Good Christian hardcore is difficult to find. Somehow, it seems to lack weight in a genre that has largely distanced itself from tenants of faith, tending instead to glorify angst and preach wayward positivity. Consequently, for those committed to maintaining a lyrical filter on their music library, the playlists may be on repeat and the merch options running low. But into this stagnant state enters From the Eyes of Servants, and they are looking to Change the World and your mind.
Change the World is, above all, an exceptional punk record, crafted with notable maturity for a freshman full-length. This achievement is perhaps best highlighted by Patrick Scholz's vocals. With variations in tone that convey creativity across the album's ten tracks, the lyrical delivery feels both fresh and archetypical, calling to mind such bands as Take It Back! and Stretch Arm Strong. Throughout Change the World, Scholz maintains a common theme: the resolution of youth in Christ can be the catalyst for positive change. For instance, on "Lead Me To You" he declares, "I've got to stand up to the evil in this world / There has got to be a movement / We are the movement." These strong lyrics are consistently paired with a musical framework very typical of hardcore music, designed to emphasize dynamic changes in rhythm that fuel a song's energy. Tracks like "Choose" and "Stand Up" show just that, as well as display the group's main area of growth in their modest discography. Between Change the World and their previously released self-titled EP, FTEOS has made big improvements in songwriting, adopting a much more targeted approach for their full-length and solidifying their sound in a way that feels almost tangible.
If there is a criticism to be found, it is with the whole, not the parts. While the album thrives largely on a focused delivery, the effort on the whole falls just shy of completeness. The tracks blend well, but then seem to end suddenly, a feeling that is only amplified by the record's relatively short running time. Perhaps a touch of stylistic experimentation would have served as the solution, but, all in all, the album manages to avoid suffering its absence and delivers a satisfying listening experience nonetheless.
In the end, FTEOS accomplishes exactly what they sought out to do with Change the World. Propelled by a powerful lyrical theme and well-executed songwriting, this Spirit-filled hardcore album is an outstanding effort from a talented young band. In the future, FTEOS may be challenged to accent their established style with creative flair, but their current tracks will surely be enjoyed by all who come across them. In a genre desperate for new torchbearers, Change the World is a strong suggestion that FTEOS can be the next, and we should all be anxiously anticipating the change they so effectively preach.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 11/11/15, written by Jeremy Barnes for Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Red Cord Records
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