Ivoryline was a surprise to me when they released their debut album. Containing songs penned with a genuine and heartfelt message (in the vein of Casting Crowns), they pair deep and convicting lyrics with music more creative than most contemporary Christian bands. Now they have returned with their sophomore release, Vessels. Was the wait worthwhile? The answer is an emphatic "Yes!"
I've heard my fair share of artists on the Tooth & Nail record label, and none of them express their faith as clearly as Ivoryline. Their label debut brought with it such convicting songs like "Days End," a desperate wake-up call to those who have grown complacent in their comfortable lives. Vessels continues this trend of hard-hitting honesty, in a way that ought to require a label on the front of the album-"Warning, causes serious conviction." The title track itself asks "What does it mean to be, salt and light in a world that's tasteless? Salt and light in a world of darkness?" It's kind of pleasantly ironic that the music itself is just as hard-hitting as the lyrics. To be honest, it's not entirely hardcore, but most punk-rock fans worth their salt will enjoy the album (and hopefully many more than just those fans). There was no definable weak spot in any part of the album, although it would be imprudent of me not to confess that there were songs I preferred over others. Some of the highlights were "The Healing" with its call for spiritual surrender, "Instincts" and its catchy chorus and pertinent truths about human fallibility, "Vessels" for reasons I have already mentioned, "Walking Dead" and its rather wry observation of youthful apathy, and "Naked," an all-round epic song (both lyrically and musically).
This album has some extremely potent messages; therefore, if you would rather not run the risk of spiritual discomfort, I'd suggest skipping this one. I don't usually enthuse so heavily over the faith-aspect of a band's lyrics much, but those guys have written something from the heart. It's not something that can be easily overlooked. I commend you Ivoryline, for putting your faith where your mouths, guitars and drums are, and going all-out for Him. And to everyone else: I'd think twice before passing this album by.- Review date: 7/25/10, written by Adam Dawson of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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