Spero_UK - Mercy Sublime

Published Monday 24th September 2018
Spero_UK - Mercy Sublime
Spero_UK - Mercy Sublime

STYLE: Dance/Electronic
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 173283-27199
LABEL: Independent
RRP: £6.00

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

As Yeovil's Southville demonstrated last year, you don't have to be a megachurch to deliver a quality modern worship album. What you do need is time and studio resources. Concerning time - selecting truly memorable songs from the dozens or hundreds of songs a bunch of local church songwriters will pen over a period of time is tough. Let's face it, worship songs requiring as they do simple, singable melodies and with a whole Bible to inspire lyrics are easy to write. It takes discernment to work out whether a particular song has any potential of being heard outside the walls of a particular church. Then there's the question of studio resources. Way too many churches feel that a live recording will suffice to bring a batch of their songs to the church-going public or if they do invest in a studio recording they endeavour to replicate the increasingly tired stadium rock sounds that in years past seemed innovative when applied to songs of praise and worship but today sound stereotypical. Jez Chalmers and the collective of singers and musicians from Stoke-on-Trent's Grace Church may have plumped for an ancient name ("spero" is Latin for "I have hope") but their sound could hardly be newer. A futuristic electronica approach brings their anthems of a saviour nailed to a tree or a shepherd carrying us through life an almost science fiction ambience where ancient history and the eternal vistas of quarks and black holes converge. To take four local church congregational worship songs - two of them "Mercy Sublime" and "Father In Heaven" extremely singable - and introduce them to the streaming and CD-buying public in an experimental worship style light years from how they are, or could be, performed in church may seem a strange idea. But to me it's a daring one. Will 'Mercy Sublime' find a market? Well, for a start, the same electronica savvy music fans who bought the recent Eikon worship project should be pointed towards 'Mercy Sublime'. Surely this EP is one of the most ambitious debut recordings ever produced by a local church.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Mercy Sublime [Listen]
2. Lord Almighty [Listen]
3. My Shepherd [Listen]
4. Father In Heaven [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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