"The Beginning" aptly starts things off in what is basically a three-part piece with different movements. Starting with an ominous acoustic guitar in Part 1, things move to a marching type beat with an electric guitar lead in Part 2. Part 3 sees things changing to a heavier chugging section with growled vocals. The biggest detractor with this unique opener is that the third movement has a clear decline in production as it sounds a lot muddier around the 1:58 mark. "Promise," featuring Eric Castiglia, follows and offers verses that contain chuggy riffs with growled vocals, but the chorus here is more open and melodic with clean vocals. From here, the previously released singles all hit in a row, ending on the album highlight "Repercussions." A couple of tracks later brings the djenty "Converge." While the aforementioned "Repercussions" is arguable the best Relentless Pursuit song recorded to date, "Converge" is a close second. There are a couple of more clunky sections from a lyrical standpoint, but musically, this one hits hard throughout, and the mix of growled and screamed vocals works well. The album ends with the piano-led epic, "To See the Invisible." The track is over seven and a half minutes long and features some of better clean vocals from Konradt -- as well as some spoken word sections over the piano, bass, and drums. The final minute and ten seconds of the closer really step things up with the metal flare. I do see what he was going for here, but I think the song would've stood out a little more if it would've ended about a minute sooner without the extreme finale.
Promise in Creation is Matthew Konradt's strongest work to date with Relentless Pursuit. It's far from a perfect album, but it does feature several bright spots and two really strong songs to take away. While the production value continues to improve with each release, it remains a noticeable area needing further improvement. Evening out the sound in a couple spots and cleaning up a few areas could go a long way towards making Promise in Creation sound as striking as intended. Clean vocals are the other area that brings things down a touch. While there are areas where they are solid ("Repercussions" and "To See the Invisible," for instance), there are several others where they take away from the growls and higher pitched screams offered. Perhaps it's just the more operatic delivery that creates this unusual juxtaposition?
Promise in Creation will have some appeal to certain metal listeners. It's raw and gritty, but there are multiple positives to take away from this experience. Metal fans should especially take notice of the two highlights in "Repercussions" and "Converge," but I'd recommend taking the time to give this entire album a listen. You may just find that his style is right up your alley.- Review date: 2/8/24, written by Michael Weaver of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: None
Matthew Konradt: Honestly, I would say God has played a humongous role in giving me the motivation to write, produce, and release my songs and albums on a steady basis. Ever since my work with Ascend The Soul, I have strived to better myself both musically and spiritually. Also, I think the fact I love what I do is another reason. I just really want people to hear what I have to say through my many songs and I suppose I lack the patience to be able to put longer time frames between songs and albums.
Matthew: Promise in Creation, as a whole, deals with many topics. Suicidal thoughts, struggles, spiritual battles, depression and anxiety, and revenge. It also is a personal reflection of my feelings through my musical endeavors. It is always good to channel your feelings through something constructive rather than channeling through sin over and over again which will always lead to trouble one way or the other. Despite there being copious amounts of sin in the world there is that Light in the darkness. Where there is Light, there is hope, and there is promise in God's creation. That is my in-depth reason behind the title of the album.
Matthew: This was a song that was created with some help. The lyrics came to my mind before the ultimate melody and were inspired by the hate that some people can have for each other. Even to the point of seeking revenge on someone. Ultimately never finding peace in the heart and ending up in a dark place. I initially composed the main melody by playing and recording a piano track. Then I sent it in to another musician, Jasmin Miši?, who actually played and produced the instrumental for the album. He also added a solid structure to the song. I produced the vocals last after receiving the instrumental.
Matthew: For this, I just wanted to be able to branch out from the norm and try something a little different. I like the djent style of metal but it's not something I want for each heavy melody.
Matthew: Eric Castiglia is an artist who is excellent at his craft. He played the guitars, bass, and drums for this song.
Matthew: I suppose my personal favorite was "To See The Invisible". It is my personal heartfelt journey inspired by pain and struggles in life. Some of it is from God's perspective as well my own.
Matthew: I would have to say Isaiah 40:31 would be a huge inspiration and motivation for me. "they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." A beautiful verse that can really encourage me to never give up.
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