When you think of Christian music, do you think of such hymnals as Amazing Grace
or Old Rugged Cross?
What if I threw in the word rock
at the end of it, do you think of Switchfoot
, Thousand Foot Krutch
, or DC Talk
? Well what if instead of rock
I threw in metal
, would you think of Norma Jean
? Well what if I tell you there is a band that is heavy and dark enough to play along side such death metal acts as At The Gates
and Cradle Of Filth
while still staying true to their faith? Would you take it seriously or just shrug it off your shoulders? To me a band like Mortal Treason is such a hard find, considering the limited genre they're in. So obviously I pounced on the opportunity to listen to their 2004 disc A Call To The Martyrs
. I was quite impressed, though not blown away. But I was impressed enough to look further into the band and I ended up finding this disc, Sunrise Over A Sea Of Blood
, at a Family Christian Bookstore. So to say that this is such a great listen.
Seth Kimbrough - Vocals
Elizabeth Kimbrough - Keys
Josh Jarrett - Guitar
Adam Wright - Guitar
TJ Alford - Bass
Steve Robinson - Drums
Well Mortal Treasons music at a first listen, to someone like me who doesn't normally listen to metal, can sound laced together. Maybe the old given "sound-the-sameish" feel to the music. This album as a whole does run together with the mood of the album is generally the same. But taken individually, the songs are a serious forceful epidemic. Its aggressive, dark, gloomy, heavy, while still keeping the Christian faith in tact. If the first thoughts come to mind is how underOATH's less than perfect screaming is the plague of Mortal Treason? Then you are sorely mistaken. Although underOATH is credited by Mortal Treason as "brothers," the screaming is well executed by Seth Kimbrough. The screams has such depth and is highly felt through out. Instrumentally, the album will race your adrenaline. The drums are nothing short of a spectacle. It makes its presence known on the opening track Best Case Scenario
, which has an eerie feel for no vocals and clocking in at 1:42. The addition of Elizabeth Kimbrough (Seth's wife) on keys gives an evil feel added to the Mortal Treason sound. Brutally honest guitar and bass work. Delivering quite a punch and crunch. Duel guitars work well, the music for the most part don’t bother with solos. Production makes the album sound very polished, but not too much to where it takes away from their sound.
It seems the main focus on the album is the coming Judgement Day. Where, as quoted from the track One Hour From Forever
, "To die is to live." Such a different attitude with Christian music compared to artist like Third Day. After all, Seth himself said the point of the band is to spread the word about Jesus Christ. But he is doing it his own way. On the self titled track, Seth portrays God as a woman who is the beginning and the end, who will let the fallen fall and the believers rejoice. The final track Death Is The Beginning
, which is described as a straight forward praise to Jesus Christ. As it seems as the album forces religion down your throat, but it is still a good listen for the secular crowd as well. Abaddon
makes a positive message against those sick people who deprive innocent little girls of their decency. Letting them know that even though their innocence is stolen, that judgment will make them pay for their heinous crimes. Beautifully written lyrics throughout the entire disc. They don’t seem to follow any pattern of rhythm, but they come and fit together as if it was.
Please don’t let the over preaching turn away from looking into what was one great death metal band, even though it maybe a contradiction in terms. The music is intense and lots of effort went into the making of this cd. Its such a shame that the band disbanded shortly after the release of this, to live their lives and to raise families. There isn’t a single ounce of filler throughout, every song will fill your brain with ear blistering riffs, throat splitting good screaming vocals, and heart pounding drums. I can recommend this to those people that didn't get what they wanted out of underOATH, as far as quality goes.
The Sludge's Thumb Up's:
Worst Case Scenario
One Hour From Forever
Death Is Only The Beginning