Seventh Day Slumber
Finally Awake


2.5
average

Review

by fromtheinside USER (128 Reviews)
August 19th, 2009 | 8 replies | 3,123 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The emotion flowing from the album is unmistakable, though for every other aspect of this album things can get a little bit more troublesome.

Christianity as a whole is a very tricky subject with me, though I was raised Christian and have absolutely no problem with the practice, I often see a fine line when it tends to inhibit all aspects of my life. Music is easily a top three priority for me, to some this is ridiculously shallow and demonizing. I on the other hand, think its incandescently provocative and a much more healthier way to exacerbate troubled qualities and emotions than, outlets like cutting or coping with an addiction. How does this all relate to the Christian Rock band Seventh Day Slumber? Well earlier in my life on my road to music nirvana, I went through numerous trials with several bands and it felt like everyday I would say to myself I’ve found my new favorite band. Exaggeration? Yes. But also important? Yes.

With Christian music, to me, my biggest struggle is that it all comes off sounding the same and honestly all the same subject matter just intertwined musicians, kind of like country music. I feel like every band is always singing the same topic, and once things get too preachy is where I draw that line and usually turn it off. Every now and then though, there’s a band that intrigues me based on the sole fact that it’s clear they understand the line that is often hazy for others. As best I can I’ll try to explain the limitations of that line, and the importance it is when trying to access such a vast array of people. Right off the bat I’ll let you know though, that Seventh Day Slumber aptly fails at this task, but at times know how to hit the mark.

For the most part there’s a time and place for everything I believe, with music this principle has never been more factual. You’re angry so you go listen to music that helps cope with that emotion, sad, happy, depressed, etc. You know your music and what it takes to cope with whatever emotional mechanism you’re facing. There’s also the music of praise, which is a category most people like me tend to understand but still shy away from. Bands that fill this category are the Jars of Clays, Newsboys, dc Talks, Relient K’s etc. Then we have those bands that blemish that line of solely Christianity and Mainstream you know who I’m talking about, the ones that kind of admit it, but wont necessarily say so, Project 86, Emery, Skillet, Switchfoot. In between these two book ends though is where Seventh Day Slumber fit.

For the most part, Seventh Day Slumber comes off like a beautiful collision between Jars of Clay and Skillet leaning more to the Skillet side. They have a musical hard edge with sound drumming and crunchy guitars that bridge between soft and heavy often. There aren’t any tricky solo’s or off timing drum beats to be found here, instead the band rely on emotion and troubled histories to establish a relationship with the listener. This “excuse” is used quite often for bands that don’t show the best musicianship, the “emotional” aspect is not a cop out though, but easily a strength as singer off puts a very real since of imagery leading us through his past life a time where addiction ruled his life and there was no reason for living, his lyrics are very real to say the least. There will come a day when I’ll explain, All the mistakes your dad has made, I hope you see that it was Christ, And only Him that rescued me. As you can see the band does rely on a strong use of faith when portraying their music but more on that later.

All around, musically everything is pretty solid. It’s nothing you haven’t heard before all the typical rhythm builds and epic choruses are still here to be found, but somehow the band succeeds in emasculating this better than other contemporaries like Daughtry. The reason? Joseph Rojas front man for the band has an extremely impressive voice, balancing the act of screaming and singing very well for a 3 person outfit. Another positive to note, this is a three person band that knows how to rock. They’re in control of their instuments for the entire listen and everything fits in place perfectly, songs like Awake, Missing Pages, and Burning Bridges showcase this feat. best.

Lyrically, is where things get a little trickier. I tried to outline best earlier how hard it is to straggle the line between preachy and fake affectionate lyrics. The band often know how to paint a beautiful picture of struggle and imbalance in ones life but then begin to tarnish the requiem with telling us why to believe, instead of showing us either how to or why to. This is often a hard concept to convey and emulate but when done right it works, see Emery. Songs like My Only Hope and On My Way Home provide the best examples as Joseph once again lets us into his world, but instead of continuing the path of how things change for him we’re bogged down with lyrics telling us to change or we’ll be forever lost. For most, including me, this is the problem most people struggle with when it comes to accepting Christianity. People do much better when they’re shown how things can change rather than feeling pressure for upon themselves to take such an action immediately.

Like I said earlier, it sometimes works. The music has its moments where it fits the desperation in Joseph’s voice perfectly all around providing a very captivating experience. Other times though, it’s just the typical slow song, with typical acoustic guitars, simple ½ beats, and typical lyrics about how Jesus is our strength instead of his own. I’d recommend this band, for anyone who’s pretty void of emotional boosting, as its pretty moving for what it offers, especially if you’re able to connect on the emotional level Joseph is on. If you’re looking for growth musically though, stray away as you’ll be disappointed in several areas.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
fromtheinside
August 20th 2009



18082 Comments


re-reading this review it almost emulates the cd perfectly, as the focus isn't so much on the instruments but the message its trying to get across.

Though I think from reading you can still get a strong sense of what this will sound like, and half of you already knew from the recommendations if you'd be checking this out or not...

Digging: Transcending Bizarre? - The Serpent's Manifolds

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 20th 2009



20856 Comments


Oooh, this sounds interesting fti (I'm sick of typing your user-name). In fact, I'm not gonna lie, this could be something I would like. Although, I can pass on the "jesus is our strength" stuff obviously.

As for the review, you can tell that you had trouble explaining yourself. When I have such problems, I also tend to over-write and still feel unhappy about the finished product. The first few paragraphs seem to go on & on. The point is eventually reached, but it takes a while to get there. Could it be improved, streamlined & made more efficient? Probably, but I don't think I have the answers for doing so either.

fromtheinside
August 20th 2009



18082 Comments


thank you. haha i'll think of a pen name.

as for the review i can definitely say thanks for understanding the trouble in writing this kind of review. like i said before most people will know by the beginning paragraph whether they're going to listen to something like this.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 20th 2009



20856 Comments


Maybe the initial decision to begin with that direction was the incorrect one. I don't know.

One thing I do know is that I heard an interview with a member of Anberlin the other day & all the interviewer was trying to do was coax out of him how they were religious and what effect it made on the music. It seriously got sad that the interviewer was so tunnel-visioned. The entire interview was a waste of time come the end of it.

Your review is nowhere near that bad by the way, but I guess the point I am trying to make is that at some stage, just move on.

ScorpionStan
August 20th 2009



1825 Comments


yeah i see what Davey's saying, but i actually thought the review was excellent as-is. you obviously struggled with putting your thoughts on the paper, but i kind of like seeing that struggle play out. and ultimately, i think you got your point across very well.

cvlts
August 20th 2009



8954 Comments


review was good.

band is aight.
might pick this up seeing how i like the whole "jesus is my strength" rock.

Willie
Moderator
August 20th 2009



15912 Comments


The first paragraph has a few issues, but things settle down after that. I don't like music that puts the message before the music, whether it's religious, political, etc.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

HeadbangMastermind93
March 13th 2010



624 Comments


i hate this band.



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