Saving Grace
Unbreakable

When I reviewed (for another site) the 2008 album, Behind Enemy Lines, from New Zealand’s Christian metalcore/hardcore act, I suggested that Facedown/Strikefirst Records would be a good fit for this band for their next album.

Booyah.

Ok, enough of that – onto the album. The fact this album is on Strikefirst (Facedown’s baby brother) should clue you in as to the style of music as the label has brought you the likes of Earth From Above, The Great Commission and In the Midst of Lions last year, and Saving Grace in no different: vehement Christian metal that will blast you into salvation.

Dropping all of their clean, As I Lay Dying influences (clean vocals, bouncy dual harmonies) from Behind Enemy Lines, Saving Grave are a much burlier beast now with the emphasis on uber bludgeoning metallic hardcore like label mates The Great Commission and acts like Built Upon Frustration, Liferuiner and such. This shift is readily apparent from opening intro “End of Days” as Saving Grace lurch and lope with heavy handed prose through 47 minutes of blistering hardcore filled with hefty metallic riffs, huge breakdowns and a vocals that range from gruff hardcore shouts, deep death metal growls and gang chants.

Absolutely nothing on Unbreakable is creative, unique or ground breaking, but for the straight edge spin kickers out there, Unbreakable is a fierce, honest album. Tracks like “Unbreakable”, “The Disgusting Maw”, “Pukelips”, the more varied “Oaxaca” (featuring a guest appearance from For Today’s Mattie Montgomery) thrashing “All, but the Archer” and impressive closer “The Determined Drunk” are sheer rumbling aggression despite their Christian themes. And mostly these aren’t simple 2-3 hardcore blasts but fully developed songs.

The only respite is the interlude “The Eye of the Storm Part II”, to what is otherwise one of likely to be one of the more impressive Christian beat downs you’ll hear in 2010.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
January 12th, 2010

Comments

  1. Commented by: xbenx

    Bang on the money, there are also some European influences bubbling in there, like Arkangel/Sentence, so that sells me.


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