Seventh Day Slumber is firmly at the midpoint of their career as a band, and unfortunately, their seventh album The Anthem Of Angels finds them stagnating creatively. Lead singer Joseph Rojas and company have an obvious passion for sharing Christ with their young audience, but as is the case with too many evangelistically oriented bands these days, Seventh Day Slumber has a tendency to talk down to their audience with clunky lyrics and rehashed "grunge-lite" guitar figures.
Take for example this opening lyric from the song "Back Where I Began:" "Where do I go from here, it feels like I'm falling apart, God I know you're real, sometimes I just feel so all alone, I fake a smile, but I just want to cry." This sentiment is real, and experienced by everyone at some point in their lives, but this lyrical treatment reads a bit like a Junior High diary entry; sincere yes, but slightly juvenile. Song titles like "One Mistake," "Addicted To My Pain" and "Wasted Life" could be a few more diary entries in that same journal.
There are a few nice moments on the album, like the first single "Love Came Down." While still a bit too linear in its lyrics and musical arrangement, the song scores points for its anthemic nature and Rojas' soulful delivery. The band also does well with "How He Loves," a well executed cover of John Mark McMillan's new worship standard. It's ironic, though, that the cover of McMillan's poetic take on the love of God, with lyrics like "He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy" makes the blocky nature of the rest of the album's tracks more obvious by comparison.
To be fair, Seventh Day Slumber is not the first band to struggle with the seeming conundrum of trying to balance ministry with artistry. But they need not fear trying to mix it up creatively. After all, the Bible is a wildly creative book, expressing the love of God for His creation with creative devices like metaphor, story telling, humor, parables and poetry.
Seventh Day Slumber has a well-deserved reputation for passionate ministry, but careful attention to their sound and taking chances lyrically would not be a subtraction from their calling to hurting youth. Instead, it would most likely broaden their audience and opportunities to impact the masses for Jesus.- PReview date: 10/31/11, Review date: 11/11/11, written by Tincan Caldwell of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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