I Am Not, I Am – Dear God, We Must Return Fire
Record Label: Tenfold/Less Avenged Records
Release Date: March 20, 2007
Being an unbiased non-believer, I would have to believe writing lyrics to innovative Christian music is a tricky assignment. On one hand, you can offer up the same stale propositions as those before you (and as those seen on television) and be discarded into the sea of undistinguished gospels by modern music listeners. On another approach, you can produce forth more general, versatile lyrics and run the possibility of being shunned from the label of Christian music by your brothers and sisters of faith. I know how rare it seems to find intelligent lyrics, let alone intelligent Christian lyrics, with Massachusetts band After the Sirens being the only one to truly impress me, so I hardly expect much when approached by a religious group. With their release Dear God, We Must Return Fire, I Am Not, I Am create an attractive blend of techno, experimental rock, and in-your-face hardcore and adds to the changing Christian-rock landscape. Despite the fact that their lyrics hardly stray from the contexts of holy war and addressing God from the battlefield, the constructing of these words are quite articulate and are projected with an incredible amount of emotion.
Upon receiving the album from AP, I was immediately intrigued by the interesting artwork which, upon opening, depicts a contrast between alcoholism and religious devotion. Listening to the brief five-song album, I was consistently reminded of Underoath’s Define the Great Line with its similar vocal patterns and dynamic approach. The musicianship on this album is quite impressive, despite sporting weaker points in the latter parts of some of the songs. While the vocals (both screaming and the occasional high-pitched singing) are somewhat average, and the production is well-below the respected norm, the tightly-executed emotion that the band extends forth makes this album worth the time.
If you’re a listener who likes music in the vein of experimental hardcore, I would definitely recommend this album. I Am Not, I Am have created a sexy little five-piece creation in their latest release and, while I don’t quite yet buy into the idea of a bearded man on a cloud, I certainly enjoy their delivery of the concept.
Recommended If You Like: Underoath, The Fall of Troy