When Jesus gave His disciples (and subsequently, us) the Great Commission, He called us to spread His message to an unbelieving world. He called us to be His messengers. This also happens to be the name of the latest hardcore band to sign to Strike First Records - Messengers. Their debut album is a short one, with only seven songs to show us what they've got and make it from Facedown Records' training ground into Facedown itself. Their debut EP is called Anthems.
Even with only seven songs to go by, Messengers do a good job of showing us who they are. The songs are fast-paced and right to the point. Most of the guitar work focuses on fast chugs, and the drums are often slamming the snare quickly and intensely. It's not just all muscle, though. They do take some chances with technicality as well. There are plenty of opportunities for lightning-speed guitar solos, which are fulfilled, and double bass is abundant. As for vocals, they rarely change throughout the course of Anthems, providing the message through a series of up-tempo screams and growls. They can become rather repetitive, and with the EP lasting only approximately twenty minutes, the vocals are the least entertaining aspect on our journey through Anthems. However, Messengers do live up to their name, getting their message across with music and vocals that work really well together. They're very outspoken and battle-ready when it comes to faith in Jesus (one of my favorite lines from the album: "Who are you to judge what I put my hope in?" from the song "Judge").
Overall, the music and vocals of Messengers can be comparable to that of Living Sacrifice - except LS has more of a metal sound than Messengers, and they obviously have much, much more experience. But Anthems is a well-written EP, and they definitely have potential to improve with time. Fans of Living Sacrifice and maybe even Pantera and Metallica would enjoy and appreciate this debut. Expect to see Messengers moving up the ranks and joining Facedown very soon, and except better things to come.- Review date: 10/25/10, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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