SLEEPING GIANT – Dread Champions of the Last Days
Musically, this is a great disc and you will be impressed, let me assure you on that front. The thing about the Facedown label is that sometimes you get bands that preach too much, and this is one of them. I can’t stand the bands that put all of their focus into the Book of Revelation, interpreting some pretty deep doctrine into their “tough man” stance of religious purity. It comes off as sophomoric and judgmental and it’s this kind of bullshit that makes potential converts stick their fingers in their ears when the Christians come a-knockin’. I presume that it’s part of a larger hardline stance the band is taking, but continually pointing out the motes in other people’s eyes generally doesn’t win converts. Strutting around calling everyone else a sinner that’s going to burn in the sulfurous flames of Hell makes you…a sinner. There are scores of more useful things you could be saying about Christ’s ministry than how He will destroy the wicked in the final hour. All of that said, Sleeping Giant really is good; despite the aforementioned lyrical content, the vocals really are the stand out: ranging from genuine harmonized singing to death metal growls and howls, singer Thom Green busts it out with intense ferocity. I’m not sure I can go as far as their press sheet which calls Dread Champions one of “the most diverse hardcore albums to come out ever.” Ever? Those are some pretty big shoes to fill, guys. I’d like to see a follow-up album lay off the “only the pure shall live with Jesus” rant and focus on their true strength, which is namely playing incredible music. You know that I’m right.
(Facedown Records, 436 W. Alvarado Street, Fallbrook, CA 92028)