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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Volume 1

  • reviewed by Andrea Dawn Goforth Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2008 1 Sep
Volume 1
Sounds like … a sound that slides into the hard rock pocket with bands like Emery, Tool, and Children 18:3, but adding a hint of electronic pop reminiscent of Mae.At a glance … The Becoming makes for a good addition to the Tooth and Nail lineup with a solid rocked-out debut that plays it just a little too safe with their sound.Track ListingDressed In BlackThe One to Hurt YouOur First SunriseI CrySilent as The GraveThe Night that Has No Morning We're Already DeadYour LoveHeaven Isn't So FarSomebody Didn't Come Home Last NightEscape YouWe Close Our EyesUnder the Full Eclipse

As accurately proclaimed in their band biography, The Becoming is a band that appeared out of nowhere. While other bands struggle for years playing gig after gig trying to get noticed, The Becoming just popped up on Tooth and Nail this year. Wikipedia doesn't even have anything on these guys yet. So without any history to consider, all we have to go on is their debut album, simply titled Volume 1. This of course implies there will be other volumes to come, so the band needed to put their foot in the door with this album—and that much they did.

At the first hit of the opening track, "Dressed in Black," the distorted guitar kicks in, layered with whirling synth. I hoped as it continued that this wouldn't be yet another band poorly trying to reinvent 80's rock, and thankfully, the grooving chorus and inventive string/choir section proved that is not the case. In fact, The Becoming has a hint of electronica that helps spruce up tunes like "Silent as the Grave" and "We're Already Dead." This isn't the tacked on work of a crafty producer, but of band member Justin Carpenter, the keyboard/programmer who gives the group its creative edge.

Lead Singer Caleb Owens puts forward a smooth rock vocal that becomes the control on an album of diverse variables. A couple of tracks—"Silent as The Grave" and "Our First Sunrise"—take on a bit of a goth edge with haunting effects and choirs, while others like the upbeat "Your Love" approach pop/rock territory. While the widely differing styles threaten the album's cohesion, Owens' voice somehow brings it all together.

Though all the guys in this band look like the kind my parents would have forbidden me to date when I was younger, their lyrics prove that their faith is not only tattooed all over their bodies, but also on their hearts. "Your Love," for example, declares their death to sin and new life in Christ: "Now they sing a requiem, a funeral in my name/It's a haunting thing to hear, if it were not for Your grace."

I suspect this is not the best we'll hear from The Becoming, but if the album's any indicator, then at least it won't be the last we'll hear of them either. It's a solid debut in songwriting and performance, enough to get them started, but ?The Becoming seem capable of more innovation with their mix of goth, pop/rock, and programmed sounds. Volume 1 plays it a little safe, as you'd expect from a debut; perhaps the sound will become more defined with Volume 2.

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