The Midnight Wedding is debuting their music video “Powerless” exclusively on Rock On Purpose. You can watch the video, which was created by ATD Media, below.
The Midnight Wedding is a Christian rock group led by Caitlin and Brandon Trlak. The song “Powerless” is an introduction to their heart as a band.
“‘Powerless’ is about overcoming addiction, fear, worry, doubt, hopelessness, and depression,” the Trlaks share. “It’s a song of empowerment for those who are struggling with the lies that the world tells us: that we are not enough. If we stand in the grace of Jesus Christ, we can overcome everything we face. Our hope as artists is that our music will reach the lost, hopeless, rejected, outcast, and broken, to give them hope in Christ– that their life has purpose and meaning, and that whatever they are facing, they are not alone in this fight. We want the listener to know that the giants they are facing are Powerless.”
That theme of overcoming is captured visually in the video.
In their highly-anticipated second album, Living Scars has created an interesting amalgamation of theatrical and heavy sounds with a dash of electronic sprinkled beneath. Above the Ashes is not only a collection of good songs; this entire album is an experience, from start to finish.
The piano and strings on “Recalibrate” build up anticipation with the help of gentle drum samples that lead into the fulfillment of the full band joining the mix. The song keeps the feeling of an intense theatrical score all the way through, finishing abruptly with the screams of bassist Adam Renteria stating the album’s theme with the words “When the darkness comes, we will rise above the ashes.”
“Fall in Line” begins with a catchy, driving riff from guitarist Austin Schroeder. The heaviness remains throughout the rest of the piece, only fully backing off for the first appearance of the refrain. Vocalist Parker Crook demonstrates his dynamic voice throughout this piece, going from soaring falsetto to classic hard rock cleans. Lyrically, this song focuses on making the decision to live like Christ, even when it seems better to fall in line with the rest of the world.
The music intensifies with help from Chandler Crooks’ drum work in “Monument.” There’s a raw feeling of betrayal buried in both the music and the lyrics. The song ends with a breakdown that pairs well with the intro to the next track, “Wide Awake.” The mood easily shifts into a raging fight song that displays lyrics such as “I’ll stand for something and fall for nothing.”
“Escape” brings a theatrical sound reminiscent of Within Temptation; the music perfectly fits with the regretful desperation in the lyrics:
“And I know what I’ve done I spilled all the blood And I want to change Help me escape.”
Including guest vocals from Amongst the Giants’ Brian Boyd, “Hollow” is another anthem of pain and betrayal. The vocals compliment each other while the track beautifully melds radio rock and heavy metal breakdowns into a masterpiece.
The album slows for a bit with another perfect song pairing in “Misery” and “Deceived.” These two songs create an interlude of painfully beautiful honesty about humanity’s inherent weakness. “(Sic)” rounds off the interlude with an exquisite instrumental that perfectly leads into the escalating introduction to “Breakdown.” The invigorating music matches the words, ascending from the depths of the previous few songs:
“I feel it coursing through my veins The pressure’s rising, it’s okay ‘Cause it brings me right to you.”
“Into the Dark” is a determined war anthem featuring tasteful hints of synth among blaring guitars and raging drums. The intensity grows as the title track begins. “Above the Ashes” encapsulates the album’s theme in a passionate blend of heavy metal and uncompromising lyrics, fading into completion with a delicate score similar to the previous mellower songs.
The album officially finishes with a mashup of two previously released songs in “Broken Change (Crooked Remix).” Although the upbeat electronic sound doesn’t blend with the rest of the album, it’s an equally excellent bonus tune that’s worth a listen.
Above the Ashes is a masterpiece that honestly explores the depths of the human experience. The music feels like pain, betrayal, and triumph; the lyrics outline an epic journey of running away, repeatedly failing to stand alone, and finally returning home.
“Take my life into your hands Leave my memories in the past Open the door to a world with so much more Watch me rise above the ashes.”
Kingdom Come Festival in Greentown, IN, celebrated its 10th anniversary in June, with 2 days full of Christian music–29 bands/artists in all–on one stage!
This festival is run on donations so that festival parking, admission, and on-site camping can be free. It is such a blessing not only to those in IN, but to people across the US, who travel hundreds of miles to attend KCF each year. The festival features primarily Christian rock bands, but also brings in a couple artists of other genres, such as rap and contemporary Christian.
This was my first year attending KCF, and I was most excited to see Forsaken Hero perform live and meet frontman Casey Price. Forsaken Hero released their EP Anthem on June 1, and I tracked piano for two of the songs– “Masterpiece”, which also features Tate Olsen (touring cellist for Skillet), and “From Now On,” a cover from the hit movie The Greatest Showman. The band enthusiastically performed songs off the EP at the festival, opening up day 2 for The Protest and Fireflight. Casey Price said he is thankful that they were invited to play at KCF, and called it “a surreal experience…a dream come true!”
What makes KCF unique– aside from it being a totally free event– is that it is held in a veteran’s memorial park. Throughout the event you can see attendees and band members taking time to pray for, honor, and thank those who have served our country. KCF provides a great time for community and fellowship, and the message throughout the event is clear: you are loved. You matter.
If you would like to donate to help support this growing event and help them be fully funded for 2019, please send donations here.
Rockfest Records has announced that their newest signee is the rap/rock trio UnMasked.
