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JFH Indie Review

JFH Indie Music Spotlight Review

Glowing Moses
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Glowing Moses
Event Horizon

Album length: 9 tracks: 29 minutes, 57 seconds
Style: Cosmic Rock
Street Date: October 15, 2021
Official Site: GlowingMoses.com
Buy It: Bandcamp



It's always exciting to be introduced to a new band and subsequently find out that their music is killer. While this may not happen as regularly as it did in my younger years, I'm still discovering plenty of artists to get excited about. One of more recent examples is Cleveland, Ohio's Glowing Moses. The fourpiece rock outfit has been together for five years, but they're just now coming up with their first full album, Event Horizon, and it has all the makings of an album-of-the-year contender.

As the album opened with the acoustic "Metanoia," I would soon discover that I was preparing myself for the wrong album. It's a great opener (who doesn't love an acoustic waltz?), but it quickly leaps into a rocker called "The Fix," ditching the acoustic guitars for a heavily distorted electric while adding in a full band. It didn't take long before Glowing Moses proved themselves to be a highly enjoyable rock band. The main influences cited in the band's bio are Muse and Led Zeppelin, and you can really hear both bands throughout the album. We also get little hints of The Black Keys ("YTYK"), Twenty One Pilots ("War Is Over," which also vaguely reminds me of Copeland's "As Above, So Alone"), and Radiohead ("Morning Star"). It's a varied album that plays off of the band's influences really well while maintaining their own personality and feeling completely consistent and cohesive.

While "Metanoia" does not realistically set your expectations musically, it makes very clear the lyrical path you're about to embark on, quoting a few scriptures in the process: "When hope deferred has sickened my heart / I will remember Your love / For You alone have the words of life / Where else could I go? / The lust of the eyes, the pride of life / I drank them down like wine / In You oh Lord is the fount of life / A vast and gracious flood." And while "The Fix" is a clear lyrical outlier, the rest of the non-instrumental tracks focus on how lost we are as humans and our need for Christ who rescues us.

"YTYK" (an initialism for "you think you know") confronts someone leading a destructive lifestyle, urging the person to let Christ change his or her heart. "Morning Star" takes a cue from brave Saint Saturn with its space metaphor, except salvation comes in three minutes instead of three albums ("Maker of the heavens and the Earth, You've chosen me / Let Your Word like starlight give me strength and lead me on / When all other lamps have lost their light / When all other guides have lost their way / You are the bright and morning star, Jesus"). But I think the song that summarizes the whole album - from the smashing music to the theme itself - is the lead single, "War Is Over," which victoriously proclaims, "War is over / The king of death has been dethroned / I've taken back the years he stole / war is over." If you just want to sample the album, "War Is Over" is my recommendation.

After listening to Event Horizon multiple times, I'm pleased to find that it just keeps getting better each time. Whether they're putting on a rock show or displaying some beautiful, quieter musicianship in one of the album's three instrumentals, Glowing Moses is just impressive. This may sound cliche, but my only real issue with it is that it ends while I still want more. Event Horizon will be a contender for my top ten list this year, and I can't wait to hear what's next for them.

- Review date: 8/7/21, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com


Listen to the Album Development & Compromise by Chase Tremaine!

 

JFH Staff's Second Opinion

    While rock as a genre in the mainline of Christian music seems dead, the indie arena feels more filled with life. More and more Christian bands wanting to crank up their guitars and crash some cymbals are coming out with music that deserves a listen. Jumping into that category is Glowing Moses, with their new record, Event Horizon. Their style is one of mixing rock opera with space opera, often giving interstellar elements to the songs or even covers. In many ways, they remind me of Ravenhill meets Rusty Shipp with one track feeling reminiscent of The Violet Burning and another coming from left field that would make David Nevue proud.

The theme of the album is what to do when sin knocks you off course. After the acoustic opener of "Metanoia" preps the listener for a dark yet hopeful experience, "The Fix" roars in to introduce temptation and the counter agent to it, "Heaven knows the fix I need/Let the river flow through me." The other lyrical songs follow in this theme and unpack it in some way until "YTYK" where the singer begins turning his attention to the listener instead of telling about his own experience. Sprinkled in are instrumental tracks to help add atmosphere to the listening experience. A particular surprise was that the title track is a full-fledged solo piano tune. It's a gutsy move and while it may give some listeners whiplash, I found it worked.

