Prime Cuts: Mercy Meet My Pain, My Last Words, Found
Overall Grade: 4/5
Don't let the bombastic hooks, the swaggering backbeats and the chest-thumping guitar sounds of "Found" make you think that this is yet another exercise in machismo. Rather, "Found" is the Seventh Day Slumber most vulnerable and honest record to date. In fact, it is rifle with stories of brokenness commingled with God's grace that are so palatable that we could swear these guys are singing about our own stories. Nevertheless, before we delve in an exposition of the record, it's fair to say first a word about the band. Seventh Day Slumber has one of the coolest names in Christian music. Taking their cue from Genesis 2:2 where God rested on the seventh day, it's the ethos of Seventh Day Band to encourage us to find rest in Christ through their songs.
Found is the band's eleventh studio album. Produced by the group's Jeremy Holderfield, Found features 10 new selections-all penned or co-written by the band-showcasing Seventh Day Slumber's comprehensive musical breadth, from hard rock anthems to melodic pop ballads. Fans who are looking for those big metallic anthems where the amps are maxed out to full blast would love "Sky is Falling" and "Sins of My Father." Electric guitar fanatics especially would be in for a treat with the frenzied riffs of the latter. Fans who prefer a touch of 80s nostalgia will love "Heart on My Sleeve," a song that features those classic heavy electric downpour a la Metallica and Pat Benator.
Yet, the album is not all virtuoso without heart. Despite the overwhelming rock underpinnings, "Horizon" is one of Seventh Day Slumber's most vulnerable pieces as they pray for God to be their leader in the horizon of their future. Then, we have the lead single and title track "Found." Giving the bombast a recess, this string-laden ballad calls to mind the Parable of the Prodigal Son where the Gospel strongly beckons us home to Christ. Then we get to the nerve center of the album, the piano-led "Mercy Meets My Pain," this is easily one of the team's best and most heart-stirring ballads of their career. Also, quite lovely is the Cross-Centered "My Last Words."
In many ways, this album is predictable in the sense that you get what Seventh Day Slumber are known for: loud music with big hooks. The surprise though are the ballads - they are so good and vulnerable that they make you listen intently to every syllable they sing. "Found" is where the team have found their heart to balance those steely blasts.