Don't get confused; Tooth & Nail hasn't signed mainstream Finnish goth-rock band HIM. For many people this hasn't been an issue because these bands attract completely different core audiences. Yet despite that, internet buzz surrounding The Becoming's signing and debut album indicate a need to set the record straight. If anything, The Becoming is more goth and less goth than HIM all at the same time. Need an explanation? Check out their debut album, Vol. 1.
By age five, most Americans have at least one shared piece of knowledge; don't judge a book by its cover. For The Becoming, this is probably a good idea. With enough eyeliner to fill a makeup counter and more body art than an ambitious tattoo artist can do in a week, The Becoming certainly stand out from the crowd. While their look makes audiences notice them, the important question is: Does their music deliver? To say it simply, perhaps Vol. 1 isn't exactly what you would expect.
Sinister strings? Check. Eerie and slightly disturbing choral sections? Check. Haunting piano? Double check. But while a lot of the album is borrowed from the typical gothic-rock checklist, The Becoming throws in enough surprises to keep things interesting. Underneath all of the makeup and the act is a band that has yet to come into their own. The Becoming have undeniable potential and have managed with Vol. 1 to create something beautiful. Despite whatever personal meaning the term "goth" might hold for the listener coming into the album, vocalist Caleb Owens shows the power to leave audiences breathless. His voice lingers on each note, almost daring listeners to contemplate the deeper meaning behind the words that he sings. If that is not enough, the melodies alone will hook you into giving this band a shot; and you won't be sorry.
While the imperfections are clear, it is almost as if The Becoming is trying to emphasize this. For a band so seemingly entrenched in a subculture that is anything but positive, the lyrical content of Vol.1 is quite hopeful. In the album's first single, "I Cry," Owens sings, "I cry for the rain to fall, and I'll pray that it drowns my soul. Take my pain; I give it all I cry. All my sins have found me out and you will know me by the mark upon my brow." Through all of the desperation within this song, The Becoming leads listeners to embrace all of their deficiencies and turn to God. This song is not alone either, as the album exudes a hope that the band clearly wants to share.
Yet, even though Vol. 1 isn't the most original album, it's hard to knock The Becoming for what they've done. Not only have they gotten signed in an industry that turns on itself every day, but they've also managed to convey a message of hope that so many people need to hear. So for that, Vol. 1 is a decent start to what hopes to be a very long career.- Review date: 9/28/08, written by Flip Choquette of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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