Event Horizon is certainly a jam album. There are plenty of musical interludes in every track worth cranking up the volume for. That said, the songs could use some more lyrical depth to add another layer to the mix. The record certainly feels like an indie rock offering, but that raw nature also gives it charm. Rock fans feeling starved for good new music should give Glowing Moses and Event Horizon a listen. - Review date: 9/21/21, written by John Underdown of Jesusfreakhideout.com

 

 

 

. Record Label: None
. Album length: 9 tracks: 29 minutes, 57 seconds
. Street Date: October 15, 2021
. Buy It: Apple Music

  1. Metanoia (0:48)
  2. The Fix (3:12)
  3. Ghosts (4:33)
  4. Morning Star (5:20)
  5. Event Horizon (3:30)
  6. War is Over (4:16)
  7. Interobject (0:51)
  8. YTYK (6:10)
  9. Sea of Eden (1:24)
spacer Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics

 


 



  • Jesus freak Hideout (Scott Fryberger): Let’s take it back to the beginning: how did you all come together to form Glowing Moses?

    Cole: The idea for Glowing Moses first hit me back in 2014 in response to a series of God encounters and realizations I had while attending ministry school. At the time I was really seeking the Lord’s will for my life. To give a little bit of context, I grew up playing guitar in different rock/metal bands. Once I came to Faith in Jesus I set all of that aside to focus on my relationship with Him. I just assumed that because I was musically and evangelistically gifted, that must have meant God wanted me to be a worship leader or a pastor. The problem is, I’ve always had something of a love/hate relationship with CCM. The believer in me loves to worship, but the artist in me has always felt that (most) worship music is seriously lacking in creativity. I had developed a subconscious belief that creativity was only important to God so long as it served some sort of evangelistic purpose.

    As I dove into scripture, I began to see that creativity is actually quite a big deal to God. Right in the beginning of Genesis, the first thing we learn about Him is that He is creative. In fact, Genesis specifically mentions that the trees were “pleasing to the eye and good for food.” Apparently, it wasn’t enough for God that everything was functional, it had to be beautiful and delicious too. The very first time the Bible mentions someone being filled with the Spirit is in Exodus, and it’s the craftsman, the artist in charge of building the Tabernacle. When I looked at biblical examples like King David, and saw how he employed hundreds of full time musicians for temple service, it stirred me. Clearly, David and I both share a love for spectacle and artistry in worship music.

    All of this culminated in a dream I had where Jesus handed me an electric guitar, and the meaning was clear to me. It was as if He was saying “I did not take this from you, you laid it down. I am giving it back to you now.” Essentially He was telling me to stop trying to fit in with everyone else and make the kind of music that I like to make. That is the most honest and authentic form of worship I can bring.

    Fast forward to 2016, my wife and I had moved to Cleveland, Ohio. I had written some songs, but didn’t know any musicians. I met Nate, who would eventually become our other guitarist and producer, at church. He helped me record my first demo. I showed that demo to another church friend named Jake, who became our first bass player. A few months later I met Jonathan on a ministry trip in New York. We ended up clicking so well that I invited him to move to Cleveland to play drums for the band. It seemed like a longshot, but to my amazement he did! We recorded Cosmonaut that summer. After we finished recording “MTN//MES” Jake left to join the marines. At the end of 2019 I heard Jeff playing bass in church and I knew he would make a great addition. He decided to sign on and from that point we began work on Event Horizon.

  • JFH (Scott): Where did the term “cosmic rock” come from?

    Cole: I think I originally called it cosmic rock almost by accident, because we have a hard time fitting neatly into any specific categories. We often pull from classic rock, indie, psych, metal, film scores, classical...and sometimes all of the above in a single song. I found it hard to describe to people and one time I said something like “I don’t know what it is...I guess it’s cosmic rock!”

    Besides the fact that we all love space and Sci Fi, I think the description really stuck because it encapsulates our writing philosophy and sound pretty well. We like to write songs that take the listener on a musical journey. Most of our songs are lengthy epics full of peaks, valleys and left turns. Space imagery seems to capture that adventurous spirit.

