Update: The Blast is interviewing Righteous Vendetta lead singer Ryan Hayes, just after 3 pm Eastern/Noon Pacific, Tuesday, release day of this new album "The Fire Inside."
Album reivew written by Colin Cruz, The Blast Program Director:
From the first moments of the opening track “Defiance”, I sensed I was about to hear a really good album. Hard driving, pounding drums, fast rhythms.
This album is a relentless 14-song assault of hard rock-riffage, pounding drums, and fast rhythms, and there are no filler songs.
“The Fire Inside” should be a serious contender for the Dove Award for “Rock Album of the Year.”
It's that good.
Some of these songs gave me the distinct impression these guys are really mad at the devil, and all of them show me these guys are in love with Jesus Christ.
The tamest song on the album, “With Love” is a song, that if it had the guts to do it, CHR radio could play. Nice melodic rock ballad that showcases the incredible vocal flexibility of singer Ryan Hayes.
Songs like “Fight Back” will definitely have you fist-pumping and singing along to the chorus “Fight back…fight back!” The vocal stylings alternate between light growls (if that is not an oxymoron); shouts, and melodic singing in this song.
The tune “So Long” starts off with some metal riffage and some growling vocals, and it takes the fight right to the devil's face!
I love how God-centered the lyrics are in this album. “So Long” is an encouraging song of resolve to follow Christ. “We won't bend, we won't break…until the end, we will fight on.”
Reverence and awe are shown to The Almighty in the lyrics of “Inside My Eyes”: “Your Word is like a flood ready to silence the Earth.”
“Back To Life” talks about seeing things through God's eyes…and getting the rebirth in Jesus.
On the last 3 songs of the album (“For The Skeptic”, “John The Revelator” and “Reason”) the band really shows off their metal/hardcore roots, as it is no-holds barred screaming, growling metal, with a little melody thrown in.
“For The Skeptic” has an amazing industrial-like intro. This is so heavy, we're totally stoked to Blast it on the Blastmetal show, starting this weekend.
“For The Skeptic” also has some awesome lyrics: “I lay my life down at the foot of the cross….take this life and make a new creation out of me.” And they scream “God I need you now!!! You are mine!!!”
This is something we could use more of in the Christian Rock genre: more in your face lyrics that take ideas right from the Bible.
“What You've Done” may very well be the best track on the album. Great message about Christ's work on the cross for us. Musically and vocally, it is 3 minutes 22 seconds of epic awesome-sauce that is sure to please any metalhead that loves melody, fast beats, guitar shredding.
“The Fire Inside” is a song that was released to radio in April and just finished its cycle of current hits airplay on The Blast. A very solid song. This was probably one of the best 10 songs of the year played on Christian Rock radio.
I only have 2 complaints about this album. And they are as follows:
“This Pain”: The Blast has been playing this song, or a version of it, since the song was released to radio in June 2012. When I saw this track listing, I wondered if the song would be different than the original. As I suspected, some of the vocal and musical stylings were changed a bit, without improving on the original, in my opinion. Probably because it is difficult to improve on what they had originally with that song.
The same thing happened to Since October's song “Beautiful” from their demo days to their Tooth and Nail days; and with Son's song “Doubt”…which was originally released on The Genesis Prologue EP (when they were known as Sons Of God and signed to Come And Live Records) in 2010, then modified and re-released for their later album with Slo Speak.
In each of these 3 cases, I don't think any improvement was made to the songs. In fact, I think the original is better in each case. Why not just leave good enough alone?
Also, the band is planning on re-releasing this song as the next single from the new album. That's another decision that leaves me a bit puzzled. If radio programmers couldn't figure out “This Pain” was a hit the first time around, I don't know that a more polished sound on the new version of the song is going to convince them otherwise. Besides, it's not different enough from the original to justify adding it again for those who added it the first time.
I think “What You've Done” would be a better choice.
But, otherwise, a fabulous work from this purposely independent band, Righteous Vendetta. If these 14 songs are this good, I can only wonder what the other 30 or songs they surely wrote… but had to throw out… would have sounded like.
These super cool dudes from Cody prove that Christian rock and metal are alive and well in Wyoming. And they are taking that message all over America, right now.