` Jesusfreakhideout.com: Imagers., "Militent Revival" Review
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JFH Indie Music Spotlight Review

Imagers., 'Militent Revival'
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Imagers.
Militent Revival

Street Date: September 9, 2023
Style: Rock
Official Site: Facebook Page



By the time music hit the 1970s, rock 'n' roll had come into its own. It was loud, grungy, and often offering protest to the faults of the day (i.e., the Vietnam War). As rock moved on into the '80s, that edginess softened somewhat until the emo and grunge scene arrived in the '90s. It seems that in our modern era there's something of a revival for rock bands that want to hearken back to the genre's '70s roots. Among them is the indie band Imagers. with their sophomore release, Militent Revival. That's not a misspelling on the title, by the way, it's a combination of "militant" and "tent revival." Get it?

The title, even with its odd spelling, is nevertheless appropriate for the collection of 14 songs on this record. There's certainly a "militant," or spiritual warfare, theme running through the tracks. Sometimes it's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference, other times it's more overt (like on "Storm of the Lord" or "Consuming Fire"). Sometimes this battle cry gets specific to certain social issues, like abortion ("Heartsbeat") or child trafficking ("Sound of Freedom"). The revival theme is a little more front-and-center with plenty of calls to renewal and restoration (like on "Maccabees" or "Rend"). Putting the two ideas together lends urgency and a note of protest to the message, and meshes well with the rock sound.

The production quality certainly doesn't make for slick audio on Militent Revival. The drums feel a little low in the mix, the rhythm guitar is dirty, and the vocals can get lost in the chaos. And yet, this is one of those rare instances where it kind of works. This is an album that certainly feels like it's not only coming forth in the Spirit of the Lord, but also in the spirit of the protest movement of the '70s. Aside from the production quality, the musicianship is executed well and has a good "jam band" quality to it. You don't get a lot of indie rock bands doing what Imagers. is doing, and that helps give the record a retro charm.

In many ways, Militent Revival feels like a Jesus People Movement album with the grunge and grit of an indie '90s rock band. If you're a lover of either of those eras of music, you'll likely find Imagers.' latest to be an intriguing listen. It's not breaking any new ground or doing anything fancy; it's just a straightforward rock album with a couple acoustic tracks thrown in. But that simplicity and grassroots feel give it a charm that not many indie releases can get away with. With a higher production quality and one or two good singles, this is a band that could start a little rock revival all on their own.

- Review date: 3/26/24, written by John Underdown of Jesusfreakhideout.com



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JFH Staff's Second Opinion

    Independent rock band Imagers. has just released their second album. Militent Revial is a follow-up to 2022's Holy Ghost Town and features fourteen tracks. The band mixes up their sounds here with plenty of modern rock, lots of blues influence, some shades of southern rock sprinkled in, and even some Rage Against the Machine type riffs (see the end of "Slow and Steady" as an example). The album is chock-full of rocking riffs and solos and is genuinely a fun listen musically. Lyrically, the album stays spiritually focused and often directly lifts up the name of Jesus. In "The Wreckage," the band declares, "Let me die before I… Let me die before I deny You. Let me die before I… Before I crucify You again." Where the album suffers is in the production department. Unfortunately, the mix sounds muddy throughout, and your ear never really adjusts to the quality. However, the simplistic "Sound of Freedom (So Many Tears)" is the bright spot here, as it has a relatively crisp sound that stands out from the remainder of the tracks. Imagers. have shown a lot of potential with Militent Revival, but better production and mastering are going to be needed for it to be fully realized. If you don't mind the rough edges, there is still plenty of enjoy on this band's sophomore release. - Review date: 4/8/24, written by Michael Weaver of Jesusfreakhideout.com

 


 

JFH Indie Spotlight Review . Record Label: None
. Album length: 14 tracks: 51 minutes, 29 seconds
. Street Date: September 9, 2023
. Buy It: AmazonMP3

