We all know Matty Mullins as the frontman of the popular metalcore-band Memphis May Fire. But his solo-albums are as far from metal as the east is from the west. When we take a close look on his website there is stated the following:
“A warm-hearted Contemporary Christian pop singer with a gentle laugh, gregarious smile, and moving melodic gift, Matty Mullins shares the hope of the Gospel on Unstoppable, a sophomore album as outwardly improbable as it was, in fact, spiritually inevitable. Unstoppable is a collection of songs full of joy and worship, anchored in authenticity and earnest truthfulness, unafraid to declare victory over real brokenness.”
This looks like a contradiction but Matty has more on his sleeve than just metalcore and why should a musician stick only to one genre? Especially when a man such as Matty Mullins is passionate about his faith and he wants to express himself through Spirit-filled anthems, which led to a calling to make an impassioned musical declaration of faith that led to the creation of Mullins self-titled solo debut, which debuted at #66 on the Billboard 200 in the fall of 2014. Featuring worshipful supplications like “See You in Everything” and “More of You”.
If you are interested in the whole story and testimony of Matty, I suggest that you visit his website http://www.mattymullins.com/ where you can find his whole story. It is worth reading, it is an impressive and inspirational story.
Now here is the challenge for me to write a review about an album that is way out of my comfort zone. I usually write hard/metalcore reviews for The Metal Resource, so this is a complete other cup of tea. I am a big fan of Memphis May Fire and I have a high respect for Matty and his ministry but this is music that I seldom listen to. I know that a reviewer shouldn’t get too personal but it is good to know that I play bass-guitar in the worshipband of my church and I have been a worship leader for many years, so I think that I am also qualified to write a review about a worship album sung by one of the greatest metalcore-vocalists.
Well, here we go. I am not going to give a song by song description but I will try to give an overall description of the album. Right from the start it is clear that the music is indeed contemporary and fits the description of popular pop-based worship music with a lot of electronic elements as you can hear in the first track ‘Say It All’.
The lyrics contain a positive uplifting message of hope and what I love the most is that what he preaches is lived through. (Read Matty’s story on his website) “This time I won’t give in to the lies I once believed. I’m falling into the outstretched arms of truth, today I choose You!” Just a part of the lyrics from ‘I choose You’.
Matty also isn’t shy to use uptempo dance-beats on some of the songs, for example ‘Unstoppable’ which features Jordan Feliz. A song that has that up-tempo summer beat to it that could also have been a popular summer track on MTV.
Most of the songs are pure worship that lift up the name of Jesus and could easily fit on the new album of Bethel Church or Elevation worship for example. He sings: “I am changed, there is a brand new fire burning inside me”, and this change that came a few years ago is something that you feel throughout the entire album. Somehow it is evident that he is sincere, though it is not my everyday music it really touches me and gives me goosebumps from time to time. “Christ be magnified” as is the title of the sixth track is the core-business of this album. (Yes!, I managed to get the word ‘Core’ in this review.)
I want to mention the song ‘The Great Unknown’. When I heard the verses of this song I thought that it was a bit too much for me to handle with the hand claps etcetera . But then the chorus hit me with a surprisingly moving up-tempo beat with a nice bass-line underneath.
One of the highlights for me is ‘You Can’ which is about when we can’t go on there is a God in heaven that reached out to us in our deepest despair. When we can’t carry on He can! So that is what Matty sings about in this song. “I can’t move this mountain on my own, but You can!” Again an up-tempo song with a beautiful message of hope.
If you are a metalhead or a hard/metalcore dude just like me we all need to hear this message, but don’t expect music that has some connections to Memphis May Fire or another kind of metal related style. It’s worship, nothing more, nothing less. But if you are open to it and need a brake from all the heaviness from time to time you should give it a listen. Maybe you will be as surprised as I was…
Written by: René Woning
1. Say It All (3:48)
2. I Choose You (3:29)
3. Unstoppable (feat. Jordan Feliz) (2:44)
4. Go the Distance (3:20)
5. Brand New Fire (3:19)
6. Christ Be Magnified (3:25)
7. The Great Unknown (3:21)
8. The Best Is Yet To Come (2:45)
9. You Can (3:05)
10. Until I Need You (4:18)
“Matty Mullins” (2014)
Record label: BEC Recordings, April 2017
Video for ‘Unstoppable (feat. Jordan Feliz)’
Video for ‘You Can’