately, gotten rather stale. Although Fit for a King has yet to truly shake things up (and I know they can), they've managed to perfect their craft and utilize every ounce of potential the metalcore tag has in hand. Both of their prior records saw them developing various aspects of their sound and this latest record is no exception.
Musically, Dark Skies is the tightest batch of songs the band has penned to date. "Engraved" and "The Price of Agony" opens the record with a showcasing of both...
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