  1. Slow and Steady (5:02)
  2. Over the Storm (Rock ain't dead) (3:24)
  3. Militent Revival (3:28)
  4. Maccabees (3:49)
  5. Heartsbeat (2:45)
  6. Storm of the Lord (3:37)
  7. Intimacy (3:07)
  8. Sound of Freedom (So many tears) (4:02)
  9. The Wreckage (4:07)
  10. Rend (3:48)
  11. If My People... (1:56)
  12. Isaiah Two (3:15)
  13. Consuming Fire (3:01)
  14. Be Still (6:03)

 


 



  • Jesus Freak Hideout (John Underdown): What's the history of Imagers.? How did it get its start?

    Courtney Davenport: I (Courtney Davenport) have been writing songs and trying to do the band thing for over 20 years. Recently after a several year hiatus from the electric guitar I felt the invitation of the Lord to pick it up again, and so began an interesting season of studying the bible(and especially OT prophets) with an electric guitar in hand. God was very gracious to me in bringing an amazing drummer and bass player/producer into my life in this season(which is a miracle in rural Colorado) and thus Imagers was born. My wife also sings quite a bit and has been faithfully teaching me how to harmonize for over a decade now!

  • JFH (John): I gotta ask about the names here: Imagers., Militent Revival. Where did these come from?

    Courtney: 'Imagers' is from a Dr. Michael Heiser book called 'The Unseen Realm' where he describes God as being the Father of an unseen spiritual realm family and a physical realm family in which we are His 'imagers'. The idea for Militent Revival came out of a local tent revival near my home in Colorado and the thought of thousands of tents engaging in the ultimate spiritual warfare of high praise. The title track comes from Psalm 149 where the praises of God's people are referred to as a double edged sword in their hands and their 'glory'!

  • JFH (John): The sound on this record feels like a throwback to gritty '70s rock. What are some of your influences for your music?

    Courtney: I like to think that half of the record pulls from my Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aerosmith, Needtobreathe side, while the other comes from my love of the Blindside, Switchfoot, Bleach, 90's alternative scene. I certainly think that those of us who got to experience the y2k tooth and nail alternative rock scene were a part of something very special!

  • JFH (John): Putting together themes of spiritual warfare and revival is an interesting choice that totally makes sense. What brought these two together for you?

    Courtney: I think rock music in general has something inherently powerful in it, which is why it is used for working out or fight scenes in movies ect... I don't think it is an invention of the devil, even though it's been used in some pretty negative ways! Though that begs the question of what the great Creator has in mind for distorted electric guitar riffs. I happen to think one of its intended purposes is spiritual warfare. 'Over the Storm' is something of a declaration of what I believe is the 'purpose' of rock music, and while it may sound brash or something, I like calling it back to its 'destiny'! I'm hoping for a generation of songbirds to sing and declare the glory of God even to the ends of the earth(Is. 24:16) as an act of spiritual warfare and a sign of the revival God intends to bring before His Son's return. We all have a little part to play now, but a major theme of this album is the fact that Jesus will forcibly cause all wars to cease(Be Still) and bring about true peace and the fullness of revival at His return.

  • JFH (John): There was a good balance of songs that were focused on the present day with those rooted in Scripture. What was your headspace like for the writing of this record?

    Courtney: The Lord was taking me on a journey of seeing the resurrected and soon returning King Jesus in the OT prophets. His militant return as painted in the scriptures is very intense. He is seen by the prophet Isaiah with garments stained with the blood of His enemies. While it's not a popular message today, I felt a strong invitation to explore these passages and they just lent themselves very well to gritty rock music. I call it 'eschatological riff rock'. I feel like it's something of an untapped well of hardcore inspiration. I know others like Skillet have explored it a bit with songs like 'White Horse', but it felt very fresh and inspirational to me in this last season and like something of a divine assignment... if for no other reason than to introduce my kids/youth group/ community to more details about the return of Christ. In Isaiah 33 the prophet asks the question "Who of us can dwell with consuming fire?" I tried to explore that question with this album, and obviously there's a lot of things in our own hearts and culture today that can't dwell with a Holy God.

