Staying with the lyrics for a moment, I was thoroughly impressed by the maturity of spiritual content here, not simply tacking on bible verses or themes, but delving into the power the Christian has this very moment in Christ. This is the key thematic takeaway of the album for me; it's not about more prophetic theories, but a realization that believers need to be involved in spreading the kingdom of God here and now. Take this sampling from "Higher," "More precious than earthly riches/rejoice in the newness of your life/born of the Spirit/born of God"…"We are the priestly nation/we are the true circumcision/heirs of the kingdom and the world."
One thing is for sure, no matter what prophetic system you subscribe to, Preterist plays some kick-butt heavy metal. If you're a fan of power or speed metal, especially of European flair, Blood Moon Rising has everything you could want; Helium-infused yet pure vocals, chunky riffs, soaring guitar solos, epic synths, speedy drums, and pristine production. I was especially captivated by the way the songs manage to keep your interest by tastefully utilizing the oft-cheesy key change, and the exquisite guitar work, which I should have recognized was done by none other than Carl Johan Grimmark of Narnia fame.
The title track boasts an easy groove you simply can't not bang your head to, along with an ear-catching chorus. "This Body of Death" begins in ballad territory before running the gamut between progressive metal leanings and soaring guitar mastery, making good use of its eight minute runtime. I should mention, with the album clocking in at over an hour, I did feel like it could have stood some trimming, especially as there's only ten full tracks, but this is a minor quibble to an overall fantastic experience. The encouragement continues in "Free Peoples of the World" and "Power of My Mind," two speedy numbers imploring believers to free themselves from simply going with the flow, and to "face the future without fear." Mid-tempo rocker "No More Rebellion" continues this theme, decrying the lack of passion seen in the current moment, while "Fire" uses background voices and harmonies in a unique way to speak of the reality of the lake of fire. The album finishes strong with "Dying Star" and "More Than This," detailing the quality of life between the nihilism of the skeptic and the power of the believer, "A beacon of truth and a bastion of light/we are His soldiers so stand up and fight."
It's rare to find such a diamond in the rough as Blood Moon Rising. From the soaring vocal delivery and inspired lyrics of Kok, to the heavy riffs and clean shredding of Grimmark, to say I was happily surprised throughout the album would be a vast understatement. This is a contender for top metal album of the year, and is not to be passed over, no matter your conclusions on the subject matter.- Review date: 12/11/22, written by Joel Zaloum of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: None
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