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    305 Worship, Reckless (2015) /
    305 Worship is a large worship collective (consisting of 105 members) from the First Capital Christian Church in Corydon, Indiana. While this seems like a large number of people for a single church, the members actually rotate weekly and lead multiple services. And while some churches can be very stringent on who is even allowed to be a part of their worship team, this method allows many more members to have an opportunity to serve the Lord using their gifts as musicians... Read the Full Review


    Andy's Messianic Music, Closer Than A Brother (2015) /
    Andy Wallin is a Messianic Jew and the founder of Andy's Messianic Music. If you are unfamiliar with the term "Messianic Jew," the concept is simple. Andy is of the Jewish faith, but believes that Jesus (Yeshua) was in fact the Son of God and the promised Messiah. Andy Wallin is a member of a Messianic Temple in Illinois and writes worship music. While his newest album, Closer Than a Brother, is definitely worship music, it has a bit of a Jewish folk sound to it... Read the Full Review

    Christian Messianic

    Sinfonia, Renaissance EP (2015) / ReverbNation
    Instrumental band Sinfonia has an ambitious goal to fuse the techniques of the Classical Period with modern rock, and it is quite an interesting concoction. The band's Renaissance EP opens with "Nor'Easter," which is characterized by gritty guitar riffs, dynamic drumming, and a smooth baseline. Though there is plenty of musical variation throughout the song, at 10 minutes running time it extends its welcome a bit. The following track, "Dark Dream" is just as much of a roller coaster ride as its predecessor, but it is more focused... Read the Full Review

    Instrumental Symphonic Rock

    Jimi Cravity, Surrender (Single) (2015) /
    In today's world, creativity is not something to be brushed to the side; it must be a part of any and all ventures. Artists who tend to write songs for the church and desire to implement creativity into their songs run the risk of either looking too abstract or they become a ground-breaking phenomenon. Atlanta-based worship leader Jimi Cravity is truly one of those risk-takers with his new single, "Surrender... Read the Full Review


    Written In Red, Not My Home (2015) /
    Written in Red is a modern rock band from Wyoming. While their sound is definitely of the hard rock variety, there is a definitely a slight tinge of metal (especially the 80s variety) thrown in -- especially with the pinch harmonics used from time to time. The band lists influences ranging from TFK, RED, Disciple and Stryper, to Needtobreathe and Third Day. There is also some hints of secular artists such as... Read the Full Review

    Hard Rock

    Jimmy Atkins, The Pen and The Page (2015) /
    The terms "solo project" and "side project" should not be unfamiliar for any avid music fan. Sometimes a member of a band - large or small, popular or obscure - has more musical leanings that might not fit within the confines of the main act, so a new project is born. Thus is the case with Jimmy Atkins, lead singer of North Carolina-based pop rock band Second Hand City. Atkins' first solo album, The Pen & the Page has Second Hand City influence first and foremost, but it also feels a little... Read the Full Review


    Stephen Jenks, Future Worship (2015) /
    Contemporary worship music is a beast that has yet to be tamed - which can be amazing. It's not held to a particular genre or style but is held together by a clear desire to glorify God through song. Music veteran Stephen Jenks, of the group Eagles' Wings, is offering up his own solo album, Future Worship, with the hope to sonically call listeners to worship in spirit and in truth. The album opens with the lackluster "Ransomed." Musically, it feels very choppy and empty. In addition, the vocals... Read the Full Review


    Augustus, [Second To None] (2015) /
    If you want new worship music, you can find it - granted much of it will sound the same, thus making your quest for new to be slightly disappointing. Indie newcomers Augustus are hoping to add their input into the worship music scene with their release, Second to None, but the question must be asked, "Is it new or is it the same song with a different vocalist?" The album begins with the synth-layered anthem "Second to None." During the introduction, it's almost reminiscent of U2's... Read the Full Review


    Mike Westendorf, Songs We Carry (2015) /
    It's been nearly five years since Christian pop/contemporary artist Mike Westendorf released his last studio album, Undefined (not counting a 2012 Christmas album). Of course, if you read his official biography, you'll see that the man keeps himself quite busy with other prospects and jobs, but in the past five years, he's also found time to record a brand new album... Read the Full Review

