In the depths of Louisiana where the Cajun food and Creole culture rule and the music is as diverse as its citizens you are bound to encounter the music coming from the Bethany World Prayer Center and their in-house worship band, Deluge.
Two years ago, Deluge showed up on the worship music scene with a melting pot of songs to present to the listener. With a combo of rock, hip hop, soul, funk, etc. this band did not give the typical offering. Bethany's very own worship pastor, Jonathan Stockstill, is known for his blunt and passionate lyrics. With Deluge's sophomore release, Unshakable, they wanted to break the mold once again. Unlike their debut they recorded an in studio album rather than live. Oddly enough the quality of both are very similar, the only thing missing is the screaming crowds of people… which honestly, I don't miss.
The album starts with "Prelude," the instrumental lead-in to the title track, "Unshakable." It's one of those songs that just makes you want to throw up your rock fist and bob your head. While not overly worshipful, it's a great anthem about being confident in who God has designed His church to be. This flows without pause into the passionate "Deeper" with Stockstill singing in the bridge, "Rain rain rain on my face on my face, fill me fill me up till I drown." With that aggressiveness the song almost has a 'darkness' to it - not in a bad way, but very much a cry from the heart asking God to consume his entire being. The album continues with "Power." At first listen, the song might sound mildly hokey, but give it a chance, it might grow on you. I'm not sure if it was the heart of the song or the rap interjection that made me like it, but it works.
After four fast tracks on a worship album, I was wondering when more of the slower sounds of Deluge would take center stage, and I was not let down. "Jesus Lamb of God" begins with a beautiful guitar and piano duet. The song streams with lyrics of admiration and surrender to the Creator of the universe. "Refuge" is a great church worship song: easy flowing lyrics, simple melody, and the congregation can grab a hold of the song before the start of the second verse. "Sing of the Blood" continues with the softer side of the worship; in my opinion, this song is a stand out track because of its rawness. Stockstill sings, "Wash us in the blood, crying from the mercy seat. Demonstrate your love, come and set the captives free." While not very complex in vocabulary, it's the heart of those who have been ransomed by the blood of God.
"Overjoyed" returns back to the fast track, however, I will say this song seemed a bit lacking. Although it sings of being overjoyed with the Lord, I can't say it made me feel too joyous. But this is made up for by the extremely jovial "I Wanna Dance." You might laugh as you hear Stockstill sing "Yup yup" at the end of each chorus - and I think that's what was intended. Addressing the issue of dancing in church, it's a very blunt song saying, "It's biblical so don't be critical, you can't hold it in, you shouldn't have to. Forget your dignity, stop being pretty…" Regardless of your opinion on dancing in church - it should make you smile.
"Come Alive" brings the softer side into the mix once more with a melodious flow to the lyrics singing of the life that Jesus has given us by His grace. "Let's Worship" calls the church to worship the Lord while focusing on the love God has for us and actually features the additional vocals of well established worship leader Kari Jobe. "Come In My Courts" is one of the most unique songs that I've actually come across in regards to worship music. While not a song to God, it seems to come from God; inviting us to be with the Him. Simply put, this is a pure love song that should draw the worshiper into an atmosphere of selfless abandonment before the Lord. The album is concluded with "I Want To Be Used By You" and what a great conclusion it is. Asking the Lord to use us and to be who He has made us, the unshakable, loved, and graced Bride of Christ - the Church.
Deluge has produced an excellent offering of something different. While it may not fit everyone's taste of music, you can't deny that God is doing something incredible down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Worship leaders, this might be the different kind of music your church's youth group or even your main congregation has needed.
- Review date: 4/10/10, written by Ryan Barbee of Jesusfreakhideout.com