Reviewed by Rod Lobaugh
Certainly, while 1997 is being lauded as the year of electronic music, every cynic will agree that in a few years Christian music will launch a few Chemical Brothers and Prodigy clones, because (as 'everyone' knows) Christian music is perpetually late and insignificant in the larger social scope. While there is much to that statement within mainstream Christian music, one need only to look at the underground Christian scene to see some surprising standards being set. Take the new release by Blackhouse, 'Shades Of Black'. Blackhouse bring an entirely Christian perspective over a techno/industrial landscape and not only is this record completely relevant in musical style, it is Blackhouse's 13th album. They have been leading the way since their first release in 1984. Unfortunately, Blacklight Records is trying to push 'Shades Of Black' to the Nine Inch Nails/Ministry crowd. A massive error considering Blackhouse lean far more toward a rave-techno style of electronica. Blackhouse rip their way through songs like "TGII" in a manner similar to Atari Teenage Riot, yet miles away from ATR in attitude and heart. Other songs incorporate much more hip hop than punk/hardcore, separating them entirely from the pounding, heavy attack commonly associated with industrial. Blackhouse's lyrics are of the blink and you'll miss it type. The lyrics are quickly spoken, sung or screamed and often not very long, or intelligible. There are some exceptions though. On "Shout", Blackhouse call for a return to the original passions of rock and roll, rather than the commercially layered within most of what is thrown the consumer's way. It is too bad Blackhouse does not include more songs like "Shout". They certainly seem to have a lot of good things to say as well as interesting observations of the industrial and techno scenes.
The opinions expressed in this article are
not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed
views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may
not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a
Interested in reviewing music? Find out