In the past year, we have seen an outbreak of chatter regarding metal bands in the Christian scene. Are they Christian? How many of their members are even faithful anymore? Are they just pretending? And it doesn't help that lyrics are so vague these days, even from artists who profess their faith, that no sound example can be made of them. Personally, I'm sick of it. That's why California's Sleeping Giant are so refreshing. They do exactly what Christians with the talent for music and gathering people in front of them should be doing. They are worshipping and ministering wherever they go.
In their fourth studio album, Finished People, they have harnessed a specific theme: that those who are downtrodden, who have given up, who are seen as useless and finished, still have limitless potential to be used by God in ways that no human could predict. In the title track, vocalist Tommy Green screams, "God sees saints in the cell blocks/We see revival in chains/ The world calls us the finished ones/ God forgive me for bringing tears to my own/I hope you won't forget me/or I am finished."
The ferocity with which they deliver their message is hard to ignore. Each song opens in tones of impendence, with calls of duty just pounding down like a hammer to your ears. "There is a sickness and we are the cure/The whole world will pass away but we will endure," for example, from the track "Blood Meridian." "I have the DNA of Heaven in me/Strongholds will fall when I pray," from "Victory."
Musically, I can't think of a better genre to relay this kind of God-desperate message than the blood-thirsty hardcore that Sleeping Giant dishes out. The original punk/hardcore spirit comes out in waves. They intend to pummel listeners with real zeal, real messages, crying out against upside down systems and broken standards. They scream and play with bravery, and unabashed honesty to a crowd that they really care about.
In past albums, we have heard a standard fare of hardcore yells and metalcore breakdowns, and a mechanical ear could say the same about Finished People, but suddenly from Kingdom Days In An Evil Age to this, we have a significant increase in quality. Guitar notes are sharper, the drums and lowtones hit harder, and the melodies in the clean vocals have improved drastically.
If you weren't a fan of Sleeping Giant before, Finished People might change your mind.- Review date: 9/1/14, written by Wayne Reimer of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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