STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 143568-21443 LABEL: Hither & Yon 859710940034 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2013-11-15 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Chris Webb
It's hot and oppressive indoors, you open a window and a cool breeze sweeps into the room and clears the mental cobwebs away. Listening to Gungor is just like that. No longer a 'worship band', they have thrown off their shackles and freely explore many and varied musical styles with skill and ability. The first and title track is enthrallingly magnificent in scope and concept, an anthem of praise that shouts "listen to me, you won't be sorry!" as keyboard, guitar and voice compete to lead the listener to new heights. A spaghetti western intro to "Beat Of Her Heart" starts a song about love lost with a hint of the song "The Devil Came To Georgia" and a touch of the Biblical story of Lot's wife as subject matter. The futility of war is taken up in the driving rock track "God And Country" that ends with an acoustic guitar and voice simply pronouncing as the final chorus "Those who live by the gun, die by the gun," a lyric so pertinent for us in today's violent world. The haunting beauty of Lisa's delicate solo vocals in "Wandering" with its simple, sparse instrumental backing is contrasted with the contemporary pop feel of "Long Way Off" and "Finally". "Yesternite" has a lyrical throwback to the Beatles' classic "Yesterday" with crisp, clear classical guitar to tantalise the listener. This album merits the widest possible audience.
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Passionate about Jesus, Grammy Award-nominees Michael and his band have garnered rave reviews for their original songs and “liturgical post-rock” style.
Michael, often drawing comparisons to Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire and Bon Iver, uses his skills as an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, arranger and producer on I Am Mountain to kick off a journey of stories told, some personal, some allegorical, but all honest and forthright.
Setting aside his reliance on what he calls ‘metaphysical constructs I’d known all my life’, Gungor has tapped his considerable musical reserves for a song set simultaneously revelatory in its lyrical content, ambitious in its sonic scope and compelling in its approachability.
Michael shares vocalisations in Gungor with wife Lisa, and together they interact, counter-play and underscore each song’s arc with precision and versatility, be it the plaintive whisper of Yesternite, the lost-then-found effect choices made on Wandering and ’70s-era evocation on the chorus of Let It Go.