The brainchild of solo artist Anthony Conn, Altarheart is a brand new act that combines a bold faith in God's Word with a powerful metalcore sound. The solo project is set to release its debut album this fall, and in preparation, has just released its second single, a heavy hitter titled "Vinedresser."
While the song offers the listener a few moments to breathe, "Vinedresser" spends a great deal of time assaulting the ears with furious guitar riffs and pounding drums. Of course, this is a relevant sound for today, but the song structure and production style really bring to mind some of the metalcore acts of the mid-'00s, like Still Remains, Unearth, and Symphony In Peril. Some of the instrumentation could be tightened up a bit, but overall, it's clear that Conn has a good ear for the genre and is capable of writing strong and engaging metal.
Inspiration for the song's lyrics comes from the Book of John ("I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit." - John 15:1-2). Conn's lyrics not only acknowledge his sinfulness, but also how he repeatedly falls into it again, to the point where he starts to love it ("You see I've grown to love my sin / too much to want to let You in / I shook hands with the devil / prayed for the dust to settle"). In the chorus, Conn asks for God as the Vinedresser to prune away his sin, all while begging for mercy ("Vinedresser, prune what You will / divine gardener, refine me still... don't throw me away into the fire"). It's an honest song that I find myself relating to far more than I'd like to admit.
Altarheart was a surprising find, but a wholly welcomed one. If "Vinedresser," and the previous single "From the Dust," are any indication, the upcoming full release is going to be something worth spending time on. I'm definitely looking forward to hearing more.- Review date: 8/20/23, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: None
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