Life In Your Way
Kingdoms

I was pretty gutted when Life In Your Way broke up, especially on the heels of 2007s Waking Giants, one of my very favorite records of the years and favorite metalcore records ever.  Well, earlier this year, after a 4 year layoff, the band has mostly reunited (former Wrench in the Works drummer Andy Nelson being the only new member), and released this crowning achievement.

Consisting of 3 separate EP’s; The Kingdom of Man, The Kingdom of God and The Kingdom of Darkness, this release can either be had as a 3 disc, deluxe digipack, or as a free download (which blows my mind). But regardless of the format , these 13 songs show that this Connecticut act are simply the best Christian metal act out there, and are as glorious to me as Lazarus’s return from the dead.

Despite being a hardcore atheist, Life In Your Way just do something for me. Their form of melodic metalcore filled with gorgeous melodies, driving riffs and uplifting choruses is the nearest I would ever come to a religious epiphany. And if the actual religion of Christianity and Christians gave me near the same feelings that this band did, I’d be converted in a heartbeat. But unfortunately, that will never happen, so I’m left to enjoy Kingdoms in all its musical glory.

The first 4 tracks that comprise The Kingdom of Man seems to represents man’s nature- conflicted, contentious but full of promise and desperate for help. The music reflects this with a sonic duality that shifts from fierce metalcore to more soaring choruses. As the EP opens with Joshua Kellem screaming “FOREVEEEEEEEER!!!!!!!!!!” and the instantly recognizable strains of Life In Your Way‘s layered, passionate melodic hues you know the album will be special. “Blind in Retrospect” and “Forsaken Me” both deliver this dichotomy of human nature, with “Growth in Passion” providing the EP’s uplifting, if more commercial highlight.

The five tracks that deliver The Kingdom of God are the releases most soaring, melodic and beautiful moments of the release, obviously reflecting the grace of God as opposed to humanity’s nature. After the opening sermon of “Induction”,  you get the angelic  break  and chorus half way trough “Who Am I?” which segues into the hair raising, soaring choruses of ‘”Like a River” , “The Healer” and the gorgeous acoustics of “Ascension”, which make me feel all warm and fuzzy as they are arguably the standouts of the entire release.

The Kingdom of Darkness, as you may have already guessed, is the releases more violent, metal third. Starting with the surprisingly hefty “Ruler of the Air” and “Take Notes”‘,  the first two of the last four tracks are less clean and graceful focusing on choppy, discordant, if still layered and cautiously melodic metalcore. The with “Swarm” we see a little more light rising from the dissonant darkness with a rousing gang chant. But “Buried Idols” fades out the releases with stirring melodies and an almost “get your shit together” foreboding mood.

There have been  a lot of good, potential replacements for Life In Your Way while they were gone (We the  Gathered, Hands, Your Memorial, It Prevails, etc) but the true kings have returned and claimed the throne of truly moving Christian metalcore.

Life is about balance and as much as I enjoy the likes of Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse, Origin, Deicide and other more brutal, offensive acts, its a band like Life In Your Way that balances me and my music out and stops me from becoming as vile and violent as the aforementioned acts. And lets face it, this world could use a little more balance. on the positive side…

 

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 27th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: terp

    Had never heard of these guys. Definitely growing on me. Thanks for the reco.


  2. Commented by: Juan Manuel Pinto

    I find christian metalcore waaaaaay more offensive than Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse, Origin, Deicide and other more brutal bands


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