The Violet Burning - I Am A Stranger In This Place

Thursday 1st February 2001
The Violet Burning - I Am A Stranger In This Place
The Violet Burning - I Am A Stranger In This Place

RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Sovereign SP070003-2
RRP: £4.99

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

Stranger offers classic Violet Burning songs and gives leader Michael Pritzl the opportunity to re-live his best musical moments, re-record them with the current line up of the band and breathe even more vibe into what is already a pretty atmospheric back catalogue. Reminiscent of a cross section of 80s bands, most notably with a touch of The Fall and a smattering of U2 here and there, the subtitle of the album, 'An Experiment In Vibe', seems an accurate summation of the contents. There are so many highlights to take you to ever wonderful moments but let me pick a couple. "Song Of The Harlot/My God, My Strength" was originally recorded on the 'Strength' album and here it seems to vibrate with even stronger passion, portraying a moving picture of grace. Thematically it seems fitting that "As I Am" follows on as it only emphasises just how unconditionally God loves us. The pounding rhythms of "There Is Nowhere Else" gives a powerful re-interpretation of one of the band's earliest songs and a decade after its writing, it still powerfully connects. Ultimately, these are worship songs cleverly disguised as something else and Pritzl was making intimate, vibey worship in the days before there was a movement to take it to the broader Church. So perhaps now is a good time to discover what makes The Violet Burning such cult heroes. Slap the CD in the stereo, turn the volume up loud and let the music and the intertwining vocals of Pritzl and Melissa Barnett wash over you.

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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