Sleeping Giant
Dread Champions of the Last Days

Wow. A devastatingly heavy Christian hardcore with some serious attitude to go with their beliefs and it makes for a pretty fucking crushing debut, and one of Facedown’s better releases.

Even Facedown’s other Christian acts such as Alove For Enemies, Inked In Blood and War of Ages, can’t compete with Sleeping Giant’s blatant Christian rage and heft and the bands Revelation’s sized hardcore hymns of repentance, while certainly will fall on deaf ears within the non-Christian metal community, should be a rousing rallying cry for the flock.

Personally, I just enjoy the music and passion, as a band like Sleeping Giant isn’t going to change my religious beliefs but I can respect the heft and passion of their message, as Dread Champions of the Last Daysis an epic, downright heavy and righteous slab of fervent hardcore. The heavy handed nature of the lyrics is matched by the music, and other than a few ill placed moments of P.O.D-like clean crooning/spoken words and odd commercial rap metal injections (“Whoremonger”-though still a stout track overall and “Dynasty”), the music is simply pummeling, down-tuned and sincerely heavy. Tracks like “This Calls For Patience And Endurance on the Part of Saints”, “Behold a Pale Horse, “Covenant”, “Narrow Road”, “The Power of Prayer”, “No Sleep From My Eyes” and “Blame it on the Holy Rollers”, when laced Thom Green’s almost death metal bellow, is quite frankly some of the gnarliest hardcore I’ve heard.

Also, as with most Christian metal, there’s some moments of lucid grace, but rather than throw in a simple acoustic segue, the band has a more sermon-ish, epic approach; “Sleeping Giant”, the massive “King of Kings”, the hymnal “Oh Praise Him” and closer “This Is My Heart” (in fact the albums later third) expand on the short bursts of hardcore fury with more beautiful, expansive and experimental elements

Lyrically, I’m not about to go to church because of this record, but they are certainly more intimidating, formidable and direct than many of their nicer, more preachy peers and a little reminiscent of The Showdown’s first album;

Hail! The Fourth seal screams the beast is holding the veil at bay and it all seems surreal to war and conquer life from all man. Slain by sword the plagues rising the beast of burden becomes your demise. Oh my god I’ve not known a fear so pure and here it swings. Again by my vision now the rider cloaked in heavens name is. I can’t speak I shake I see him. Slain by sword, the plagues rising. The one who sat on him was death and all Hell Followed with him. All hell Follows with him. BEHOLD the Pale Horse. All Hell Follows With Him.

This isn’t your fathers Sunday School and this isn’t your father’s hardcore band. This is good enough stuff to get ol’ JC spin kicking.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
May 14th, 2007

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