Christian music isn't just the typical pop worship song these days. From techno to alternative to punk, there's at least one Christian band that's representing each genre. Especially prominent in the industry lately is the emersion of metal bands with a Christian message. Taking direction from barrier-breaking bands such as Underoath, The Devil Wears Prada, and Stryper, several up-and-coming metal bands are able to express their faith and reach out to an overlooked audience. One of the newest bands to join the ranks is Leaders. Their debut album on Facedown Records, Now We Are Free, is an energetic and passionate collections of thrash metal songs that openly express their Christian faith and the struggles that come with it.
The album opens up with "Overture," a 1 minute, 15 second track that sets the mood for the album. While I don't always care for introduction tracks, this one complements the rest of the album quite nicely. After "Overture," "Conviction" kicks in as track two, and is a standout song on the record. The album is mostly filled with heavy-hitting songs, and only includes one slower track "Te Necesito," which clocks in at about 1:48 minutes. Other noteworthy tracks are "Deportes," "Leaders" and "Real," which features a small part from a second vocalist on the track. The album closes out with "La Onda," which has one of the more interesting guitar riffs in it. The song also includes an anthem-like bridge with some clean vocals. The final lines the listener is left with are "Why do You love someone like me? After everything I put You through." The singer seems to be singing to God, asking Him why He loves us unconditionally, regardless of what we do.
Musically, this album is not for the feint of heart or ears, but will be sure to appease almost any metal fan. The only drawback listeners may find with this album is the simplicity of it; while their lyrics are hard-hitting and convicting, their musical quality is a bit lacking when compared to their counterparts in the genre. It seems as if they do just enough to suffice, but they fail to bring anything new to the table. This may cause them to fall into a rut of sounding just like another thrash metal band, and nothing distinctive enough to leave their mark.
Leaders will most likely catch the attention of several teenagers and young adults who are fans of bands like Impending Doom, For Today, and Oh, Sleeper. For a band's debut album, Now We Are Free isn't a bad start, but Leaders will have to step up their game the next time around in order to keep up with their contemporaries.- Review date: 5/15/12, written by Cortney Warner of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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