Justifide isn't exactly a brand new artist to hit the CCM scene. In 1999, the group released their independent project Life Outside the Toybox which was released nationally last year through Ardent Records. The young Arizona trio bears a sound easily comparable to a hybrid of P.O.D. and Creed and is suitable for fans of such artists.
While artists like PAX217 have a milder rock approach overall, Justifide takes that feel to the next level. The angst and ultimately harder edge that P.O.D. possesses or the musical maturity Creed owns is watered down for artists like Pax and Justifide. This isn't a diss, but makes their music all that more accessible to rock fans who wouldn't necessarily reach for a P.O.D. disc.
With that said, The Beauty of the Unknown opens with "Face to Face," a rocking track that clearly has lead vocalist Jason Moncivaiz emulating P.O.D.'s vocalist Sonny. "As It Feels Good" is more of a straight-up rock tune with a little more of a Pax vibe. "Pointing Fingers" opens with an addictive guitar riff and vocal harmonies reminiscent of Pillar and continues on with its message against the judgmental hypocrisy some Christians have. Justifide is confident in their message and talents which is evident in such highlight tracks as this one. Midway through the song Jason offers up a rap where his vocal style feels lifted right out of P.O.D. track. A little familiarity isn't bad and Justifide borrows from so many influences that the end result almost takes on a sound of its own.
"Escape" crosses into the modern rock genre with a chorus and drive reminiscent of Kutless, Creed, or Reflescent Tide. "Goodbye Without You" opens with a similar guitar lick that would normally propel a Creed rock ballad to the top of the charts. But Jason's vocals are a little too suppressed and held back when the confidence heard in a lot of the hit rock tracks might really enhance the mood here.
Justifide's message is crystal clear. Their passions are obvious. Their lyrics are honest and real. While Justifide borrows a lot from other artists, their approach is slightly different and the end result is an identity almost all their own. I would like to see a little more experimentation in the future from these guys, but they definitely have what it takes to rock... and they have it in spades.- Review date: 11/29/02, written by J.D.
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