STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 160840-23888 LABEL: Tooth & Nail FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Formerly known as A Feast For Kings, Kentucky hard rockers XXI have released what is essentially their debut album under their new name with the single "Say It Again" setting the scene for a thunderous collection of songs that deal with the grittier aspects of the Christian faith and life in general. Hardcore music naturally lends itself to expressions of angst and turmoil but, whilst the band certainly don't shy away from these emotions, they are always careful to offer up the hope found in Jesus amidst the gloom. For instance, the likes of "Hanging By A Thread" and "Misfit" deal with feelings of rejection and isolation whilst the aforementioned opener encourages focus away from self and onto others through the example of Christ. For the most part, the band flex their heavy rock muscles to great effect with lead singer Carson Butcher alternating between power vocals and all-out screaming backed by the obligatory crunching guitars and pounding drums - the only disappointment being the mix of the latter which regrettably makes Robbie Barnett's expert tub-thumping sound thin and occasionally insubstantial. Nonetheless, this is an competent release that not only honours the group's former lead singer Eric Gentry - who passed away at the tender age of 21 - but also acknowledges the struggles of life whilst offering up some light in a music genre that is so often dominated by darkness.
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