    Folk / Pop

    Illtalian, Notti Insonni (Sleepless Nights) (2014) / Facebook
    With the ever-expanding world of indie artists, it can be difficult to discern good quality artists from bad. Of course, in regards to music, quality and artistry are subjective. Furthermore, for fans of hip-hop music, navigating the treacherous waters of copycats and obnoxious headset singers can be exhausting. Thankfully, there is the occasional artist that can carry his own: Hawaiian/Italian rap artist Illtalian hopes to be one of those standouts with his latest release, Notti Insonni... Read the Full Review

    Hip Hop

    Flood the Stone, When The World's On Fire (2015) /
    Still a young band, having only formed about four years ago, pop rock quartet Flood the Stone is taking every possible stride to make waves in the industry and bring the good news of Jesus wherever they can. Their latest offering is a solid ten songs, collectively titled When The World's On Fire. The album gets off to its start with a song called "Tripped;" a song about mistakes and loss ("Goodbye my friend, it has been a long time, eleven years now to the day, goodbye... Read the Full Review

    Pop / Rock

    Jillienne Cherie, Streams in the Desert (2015) /
    Worship is at its core about glorifying the Lord, and biblically one of the most prominent expressions of worship is through music. Despite what much of CCM radio may play, worship is not bound by a genre or style. Indie artist Jillienne Cherie is proof of that point, as she brings her... Read the Full Review

    Vocal Jazz Worship

    Anonamus, Alive (2014) /
    Seymour, Indiana rockers, Anonamus, released their debut album in August of 2014 on the independent label Lift Records. Alive can be characterized largely by its 90's sounding alt/rock vibe. Often shades of Matchbox 20, or other 90's alternative bands, can be heard in the songs on the record. Each member of Anonamus has been involved with worship ministries in their local area for several years. The group has been together for just under two years and, other than their history with worship music, the members... Read the Full Review

    Alt Rock

    Yaves, In Winters Ear (2015) / iTunes
    Even though artist Yaves has been doing his rapping thing for 20 years (according to "Rumble Young Man"), this is the first I have heard of the Sling Shot Media rapper. In Winters Ear is the newest release from the Columbus, Ohio native. The album carries a west coast style of hip hop... Read the Full Review

    Hip Hop

    Terry Waggoner, Love | Revolution (2014) /
    Music is an ever-evolving art form. The moment a genre becomes super-popular, it dies. Years after it dies, there is a revival of the metamorphosed sound. Indie artist Terry Waggoner is an artist who seems to embrace this as he is giving listeners a potluck of revived sounds on his latest release, Love | Revolution... Read the Full Review

    Indie Pop

    Rio_24K, Flashing Lights (2014) / Twitter
    Floridian rapper Rio_24K may be new to the Christian faith, but he's certainly not new to hip hop. Nor is he new to the trials and temptations of the world. But now, after giving his life to Christ, he's changed the message of his music, and now he's ministering the Gospel of Jesus Christ to an increasingly wicked culture. His first Christian rap album is called Flashing Lights, and it's clear with one listen that his target audience is the unsaved people... Read the Full Review

    Hip Hop

    The Goldilocks Enigma, Bread & Circuses (2014) /
    The Goldilocks Enigma is an indie husband and wife duo making some strangely interesting music. Bread & Circuses features musical styles that range from Days of the New (even shades of Alice in Chains) to some of the more psychedelic stylings of the 70s. It hard to nail down an exact comparison, but Danielson Famile definitely came to mind while listening. Danielson was much more polished sounding overall, but they still had a similar family novelty band type sound... Read the Full Review


    Estoria, The War - EP (2014) /
    Coming together from different parts of the country as well as different genres of music, the four members of Estoria have blended all of their respective styles together to form their second EP, the Travis Wyrick-produced The War. With a combination of pop punk, rap, and modern rock, Estoria can almost be described as a female-fronted Pillar-meets-Linkin Park. Vocally, Meagan Reeves is vaguely reminiscent of Fireflight's Dawn Michele in "Battle Cry" and "Beauty Meets The Beast," and... Read the Full Review

