Project 86 (and Andrew Schwab) have been a staple in the Christian music scene for 27 years now and this June will mark the 25th anniversary of their self-titled debut. Despite some apparent bad blood from former members and a steady rotating line-up since about 2010, Schwab has been a favorite lyricist among fans for years and P86 themselves have been beloved by many. From the classic Drawing Black Lines to the more recent and definitive Wait For the Siren, the band has asserted themselves as one of the best in the business. While some have been wondering when Andrew would call it quits for a while now, Schwab made it very clear when he announced the band's upcoming "final" album in July of 2021. The crowd-funded album included a stretch goal -- which was met and surpassed -- to make the final album a double album. It's been a year and eight months since that announcement, but here we are at the release of OMNI (Part 1)...
When the World Gone Cold project was first announced, I was both excited and intrigued. I've been a fan of most of the bands the members have been involved with (including Inhale Exhale, P.O.D., Disciple, Attack Attack!, among others), but couldn't quite anticipate how all the pieces would fit together. Sure, the members' other groups all fit comfortably somewhere in the realms of metal or hard rock, but spanning a massive diversity of subgenres. Would influences from all be clear, or would they create an entirely different sound? The answer I think ends up being somewhere in the middle. Fans of late 2000s/ early 2010s metalcore will be very happy, as the EP ends up spending most of its time playing with those sounds, but each member brings their talents and influences to the project in clear and beneficial ways. It offers little flourishes that make it plain that the quality of musicianship and attention to detail is extremely high for the genre...
The worship collective known as Passion is back for their twenty-fifth annual conference. While it is actually a worship and teaching convention, Passion's live recordings are far and away what the conference is best known for. For better or worse, Passion is a gauge for the current standard of worship music. From these conferences have arisen some of the most famous Christian songs in recent memory, such as "Glorious Day," "Build My Life," and "Come As You Are." The idea is actually a pretty intriguing one; various artists of the CCM world write a song that highlights their respective style (including a few mega-hits already floating around), and record it to a raucous crowd of young adults. Each album has a subtle theme running throughout it, and I've Witnessed It revolves around a longing to see God work again like He has in the past...
Newcomer Katy Nichole has amassed quite the incredible resume on the road to releasing Jesus Changed My Life, her debut album. She's been mentored by The Afters and Big Daddy Weave, she's shared the stage with Chris Tomlin, Jeremy Camp, and Matthew West, she's performed at the Grand Ole Opry, and last year, her debut single for Centricity Music amassed 20 million Spotify streams while achieving a record-breaking 20 weeks atop the Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart. Having already made such a massive splash within the industry, there's not much left that Katy Nichole needs to prove on this album, but thankfully, there's more to enjoy here than just one big hit...
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