"I consider myself to be positive," raps Isaac Peabody - better known as PEABOD - further noting, "Is being an optimist opting to not look at plot twists?" on "Press Play," the first full track of his new album, PLAY!. And he's right; in the Christian hip-hop world that the Seattle artist resides in, there is plenty of dark introspection and subdued emotional processing that certainly can be impactful, but definitely doesn't emphasize the joy that God's word calls us to embrace. PEABOD's second full-length, following a productive two years of EP releases, is emphatically a call to be an optimist regardless of how naïve it may seem -- to take wild swings in living the life we've been given, and to not "give one second of joy away." And, although it may be silly at times, the relentless positivity is ultimately something this reviewer really needed to hear...
Impending Doom is a well-known mainstay in the realm of Christian metal, so it feels weird to be talking about their having released an independent three-song EP, yet with Last Days this is exactly what we have. Having formed in October of 2005 in Riverside California, and having released six full-length albums since their inception (three with Facedown and three with eOne), the beloved "goreship" masters have returned with a short and brutal offering that should hold fans over for their next full-length...
The biggest news surrounding Lacey Sturm in 2023 was her recently announced reunion with Flyleaf -- the band she founded in 2002 as Passerby. The original lineup played their first shows in eleven years as the hype was building. While it's extremely difficult to believe, it's been 7 years since Lacey released her debut solo album and it didn't really feel like a new album was even on the horizon. Sturm has been releasing singles since 2020 with "The Decree." "State of Me" and "Awaken Love" then came out in 2021 before she went silent in 2022. Two more singles dropped in the second half of 2023, but there was still no word on a new full-length. It almost seemed as if Lacey was just releasing her final material before focusing on Flyleaf full-time (that is, if Flyleaf intends to stick around together). However, in early November, Sturm informed us all that her album, Kenotic Metanoia, would be dropping in just two weeks. It was a surprising, but welcomed, bit of news as almost no significant albums tend to come out this late in the year. The new solo effort contains the five previously released singles and ten additional tracks...
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