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Monday, August 8, 2011

Review: The Great Commission - Heavy Worship (2011)

Band: The Great Commission
Release: Heavy Worship
Genre: Christian Hardcore
Members: Alonso, Justin, Angela, Robby, Victor, Solomon
Label: ANGR Records/Century Media Records

1. Don't Go To Church, Be The Church
2. The Walking Dead
3. When It Rains It Pours
4. Draw The Line
5. Preaching To The Choir
6. Weight Of The World
7. The Prodigal Son
8. Road To Damascus
9. The Juggernaut
10. Reap What You Sow
11. Came To My Rescue (Be Lifted High)

Review: 8.3/10

Crushing Christian hardcore/metal has been on the rise in the past decade or so. In 2000, this was pretty much unheard of and only a select few bands were preaching the bible in the hardcore/metal community. Around 2005, it really blew up and started getting very popular among the younger generation, with bands like Norma Jean, The Devil Wears Prada, Haste The Day and Demon Hunter gaining more ground. The Great Commission is a stand out band among the Christian music scene that has some of the most crushing breakdowns among all hardcore bands out there. The annual Scream The Prayer tour has established itself as one of the premier music festivals as well, proving once and for all Christian hardcore and metal is here to stay.

Sometimes, people really don’t know that a band is a Christian band unless they really read the lyrics or attend their live shows and hear what they have to say in between songs. With the new album Heavy Worship, there shouldn’t be any confusion with that at all. In a live setting, these guys really make the hardcore pits grow to enormous levels.   

The album opener “Don’t Go To Church, Be The Church” establishes the message that The Great Commission is putting out for their fans, which is to spread their beliefs to all people and those who question God. “I’m a walking revival,” the very first lyric line in the song, sums it up right there. The song itself is a song that will definitely get the crowd moving, with extra-heavy breakdowns and heavy metalcore verses that slow down and transform into drum driven singing. One of the most aggressive songs on the whole record.

I know of some people who have confused themselves with the next song and had the gall to call The Great Commission copycats of what The Devil Wears Prada has done with the Zombie EP. “The Walking Dead” actually does not reference to any sort of zombies, but actually references to Justin (vocalist) journey for Christ and giving up his own life to help the pain and suffering of all those around him. The intro for the song is a digitally enhanced hardcore that moves all around you (especially while listening to it in headphones). The drums and 3 guitars play off of each other so perfectly that it’s difficult to ignore. The transitions between breakdowns and verses really compliment their song writing ability, such as the one minute twenty second mark, where it goes into a slow and sludgy breakdown, then starts to pick up and transforms into a faster paced, pit worthy breakdown.

My personal favorite track on the album is “Draw The Line.” I love the breakdown that the song opens into, then the unique deathcore and metalcore mixed verse with shouting lyrics, then heading into heavy pop punk music with singing lyrics. The catchy guitars and light drums is why I point out a heavy pop punk influence. Then it heads into a brutal breakdown without any indication or warning. Justin’s lyrics are not very hard to make out the lyrics, but that may be because I’ve been listening to hardcore for years now.

Now I’m not a Christian myself, nor do I align myself to any religion at all, but that doesn’t mean I can’t listen to what there are trying to reach across to their audience and the message they stand for. The music is sex to my ears however, and when I saw them live it made me a fan. Try this album out and really give some thought into the overall song writing and execution. You won’t be disappointed.

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