  • JFH (Scott): Between the genre, album title, and some of the song titles, there’s clearly a love for astronomy in your ranks. Is this something we should expect to see more of in future releases?

    Cole: It’s difficult to say. It’s definitely a part of our DNA, but I’m only going to continue to use space imagery as long as I’m inspired by it. I don’t want it to turn into some kind of gimmick like GWAR with costumes and all that. While we were writing the song “Ghosts” I was playing a lot of Castlevania and so that song ended up with a kind of Haunted House theme. A lot of our music contains references to video games. We may play around with different motifs like that in the future.

  • JFH (Scott): When you write songs, do you typically have the music or the lyrics written first?

    Cole: Music almost 100% of the time. In fact, although I had melodies and harmonies worked out, I didn’t have the lyrics completed until about a week before we started tracking vocals haha! I feel the most comfortable expressing myself through the guitar. Sometimes it takes a lot of searching and crafting to put language to those feelings.

  • JFH (Scott): Who designed the fantastic cover for Event Horizon?

    Cole: That would be our absurdly talented friend Michael Grimes. We all went to the same church but it was Nate who brought him up when we started talking about artists. It was great working with him because I usually have a direct vision for what our covers depict, but this time I left all of that to Michael. We sent him some demos and he made the cover with a combination of hand drawn art and 3D models. I still can’t stop looking at it!

  • JFH (Scott): You guys put out “War Is Over” as the first single. It’s possibly my favorite song from the album, but how did you decide on this song as the lead single?

    Cole: I’m glad you like it! It was a tough call, but in the end choosing that song first was mostly a business decision. Right after we wrapped production we signed a distribution deal with Wings Music Group, and they advised us to go with that one first. Our big strategy right now is to try to land some bigger Spotify/Apple playlists, but to do that we need to “pitch” singles to their editorial team. We need to get some buzz going before we take that shot, and although “War Is Over” is a song we love, it’s not exactly ideal “single” material because it ignores a lot of pop/radio conventions.

    However, I think it was a good move because it’s a great song to introduce people to our vibe. It covers a lot of ground and has some of both the softest and heaviest moments on the whole album. Hopefully that will get people curious about what else we have up our sleeves.

  • JFH (Scott): Do you plan on playing live shows and touring?

    Cole: Playing live is where we shine the most. It’s absolutely something we’d love to do, but it’s going to take a lot for that to be able to happen. Just last month I moved back to my home state of Washington, and the rest of the guys are still in Cleveland, Ohio. We are going to continue to write and trade ideas online, but in order to play live we’d have to hear from enough people in a specific area to meet up there. Two of us are dads with toddlers so life in a van is just not an option right now. It seems a little backwards, because I think most bands tour to promote their albums, but it’s the other way around for us. We will have to see where the album is doing well and plan accordingly.

  • JFH (Scott): It’s clear that Glowing Moses is a ministry-oriented band, with Christ at the forefront of your lyrics. But is there something specific you hope listeners will take away from your music?

    Cole: Yes there are a few things. It is my hope and prayer that every single note will serve to facilitate encounters with the Holy Spirit for all who listen. Each of these songs came out of a deep place of prayer and communion with the Spirit. Before we finished production I prayed over each song, that they would find the people they’re meant to find, and that it would be a witness to them of the Goodness of God. In Ephesians 3:19 Paul famously prayed “May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.” My prayer is that people would experience things through the music that are inexpressible with mere words.

    Secondly, these songs were written during a time of deep discouragement for me. They are honest and vulnerable, yet they are charged with enduring Hope. They are a bit like the Psalms in that regard. Whenever you read the Psalms, you see how David poured his heart out, and you can almost see in real-time how he changed his tune from lament into praise. My hope is that anyone who relates with the feelings of loss and disappointment I expressed will also receive the same supernatural infusion of Hope and Joy that I did throughout the writing process.

  • JFH (Scott): Is there anything else you’d like to add?

    Cole: To all our listeners, thank you! We couldn’t have gotten here without you. For those that are new to our music, we’re excited to meet you. Feel free to reach out on Instagram and Facebook, we’d love to pray with you. The big thing we need right now is for people to follow, share, and stream, stream, stream the heck out of our music as we gear up for the full album release. This album is critical to our future as a band, and as a ministry.

     

     

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