Reviewed by Gareth Hills
The adjective 'heavy', for which my macbook's dictionary has the definition "having a strong bass component and forceful rhythm", is one that is thrown around a lot, for obvious reasons, in contemporary metal and hardcore. Supplementing that definition should be an entry for Gideon. Exploding out of Alabama, this five-piece melodic hardcore outfit, who had already said a lot on their previous release, are back to say (or scream) even more. Lyrically the album is rather mature with songs dealing with family breakdown ("Coward"), the miracle of unconditional forgiveness ("Prodigal Son") and, powerfully, a lament for a mother who the son so desperately wants to come to God ("Maternity"). Occasionally, the band find themselves clinging a little too tightly to the metalcore aesthetic - I'm talking about breakdowns. There are some absolute piledrivers to be sure - "Bad Blood" in particular, where the band mix djent-like riffage with some interesting drum ideas - but the album also made me realise that the genre has perhaps become a little stale in this regard. However, whatever your opinions about this aspect of metal, the band do transcend the limits of their genre on many occasions. The title track comes out of nowhere with its picked guitar harmonics, strings and gorgeous piano. The moment quickly gives way into "Maternity", a relentless freight train of desperation, and a plea to God to "bring her home, bring her home". All in all, an album which doesn't give up in its passion, energy and rawness, and an example of a Christian metal band doing it right.
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