Hailing from Seattle, Washington, comes rock powerhouse Acceptance. In mid-2003, they released a seven song EP to much critical acclaim, and in April of 2005, they released this, their first full-length album, Phantoms.
They're one of those, for a severe lack of better terminology, "subtly Christian bands." Meaning, they are mostly popular in secular outlets, and Christian music enthusiasts are a few steps behind. It's not entirely their fault, however. Most Christian media outlets offer them next to no press coverage. It's almost entirely a word of mouth thing.
Still, spiritual references are few and far between on Phantoms. In fact, the entire album is fairly cryptic. Most songs, however, seem to address significant others, though "Different" makes a brief reference to God, and "Breathless" appears to allude to the supernatural, "Take this. Make it something beautiful again. Make this Heaven because you're beautiful to them." The rest of the album is hard to decipher, but in spite of adversity, hope and optimism are apparent from beginning to end.
Acceptance's sound is somewhat hard to describe. Elements of rock and emo are present, but the entire album is technically tight and produced brilliantly, much like Underoath's They're Only Chasing Safety. Jason Vena's vocals are emotional, powerful, and smart, but at the same time, they keep a "mainstream radio" sensibility that somehow avoids getting redundant.
Acceptance possesses a whole lot of talent, and it's no wonder their album released a year ago, and it's still gaining momentum. If you are into aggressive rock with some pop sensibility that keeps you singing along days after the last time you listened, check Phantoms out.- Review date: 4/14/06, written by Josh Taylor
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