Reviewed by James Stafford
Hardcore. Youthful exuberance, intensity and passion. And pretty noisy to boot. Recent visitors to the UK Stretch Arm Strong are a good example of melodic, punk-influenced hardcore played well. There are some mellower, more melodic moments on this album, like the more punk rock "Miles Apart" and "Black Clouds". The disc is augmented with the 2002 on tour video footage. Christians need not always be pushing a heavy message (although saying that is often a cop-out for not sharing the Faith), but is this disc uplifting for Christian listening? Is the song "The Calling" about the triumph of Christianity, or the triumph of hardcore music, or some other cause? Are "Miles Apart" and "Ignition" sung to a woman, or to God? Whilst "We Bleed" is a good song pushing for equality, ("Race, religion, sex and creed, we're all the same when we bleed"), what about the people nobly fighting for equality in this life who will still face an eternity in hell? Is there a message for them? Is there any message of hope to the person "Black Clouds" is written to? Not on this album. The other songs are equally ambiguous.
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