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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Jun
Sounds like … melodic hard rock from bands like Skillet, Pillar, Seventh Day Slumber, Seether, and Jonah33.At a glance … Disciple's better than average hard rock sound is marred by tired lyricism and a lack of sonic variation.Track Listing The Wait Is OverStripped AwayInto BlackOnly YouRise UpWorth It AllShine DownFalling OverGo AheadBeautifulBe the QuietBackstabberAll We Have Is NowTribute

Say what you will about their unoriginal name, but Disciple is no rookie act. Vocalist/lyricist Kevin Young and drummer Tim Barrett have been playing together since their early teens, and the band has been active for more than 10 years with guitarist Brad Noah and newly added bassist Joey Fife. Yet despite six albums to their credit, a loyal fan base, and considerable album sales for an independent band, Disciple has yet to make a lasting impression. They hope to change that with a new record deal and this buzz-worthy self-titled effort.

The buzz stems from continued evolution in sound, shifting away from the harder grunge and rapcore screaming of their previous efforts. With the aid of producer Travis Wyrick (P.O.D., Pillar), Disciple has learned that they can be melodic and hook-laden while still maintaining metal edge. Of course, many have long since proven that much—most notably Skillet and Seventh Day Slumber in addition to the aforementioned Wyrick productions. But this band still distinguishes itself with skillful playing, polished production, Young's strong non-grunge vocal, and more of an '80s pop-metal influence than most.

The guys can rock; now if only they could do so without sounding so repetitive. Some songs like "Shine Down," "Be the Quiet," and "Worth It All" stand out with stronger melodies and catchier choruses. But averaging three minutes per track, most are as good (or generic) as another, spaced only by the requisite Christian rock ballads ("Only You," "Beautiful"). Disciple's greatest historical hindrance, however, has been predictable lyricism written around overused scriptural themes, like calling a generation to action ("The Wait Is Over," "Rise Up") or God's eternal comfort ("Into Black," "Be the Quiet").

Still, Disciple's heavier style is a welcome change from the overabundance of neo-grunge and nü-metal. There's still room for improvement, but there's also enough here to please most hard rock fans, along with Disciple's faithful followers.

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