STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 29091-12900 LABEL: Reunion 602341011723 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2007-08-28 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Mark Lawrence
After a hugely successful last few years with two platinum-selling albums and equally well received live projects, Atlanta pop rockers Casting Crowns return with an album which explores the theme of how religious life can sometimes be left at the door of the church and fail to overspill into the world outside. Traditionally album number three is a defining point in a band's legacy: some bands self implode and produce an album high on production sheen but low on song quality (Oasis), other bands though go on to produce their masterpiece (Coldplay, Radiohead). In Casting Crowns' case album number three leans closer to the masterpiece than the flop but leaves you with a sense that they have even greater things to come. This in essence is the quintessential rock album with a mixture of up-tempo guitar-driven riffs on songs such as opener "What The World Needs Now" and the title track, sitting alongside the more anthemic, arms in the air tracks such as "Everyman" and "The Word Is Alive". What is particularly impressive is the lyrical content of all the songs on the album, which are written out of first hand experiences of working with real people with real struggles. Throughout 'The Altar And The Door' Casting Crowns display real integrity, the huge success they have experienced hasn't become their god, instead every song is drenched in a passion for God and a longing to go deeper with Jesus. Lead singer Mark Hall still works as a youth pastor and this has clearly helped keep him grounded and this album is a reflection on this. 'The Altar And The Door' is clearly a Casting Crowns album in sound, content and style but this is far from being a negative thing and will appeal to both existing fans as well as draw in new ones.
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Despite Casting Crowns’ successful records they are still the same down-to-earth people with ministry at the heart of what they do, both on the road and in their local churches.
Casting Crowns’ third album, 'The Altar And The Door' draws on this first-hand ministry experience with real people, real-life struggle and the faith that overcomes.
“At the altar everything makes sense” says Mark Hall, lead singer. “When we’re in the church and spending time with God we know what we’re supposed to do and how to live. Everything is black and white. But somewhere between the altar and the door, when we leave and go out into our lives, it all leaks out. Everything gets grey again. It’s like we have these two lives and the Christian life is the journey between the altar and the door... Trying to get the things you’ve got in your head into your hands, into your feet, into your life. This album is all about that journey of realisation, the struggles we encounter and the victory of seeing it as possible.”