STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 145747-22759 LABEL: Mars Hill FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Many followers of the heavier end of rock music were amazed when in 2013 the highly successful Thrice called it a day and even more amazed when frontman and main songwriter Dustin Kensrue took up a position as worship pastor of Mars Hill Church in Bellevue, Washington. This album was subsequently released and is unquestionably one of the finest worship projects of the last decade. First off one has to say that this is lyrically and musically a long way from Thrice's less-than-easy works like 'The Artist In The Ambulance' and 'T & C'. Musically one could call 'The Water & The Blood' indie blues/folk/rock while lyrically the sometimes obscure metaphors of Thrice have been abandoned in favour of vertically aimed lyrics which are rich in theology and avoid the lightweight musings of some modern worship. There are at least three classic songs on this set. "Rejoice" is reformed theology expressed succinctly in an engaging, upbeat song ("We are children of the promise/The beloved of the Lord/Won with everlasting kindness/Bought with sacrificial blood") while the dark and slow-building "It's Not Enough", originally written to be on a Thrice album, expresses eloquently how no fame or fortune is enough to make Kensrue whole. "Suffering Servant" is a beautiful piano-driven song with some deft female harmony and "God Is Good" is deeply reassuring ("And even when it seems he pays no mind/We have a guarantee of this great love/In Christ who came and left his crown behind/That one day we would reign with him above"). My absolute favourite has to be "Grace Alone" with Kensrue original even surpassing the fine Kings Kaleidoscope version. All in all, a breathtaking album.
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