Revival by As Hell Retreats (Strike First Records)
“American Christianity is a disease,” screams the lyrics on Contradiction – one of the songs on As Hell Retreats debut CD for Strike First Records. Not an evil Black Metal band bent on the nefarious, but a Christian hardcore outfit making a powerful observation on the state of organized religion today. The entire Revival album is a compelling testament of faith, and it’s one of the most thought provoking records of the year to be sure. The lyrical ideals are based in real life Christianity, and are performed with a sense of urgency and conviction by vocalist Jackson Greene.
After a brief Intro, Revival blasts at the listener in full force with the mesmerizing Inferior, a song about those who condemn others in the name of Christianity. The Holy Thief continues on the sonic reveries about those who steal your faith away from you. Messengers is another top cut, about people who worship Christian bands that deliver the gospel instead of turning to the real deal.
The most effective section is found at the conclusion of the disc, where the instrumental title track Revival soothes the listener with its ominous strains before bursting into the progression sounds of Poor God. The lyrics on this concluding track are definitely potent and introspective, and will give both Christians and non-believers a lot of think about as the disc spins to its mighty conclusion.
While a lot has been said here about the superb lyrics, the musicianship to be found within is absolutely first rate as well. Whether it’s the soaring guitar leads or the tighter than hell rhythm section, this band is sure to place their hometown Hendersonville, TN on the metal map.
In addition to aforementioned Jackson Greene on vocals, the As Hell Retreats lineup consists of Tyler Riley and Blake Hardman on searing guitars, Taylor Jones on bass, and Trent Davenport on drums. Mixing passion and intelligence with sheer brutality, As Hell Retreats is destined to become an important and driving force in the Christian metal arena.
(Review by Kenneth Morton)
As Hell Retreats on Myspace