    Alternative / Rock

    Jerry Akin, JavaBird (2014) / Facebook
    Folk artist Jerry Akin is a pastor and songwriter specializing in folk/rock music. His release, JavaBird, spends a large majority of its time emulating folk sounds akin to artists from the 60s/70s. While many of that era's folk artists spent a lot time singing about anti-war... Read the Full Review

    Folk Rock

    Blang3, Rag3 Tim3 (2014) /
    The sounds of EDM (electronic dance music) have been brought to the forefront in the pop music scene over the past few years. So much so that it's a rarity to hear someone on the radio who doesn't have an abundance of synth layers to give some extra girth to a song. Indie DJ, Blang3, is hoping to add to the trend while making a difference with his latest release, Rag3 Tim3... Read the Full Review


    Tommee Profitt, Deeper (2014) /
    Tommee Profitt is no stranger to the music industry. Tommee has been touring and playing shows since 2003, has released 6 full-length albums, is signed to Capitol Records as a producer and songwriter, and also produces music and videos at his own studio. While Tommee is no stranger to recording and posting funny videos on YouTube (see "The Target Song," "Pregnant and I Know It," or the short film(s) Man vs. Ball), his newest album is anything but a joke... Read the Full Review

    Pop / Worship

    Cloverton, We Sing Joy EP (2014) /
    With humble beginnings as the worship team at a small church in Manhattan, Kansas, The Lance Stafford Band - now known as Cloverton - got a chance to spread their music to a broader audience when they were picked up by nationally-syndicated radio station K-LOVE/Air-1. They followed it up with a tremendously successful Kickstarter campaign and the following full-length album Patterns last year. And this year, the band is back with a six-track Christmas EP entitled We Sing Joy... Read the Full Review


    Doom Tiger, Pelagia (2014) /
    Death Metal is some of the most interesting music to listen to. While some listeners only hear screams and growls, beneath that extreme aggression there tends to be some lyrically deep content and technically rich music. With that in mind, returning indie artist Doom Tiger is giving listeners another collection of death metal recordings with his latest release, Pelagia. The album opens with the droning "All Roads Lead to the Ocean;" the music is exaggerated but has a constant building... Read the Full Review

    Death Metal

    the | Dave Ellis, To Whom It May Concern/Yours Faithfully (2014) /
    A big trend that has been gaining momentum in the music market is the bold double-album. UK-based indie artist the | Dave Ellis is among one of the brave souls attempting this feat with his latest project, To Whom It May Concern/Yours Faithfully. Without a doubt, it is a hefty album. The tracks are somewhat dichotomous; while one song may dwell on redemption, like "Oh My Lord," another may be about pretty girls. For those looking for some silly easy-listening tracks, there are "Krush" and... Read the Full Review

    Hip Hop / Rap

    Flagz da Bad Boy, Imitators (2014) /
    Rap and hip hop have steadily gained popularity over the last few decades and have become two of the most popular and influential cultures and styles of music in the modern times. This goes for both the secular world as well as the Christian world. No matter how you feel about that, it's spawned an entire market of Christian emcees who use the same sounds but change the lyrics to glorify Jesus. Flagz da Bad Boy has been doing this very thing for the last several years... Read the Full Review

    Hip Hop / Rap

    Joshua Mills, Christmas Miracle (2014) /
    Joshua Mills is a multi-faceted, and multi-talented, artist. Mills has been a worship leader for 15 years, a speaker, and is an ordained minister. Including his newest album, Christmas Miracle, Mills has recorded six studio albums and two live albums. While some of the material is original, most of the songs are Chirstmas covers; many are lesser known, or at least lesser covered, songs. Frank Sinatra's "The Christmas Waltz," Meghan Smith... Read the Full Review


