STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 148464-21714 LABEL: Integrity 0000768526620 FORMAT: CD Album RELEASE DATE: 2014-03-17 RRP: £13.00
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Released on 17th March, this is the album which will cement the Bangor-based collective as the act who've taken over the mantle of Delirious? as Britain's most popular Christian ministry band. 'The Art Of Celebration' is quite simply a classic and the first three tracks alone will surely produce huge radio exposure and international popularity. Ever since their formation Cross Rhythms has been praising Rend's ability to integrate Irish folk lilt to pumping rock bombast and both "Joy" and "Burn Like A Star" feature massed voice bvs and shouts which will prove irresistible to a throng wanting to dance before the Lord. The hooks too ("We're dancing to the rhythms of your heart/We're rising from the ashes to the stars" and "Burn like a star, light a fire in our hearts") are utterly compelling. Then comes that delightful "My Lighthouse" which has already been heard on a few summer festival live albums and now comes to us in all its crisp, bound-for-the-charts single catchiness. More great tracks continue with "Immeasurably More" ("You are more, more, more than we can imagine") and the propulsive "More Than Conquerors" with its huge drum sound and its Mumford & Sons-style vibe are particular standouts. Much has already been made about Rend's ability to take congregational worship music into new places. Now they've delivered the album which will affect tens of thousands of congregations.
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The Art Of Celebration takes the idea of celebration a step further, showing us that celebration is not a one-dimensional thing but rather that it is the essence of our inheritance in God and our journey together as a community of believers that we celebrate.
From the rousing More Than Conquerors and My Lighthouse, to the reflective Immeasurably More and Simplicity, this contains the creativity that has been associated with Rend yet with a depth of spirituality that transcends across the Church. These songs show a maturing and honing of their craft as songwriters for the Church allowing The Art Of Celebration to show what it simply is.