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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 May
Sounds like … the emo-rock of Taking Back Sunday and Story of the Year with a little bit of Panic! At the Disco and Fall Out Boy's radio-friendly style.At a glance … a quantum leap from the band's debut, Tension is a lyrical improvement for Dizmas, and front man Zach Zegan has never sounded better.Track Listing Jealously Hurts
Shake it Off
Play it Safe
If You Love Someone
See Daylight
This is a Warning
The Voice is Ghostly
Nothing At All
Until You Rescued Me

Reinvention. Like a fresh coat of paint for your living room, it's necessary from time to time in music. Just ask Linkin Park. After a successful run as the leader of the pack in all things rap/rock, the band's recent offering Minutes to Midnight ditched the rap and showcased a new side to its artistry that surprised more than a few fans, not to mention the critics.

In the same fashion, the second effort from Dizmas, aptly titled Tension, is bound to throw a few of the faithful for a loop(not to mention the naysayers). Before you hastily assume that I'm segueing into another tired commentary about sophomore slumps, think again. Thanks to smarter lyrics, savvier production, and a modern, retooled sound, Dizmas' brand of hard rock has never sounded better.

The most notable improvement is in front man Zach Zegan's vocals. While he proved he could scream with the best of the post-hardcore singers on Dizmas' 2005 debut, On a Search in America, his delivery is far more restrained this time. Not in a sanitized, sellout sort of way, but instead showing off his full-bodied chops, whether in a tender ballad like "If You Love Someone" or the raucous "Jealously Hurts." And though songs like "Dance" and the far-too-repetitive-to-be-taken-seriously "Shake It Off" suffer from bouts of lyrical triteness, the band has upped the songwriting ante this time around with thoughtful tracks like "See Daylight," and "The Voice is Ghostly."

Too bad there aren't any awards handed out for "Most Improved Artist" at the GMA Music Awards each year—I'd officially nominate Dizmas for the honor. Not only is Tension thoroughly enjoyable to listen to, but it provides further proof that a little reinvention can change the course of a band's career.

© Christa Banister, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.