    Tim Korry, Above the Snakeline (2014) /
    Wisconsin native Tim Korry has been playing and writing music for quite some time. He has recently released his 4th, and newest, solo album Above the Snakeline. On the record Korry shows off his wide array of musical tastes and blends several different styles throughout the album. Korry goes from a worshipful acoustic number like "Revolve," to a world vibe, like the Latin flavor of "Sacred Place" or the world beats and eastern flare in "Snakeline Reprise," to a pop/rock jam... Read the Full Review


    Tiffany Noel Watkins, Stronger (2014) /
    Recorded worship music has made a huge impact on the Christian market over the past 15 or so years. With every passing year it grows and grows and grows. Indie newcomer Tiffany Noel Watkins is evidence of this growth as she offers her latest release, Stronger. The album opens with upbeat "Brave." It has an almost Darlene Zschech feel as Watkins sings of all of God's works inspiring the believer to be brave. The vocal work is very high quality and musically it is... Read the Full Review


    Phillip Sandifer, Of Songs and Sacraments (2014) /
    Good quality CCM might not sound too hard to come by. All you need is an approachable soothing voice, decent instrumentation, and positive lyrics, right? Veteran independent singer-songwriter Phillip Sandifer might have a CCM radio-friendly sound but with his latest release Of Songs & Sacraments, he's bringing along a healthy dose of theological discourse. The album opens with soft yet sweet "To The Table." Sandifer's vocals are reminiscent of Steven Curtis Chapman and Chris Rice while... Read the Full Review


    Pilgrimsprog, Do You Have Thanatophobia? (2013) /
    Progressive rocker Scott Miller, AKA Pilgrimsprog, has released another collection of inspired songs. With this project the theme is entirley based on the Christian life and the fear of death, thus the aptly titled, Do You Have Thanatophobia? Those who are familiar with Miller's previous release, Pilgrimsprog, will know to expect his straightforwardness and very eclectic sound. Musically, it combines different genres, from 80's metal to grunge to adult contemporary... Read the Full Review

    Prog Rock

    Knight 7, The Sword of the Spirit (2014) /
    Experimental music is a very real thing today. While many people don't want to reinvent the wheel with their music, a select few completely color outside the lines. Their sound will fuse unrelated genres, rhythms, melodies - everything is up for grabs. The only downside with this approach to music is that it only reaches a very limited market. Indie artist and newcomer Knight 7 is most definitely made for a select group of musical adventurers. His unique... Read the Full Review


    Pilgrimsprog, Pilgrimsprog (2010) /
    Inspiration and influence are heavy within CCM. Pointless and meaningless songs are scarcely heard and that's a good thing. For indie artist Pilgrimsprog, the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Scott Miller, there is no doubt that John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress heavily influenced him, as he released his debut album, Pilgrimsprog. The album is broken up into two parts, much like Bunyan's story... Read the Full Review

    Prog Rock

    Embers in Ashes, Killers & Thieves (2014) /
    Embers in Ashes is a Christian rock band that doesn't really fit inside a box. They use light metal elements with their guitars but have a distinct pop sound as well. The first two songs, "Set Fire" and "Into My Arms," are great rockers that get you pumped up for the album ahead. Sadly, the rest of Killers and Thieves is up and down, with the last two tracks being ones you'll likely skip... Read the Full Review

    Prog Rock

    Paul Demer, Canvas of Sky (2014) /
    Good quality Christian contemporary music is hard to come by, but Texas singer-songwriter Paul Demer is looking to bring something refreshing to listeners with his latest release, Canvas of Sky. The album begins with the somewhat folky "Bound for Home." His sound is slightly reminiscent of early Plankeye and Smalltown Poets. The lyrics are straightforward biblical principles and motivational to the core... Read the Full Review


    Circle of One, Part of the Plan (2014) /
    Rock music. Many would think that it should be easy to make: distorted electric guitars, crashing drums, aggressive bass, and strong vocals - that's all you need right? Wrong. It's so much more. Rock isn't just music - it's a culture. Indie band Circle of One is taking on the beast that is rock music and they are going full-force with their debut EP release, Part of the Plan. The album opens with the raw "Cut Away." Its sound is reminiscent of early Linkin Park with a dash of Alter Bridge... Read the Full Review


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