  • JFH (John): How many of these songs stem from personal experience? I.e., is "Maccabees" inspired by an actual meeting or is "The Wreckage" from a personal experience with someone walking away from the faith?

    Courtney: The title of the song "Maccabees" references a Jewish family around 150 years before Christ that revolted against an 'anti-christ' Antiochus Epiphanes IV. I want to raise children that will not stand for the schemes of the devil in our day and time. 'The Wreckage' does explore the reality that so many of those I've known over my faith journey have left the narrow road, and recognizing my own propensity to leave the God I love and need for His help to finish strong. 'So Many Tears' is a song that I began about 15 years ago and was never able to finish until I saw the movie 'Sound of Freedom'. I came home from the film and completed the song very quickly and am so thankful for the movie and the power of story and music in tearing down the abomination of human trafficking.

  • JFH (John): How do you feel believers can best participate in spiritual warfare in our digital day and age?

    Courtney: Praying and singing the scriptures really is the best offense against powers and principalities of darkness. The internet can help spread light and truth, and is proving to be a massive help with the translation of scriptures into every language which will put spiritual weapons in believers hands around the world! It also feels a bit like the parable of the wheat and tears in that there is also so much defilement going out as well, especially from America. I'll keep coming back to it, but the bible clearly states that children are arrows in a family quiver and I sincerely believe that families and communities that sing and pray together are God's chosen forces to destroy forces of darkness in every age.

  • JFH (John): What steps do you think need to happen for revival to come to the American church?

    Courtney: A simple understanding that the world does not revolve around us. To the degree we join God's revival plan and love family, neighbors, and even other nations more than ourselves we will be useful for something. The gospel isn't inherently American. We've been brought into a story and family bigger than us. God made promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and others that he intends to fulfill. At Yeshua's return when all the nations gather against the Lord and His anointed King, the Son of David, it would behoove us as a nation to stand with Him. Even if our nation joins in fulfilling Psalm 2 and seeks to cast off God's word, I have faith in Jesus' leadership to prepare a remnant even in America who are faithful to Him whatever may come. Definitions also matter. I have a sticker on my guitar that says 'revival is family'. I do believe that family is God's specific tool to teach us that the world does not revolve around us, and how to love others more than ourselves. So practically, I think a return to and love of God and his divinely instituted family unit is both the practical way forward and the goal.

  • JFH (John): What's next for Imagers.? Another record? A tour?

    Courtney: As a band it's been very difficult to practice, let alone tour, so unless something changes there probably won't be much of that. We're currently working on a couple more albums, including a follow up to this one called 'Tremors' that should be out soon, as well as some more relational themed fun classic rock stuff I'm really excited about. This 'escatological riff rock' stuff is emotionally heavy! I'm also focused right now on teaching music to my own kids and others in our little Colorado community. Maybe they too can experience and create something special with Christ honoring rock like we did around the turn of the century.

  • JFH (John): Finally, a silly question: would you rather be training for the Navy SEALS or preaching in a big tent on a hot summer night?

    Courtney: Honestly both sound pretty good if I was doing it with a band of brothers or family of faith!

    I wanna say thanks for the thoughtful questions. I really enjoyed this. As a fan of the JFH website and podcast I wanted to say thanks for your work in caring about and promoting indie artists. I recently enjoyed the Podcast indie panel #183 with Chase and others in which someone mentioned they like to hear from artists that are involved in local communities and work a 9-5 like the rest of us. As a husband, father, plumber, landscaper, and worship pastor I couldn't agree more. It is such a joy to get to enjoy and celebrate great art with other passionate music lovers and promote that which has continuity in this age and the one to come!

     

     

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