On the 6th of February, 2001, Disciple released their fourth studio recording, By God, an album which earned them their first two Dove Award nominations. The album was nominated for the 'Hard Music Album of the Year' and the title track, for the 'Hard Music Recorded Song of the Year.' The first thing I liked about this album before I'd even heard it was the fact that there were 20 tracks, 19 of which are full songs and the last track a sermon from the vocalist, Kevin Young.
Disciple's album By God pretty much picks up where This Might Sting a Little left off, boldly proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the form of their trademark rock, a genre that seems to compliment the passion of the subject matter perfectly. For the fans that were hoping for a more diverse sounding album than the last, their wishes came true. I would even go as far as to say this is their most diverse album to date, with straight rock, melodic rock, thrashy metal, hints of rap, worship, acoustic and even a song ("But Wait There's More") with a Middle Eastern sounding background vocal by Kevin.
The record begins with the title track "By God," which basically gives all the glory to God and states the Biblical truth, "Oh God, without You I can do nothing; By God, I can do all things." There is a similar tempo change for the chorus as there was in the song "Big Bad Wolf" from the previous album. The next song, "Not Rock Stars" is the cliche-breaking gem of the record, in which they reject any glory as rock stars and chant "servants of the Most High, Not rock stars!" "Can't Breath" is a beautifully made slower rock worship song, with Kevin's smooth and sometimes dirty vocals singing praise to the Lord. The next song that stood out to me is "You Are Here," which is very creatively written, with a rock verse, a double kick infused prechorus and a melodic chorus with vocals declaring God's holiness. The first true ballad "Thousand Things" exposes a softer side of Disciple, and is a song in awe of God's greatness. "Hate Your Guts" is an interesting song with some nice guitar effects by Brad; the first verse written from the perspective of an evil spirit and the second verse from the perspective of a believer, fighting the temptation. "Whether They Like It or Not" is a song about not being ashamed of the Gospel, the chorus being: "We're gonna preach it, cause it's the power for salvation!..." The album ends with the acoustic song "Rich Man," a song I admittedly skipped the first year I owned the record but later grew an affection for.
All in all, this is an amazing must-have release for any Disciple fan, or for anybody who likes Christian music with lyrics that tell it how it is. It includes plenty of Kevin's heartfelt vocals and screams, Brad's harmonic squeals on guitar and Tim's straight up rock beats. There are definitely a couple of songs on here that would have been cut if this was a major label release, but in my opinion, it's all gold!JFH Reader Review: Review date: 4/11/10, written Marc Daly for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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