UnMasked initially independently released their album Feels Like Homeearlier this year, a set of songs mixed by Paul Lipinksy (Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park) and featuring Tate Olsen (Skillet, Cellofourte). The album will be re-releasing under the Rockfest Records heading.
“Rockfest Records has added an amazing new band to the family!” the label, helmed by Joseph Rojas, shared in a post. “New record details coming soon!”
“Thank you, Rockfest Records for the opportunity. And for everyone who has been so supportive over this last year, we can’t thank you enough! We CANNOT WAIT to show you what we have been working on!” UnMasked added in their own post.
Skillet announced last week that they were awarded the “Billionaire Award” by Pandora, one of the oldest online music streaming service. This is given to artists after they reach one billion listens– Skillet has surpassed two billion. Skillet profusely thanked their fans for this milestone.
Pandora gave them the highest praise. Melissa Riddle, Pandora’s Programming Curator, said “Skillet is without peer in the world of fist-pumping, faith-informed rock, a rare kind of band that shatters stereotypes and marketing plans, while tapping into emotional DNA of people from all walks of life, believers and skeptics alike.”
This week has been abounding with Skillet news, not only with the Pandora Billionaire’s Award, but with the drop of two more tracks off their forthcoming album Victorious. These tracks are called “Anchor” and “Save Me.” They have released lyric videos for both, which you can watch below.
To keep up with Skillet’s current tour dates, information, releases, and photos, follow these links:
Pop rock band Attaboy is newest addition to Radiate Music, the unique studio/management/label fusion helmed by producer Ian Eskelin (founding member of All Star United). Along with the announcement, the band christened the new era by releasing “Waking Up.”
The Indiana-based band has made a name for themselves playing concerts and camps across the country. “Waking Up” is the first taste of an upcoming full length album. The band enlisted Doug Weier (Anberlin, We Are Leo) for the track.
Guitarist Jeff Edgel describes the song as a kind of call to action. “In a world filled with hatred and barriers attempting to separate us, the song celebrates living a life characterized by unity and love.”
Wolves At The Gate has released new lyric videos for the songs “A Voice in the Violence” and “The Cure,” tracks from upcoming album Eclipse.
Both songs have released since April, leading towards the July 26 release of Eclipse. You can preorder the album now. The band will also be heading out on a summer tour in support of the album, with dates available on bandsintown.
Eclipse is the follow up to acclaimed 2016 album Types & Shadows. To keep up with Wolves At The Gate, follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Seventh Day Slumber is at the forefront of what seems to be a resurgence– both in Christian rock as a whole, and in their own personal music and ministry. The band’s last album Found released in 2017, full of songs that saw a kind of spiritual homecoming for the band, centered on experiencing God’s grace again after a period of darkness. This summer’s follow-up seems to turn those foundational messages back and apply them to a world that is, both externally and internally for many listeners, spinning truly Closer to Chaos.
“Alive Again” sets the tone for the whole album with its gritty verses and soaring chorus, sinking deep into the tension of a desperate desire for life to collide with the places where we feel most broken. The song also makes it clear that this will be a rock record, with riffs standing front and center.
“Cold Kiss Embrace” and “Burning an Empire” bring us into the heart of the chaos, the internal pressure and societal decay that can bring us to a place of desperation. Each song is led by Joseph Rojas’s signature gritty vocals, delivering performances that bring weight to each topic he addresses. “Light it Up” serves as a note of defiance to addiction and destructive habits. Swaggering “Drama” bows out of harmful relationship patterns.
Sonically, the guitars here feel the most full, developed, and intentional of any Seventh Day Slumber record yet, under the careful guidance of Jeremy Holderfield (who also produced the project). “Man Down” comes from the perspective of someone who has reached the absolute end of themselves, a theme that rides waves of beautifully textured electric and acoustic guitar above a persistent bass line from Ken Reed.
Another notable musical facet to Closer to Chaos is the contributions of drummer Blaise Rojas, who at just 17 has already been playing with the band for 4 years. His drum fills round out the tracks, but his songwriting contributions make an appearance too on songs like “The Letter.” This raw, visceral song plays almost like a sequel to Seventh Day classic “Chris’ Letter,” updated for a new generation perhaps even more urgently in need of a reminder that they’re not alone.
“‘I think you’d be better off if I wasn’t here I’m writing you for the last time, Been hurting for years,’ said the page stained with tears.”
That kind of confessional has always been crucial to the core of who Seventh Day Slumber is. Their refusal to shy away from the full reality of human pain allows them to offer a hope that doesn’t feel ignorant or empty. “Sober” takes a raw look at addiction, at the tantalizing temptation of going numb, at how difficult it is to do the hard work of healing instead of just coping. But between “The Letter” and “Sober” stands “Still Breathing,” a song of honest surrender crying to God “breathing, You’re keeping me alive / my heart’s still beating, You brought me back to life.” The album wraps with “Your Eyes,” a song which juxtaposes the worst places we find ourselves in with the truth of our identity in the eyes of a God who loves us enough to choose to be with us in the loneliest places.
Occasionally a band puts out a record that feels like somehow the truest version of themselves, like they’ve laser-focused in on all the things they’ve always wanted to sing. Closer to Chaos feels like that for Seventh Day Slumber. Every song is heavy both musically and thematically, taking on raw pain with visceral guitar riffs and vocals. The scale of the heartbreak addressed on Closer to Chaos is massive, but the hope of redemption claimed as truth is even bigger still.