Sleeping Giant
Sons of Thunder

The 2007 debut, Dread Champions of the Last Daysfrom this So-Cal hardcore band was an impressive mix of fervent, righteously rumbling hardcore and more hymnal, sermon-ish, prose that resulted in an aggressive but at times graceful album in the Christian metal genre, and at the time was one of the heaviest Christian metal albums I had heard.

Well, the formula has changed little for Sons of Thunder as the band continue to spread their message with huge, down tuned hardcore riffs and injections of elegant, graceful preaching. And while, the Christian metal scene has become steadily more heavy since 2007 (The Great Commission, Impending Doom, Earth From Above, etc), Sleeping Giant are still one of the genre’s most intense yet reflective bands, with a more fire and brimstone lyrical approach backed by some stern hardcore and some truly emotive moments.

Admittedly, the first track the choppy and vocally awkward “Gang Signs” did little to allure me to the new album, but the thunderous “No One Leave This Room Sick” delivers a rumbling, intimidating challenge. Then the title track delivers what I most enjoy about Sleeping Giant – an introspective, almost like prayer like delivery layered over solemn guitars line and steady drum beat before unfurling into an epic, earth moving climax. The rest of the album follows suite, with short bursts of earthy hardcore (“Descending into Hell”, menacing monkish chants of “The Army of the Chosen One”, pummeling “Confessions”) and more lucid, elegant moments that I could see being played in an actual church service, they are that moving – notably choral start and finish of the rousing “I Have Seen” (this album’s “King of Kings”) and the truly beautiful 8 minute closer “He Will Reign” (this album’s equivalent to “Oh Praise Him”).

That all being said, the Christian lyrics are pretty vehement, and sure to put off most non Christians with their intensity and judgemental tone, but to be honest, despite non being Christian myself, I can appreciate the passion, conviction and honesty of stuff like this: “Bind my hands, I stand at the gates of hell. Though you defy me flames, I deny you death itself. You and I make confession. I feel that rain fall down. Let the rain fall, oh my God let the chains fall. As it falls I’m covered. Let it all, it all fall down. Scene two: The accuser is furious. In his fake tattered gown. He’s pointing his finger, holding me down, then the light breaks. A voice speaks, “My child, this won’t last for long.” Oh demon I’ve something to show you. “My son rise up now sing him your song!” So I sing out: “Look how you’ve fallen, Morningstar!” You once covered the throne in praise, you fake, now look where you are. I will never bow my knee again, in sin and shame. Serpent, I have witnessed your defeat, I know your schemes, your games. I have been covered in the blood of the Faithful One. Jesus cover me in Your Blood. Jesus cover me in Your Blood”. (from “Confessions”)

The production on Sons of Thunder seems a bit less full and more live sounding and raw, but the heft isn’t quite lost, and gruff vocals of Thom Green seem more restrained and varied (but his clean croons are spot on). Either way, Sons of Thunder is yet another top notch Christian metal effort, that along with the recent Hands release, Creator, easily makes Facedown Records the best (and most diverse) Christian metal label around. Solid State can blow me.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
July 27th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: krustster

    This is a pretty good one from what I’ve listened so far, though the sound takes some getting used to. They are very original though, for sure. And yeah the title track is really good even though usually skip “slow songs”.


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