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Free to Conquer

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Mar
Free to Conquer
Sounds like … a range of different hardcore, emo, grunge, and modern rock influences, including Hoobastank, Thursday, Taking Back Sunday, Pillar and 12 Stones.At a glance … neither sublime nor subpar, subseven's Free to Conquer is middle-of-the-road rock fare that would sit indistinctly among other young hopefuls.Track Listing Up to YouMaydayFree to ConquerFamily SecretsDirt RoadsHold OnBlinking LightsGame of LoveBreatheVampire

No, subseven does not stand for "below seven" or "less than perfect." Though some may be tempted to describe this brand-new Weatherford, Oklahoma band that way, the name is simply a contraction of the words "submitted" and a number that in the Bible stands for the flawlessness of God. With this in mind, it's safe to say that the quintet's main goal isn't necessarily to wow audiences with their radio-friendly hard rock debut, Free to Conquer. Rather, their bio indicates that subseven is an unabashed ministry-minded ensemble intent on encouraging teens to submit to God.

This zeal manages to translate well to their sound, a mix of varying sonic tendencies that bring to the fore the band's eagerness to communicate their message. And what better conduit to relay this enthusiasm than melodic hard rock a la Hoobastank ("Free to Conquer"), modern rock ("Mayday"), fast-paced emo ("Dirt Roads"), grueling screamo rock ("Game of Love"), and even an instance of pensive rock balladry ("Breathe"). Though this scattershot diversity is in some ways commendable, one also wishes they would find their strength and stick to it. Considering that the disc is barely 35 minutes long, subseven spreads themselves thin with four or five stylistic swaps in such a limited span.

Like Pillar or 12 Stones before it, subseven is likely to gain a strong following based on the sheer popularity of the styles they juggle, as teens can't seem to get enough of this muscular, riff-happy sound. And I'm sure that's perfectly okay with the band, as ministry has always taken precedence in what they do. But here's hoping this all-encompassing, divide-and-conquer approach is replaced by more focus and direction the next time around.

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