The first time I listened to this album, the word 'diversity' was the first thing that popped into my head. The guys from East West experiment with everything from hip-hop tinged verses to brutal metal on The Light in Guinevere's Garden.
The album kicks off with "Wake," an electronic-influenced hardcore track that gets the disc started off quite nicely. With lyrics like "All I want to do is be here with You," and "all I want from You is to see Your face," you already get a good idea of the lyrical content of the remaining songs. On "Nephesh," the double-kick drums burst in and make way for a ferocious chorus about how Satan always wants to bring us down. Things slow down a bit, however, for the following track, "Closure." The lyrics of this song are especially strong stating, "What you can see is only half of who you are." The brutal verses and chorus of "Ded" definitely make a statement about eagerly waiting for God's return. The beautiful song "She Cries" is the slowest song on the record, vocalist Mike Tubbs stretch his vocal chords for the song's passionate chorus. It is a definite highlight on the disc. "Breathe" may be the weakest song on the whole album. Not that it is bad, but Mike really doesn't rap well in the verses. The last track on the album, "Let you go," is lyrically the most beautiful on the disc. This song expresses sadness over losing a loved one, with lines like "I wonder if there are roses in heaven," and "I wish I could hold you right here." In the end, East West also breathes hope into the song, "I know we'll be together soon."
From beginning to end, this album is, for the most part, very strong in every way. Of course, it is by no means perfect, yet I think that this disc can be viewed as musical gold for any fan of aggressive music.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 2/13/04, written by Brandon Carroll for Jesusfreakhideout.com
Perusing the CD shelf of the Local Christian bookstore, I noticed this CD cover with a menacing yet beautiful stone lion staring at me. For a moment, I was entranced. I had never heard of East West before, and I gave them a play on the scanner there. What I heard impressed me, and I bought it right away. Now, often times the in store listen can greatly differ from the post purchase play. And I have been greatly disappointed before by other groups, so I immediately popped this sucker in my car stereo.
The album starts off with "Wake." The track begins with a low noise, almost like a wind, then a "tick-tock" from a clock starts, counting down until the guitars hit. Along with it come vocals that almost whisper, and pounding drums. The whispers are short-lived, though, as singer Mike Tubbs belts out some beautifully screamed lyrics. The song is about asking God to wake us from our everyday lives, and see His face. The next two songs, "Song-X" and "Nephesh" also rock hard. "Nephesh" is easily my favorite song. Tubbs vocals on this are amazing. Explaining it would not do it justice, it simply must be heard. The lyrics are difficult to understand, however their meaning is even moreso; "You're only going to be what you see, you're never going to jump up, you're only going to be what you see, you're never going to become just like Him."
The album then becomes more of a lull, with the three best tracks out of the way. Of the next four, only "Disturbed" sticks out as an outstanding song. Although, the lyrics again are a mystery; "You, you're the reason. You're the one that's stealing my freedom." It is difficult to decipher whether this is an angry Christian blaming God for being strict on us, or if it's directed to another person in his life.
The next song is a highlight of sorts for the album. "She Cries" is a beautiful ballad and a quick change of pace. For possibly the first time, we hear Tubbs actually singing, rather than whispering or screaming. The song is of a young woman who has gone through a rough life. It's sung from God's viewpoint; "Just remember the times I held your hands and kept you close, remember the times I held you up." Possibly the best part of this song is that it is not the last song. Many Christian rock groups lately feel they must end their record with a soft ballad after the rest of the album is hard rocking (see Kutless' 'Grace and Love' and Pillar's 'Further'). The album finishes off with two more songs, "Breathe" and "Let You Go." There isn't much special about "Breathe." Nice lyrics, but nothing too deep, and the music is not anything we haven't already heard. A good overall song still. "Let You Go" is a nice softer song to finish on. This one isn't about God, rather a girl, and seeing her again sometime. Again, the lyrics are tricky and make it difficult to tell weather she died, or if they broke up.
Overall, this album is definitely worth a listen. As far as heavy rock goes, not on the same level as a Project 86, Living Sacrifice or P.O.D., but very good nontheless. Check them out.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 10/6/03, written by Tony Beard for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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