Christian hardcore is nothing new, and it has recently become quite common. The hardcore/metal genre has seen no end to new bands trying to make an impact. Into this crowded field comes Florida band Call To Preserve, a young act fresh off a new deal with Facedown Records.
From Isolation is the band's sophomore release, coming after Unsinkable, which was released on Strike First. With the opening gang vocals transitioning into screaming on "Sinking Sun," it is immediately apparent to the listener that Call To Preserve is not bringing anything remarkably new to the table.
What follows after "Sinking Sun" is the traditional hardcore theme with fast, driving beats, heavy, simplistic guitar work, and incessant shouts and screams. This is a short album, with eight of the thirteen tracks clocking in at less than three minutes each. The only standout tracks are the brief "Dear Galatia," which brings a strong message of salvation by faith alone, and the more fully developed "Vices." After these, the songs run together with very little variation from track to track, with similar guitar chords and hard rhythms. Even the vocals stay essentially the same, with only the occasional gang vocals intervening.
While musically simplistic, From Isolation offers a few bold lyrical moments. While never directly mentioning Jesus or God, it is clear what many of the lyrics are referring to. In "Dear Galatia" vocalist John Ellis shouts, "You've followed the letter and still don't have the answers... You've just got to let go. You can work for your salvation but you'll never earn it. You've just got to be humble enough to accept it." "Lincoln Street" addresses the Biblical story of the prodigal song: "Even when I've blown my inheritance, you have the gall to welcome me back home." In "First Light," the band brings a strong Christian message of standing up against the pressure of the world, saying "This world wants to mold you. They want to suck you dry. But don't let them make you forget that these times of uncertainty are coming to an end. You still carry the promise that this light has no end." In "Open Your Eyes," the album finishes with a bold message of hope, "Clouds of depression are fading away. For what was once dark is light again. Look up and open your eyes. Keep these words with you, for I make all things new."
From Isolation is not a great album. There is very little musical creativity or variation and it drags somewhat even with its short length. However, it is also not a terrible album. The lyrics are the clear strong point, and it is obvious that these guys are passionate about their walk with Christ. In concluding, those who already appreciate hardcore will probably enjoy From Isolation. Those who don't will find little reason to start listening now.- Review date: 10/6/08, written by Timothy Estabrooks of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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