When you get sent an album to review, there are usually some details that come along with it. But this is not the case with Scandinavian Metal Praise, apart from their brief statement “We are a bunch of rockers praising God and His Son Jesus Christ with our instruments” and that they play “Politically incorrect praise & worship music”.
They value their anonymity and that makes writing a review tricky. It would be easy for me to get bent out of shape with the lack of facts. But then again, do we really need to know more than that they are a sincere group of believers who want to provide us with melodic metal praise and worship. They released their first self-titled album in 2008 (which was out on CD from Bullroser Records, Finland). Their second album ‘Glory & Praise – Part 1’ is currently available as a free download.
The whole album is done in the melodic power metal and hard rock style. Opening with ‘There Is Power In The Blood’ in melodic metal with raspy male lead vocals. There is the surprise element of gang vocals in a chorus too. Then its hard rock with male and female vocalists in their awesome version of ‘You Are Mighty’ with its shredding guitar.
There is weighty metal riffing in ‘You Are Worthy’ which lets the male and female vocals soar to the heavens. The tempo increases on ‘Lion Of Judah’ and gives a more urgent feel to the message. It is virtually all male vocals with some vocal harmonies and towards the end there is more shredding.
Pulling it towards more mainstream worship is ‘Mighty To Save’ as it slows down to provide reflection with swelling choral backing vocals that greatly compliments the lead vocals. Similarly, ‘In The Presence Of Angels’ feels special too as it tingles down your spine. The heavy guitar pulls back to allow sparkly keyboards and heartfelt singing to come to the fore. This is one of those tracks that would bring me to my knees in worship.
It is more metallic in ‘Jesus What A Beautiful Name’ as it gains speed for a sharp delivery. There is a flurry of notes as they burst into the joyous ‘Leaning On The Everlasting Arms’ with its up-tempo delivery bristling with positivity. There is a change in vocalists for ‘Everlasting God’ with its time changes chopping up the proceedings.
‘My Redeemer Lives’ takes the more mainstream worship route with crunchy guitar. Then another spine-tingling moment appears with ‘Via Dolorosa’ with its melodic hard rock and keyboards providing a great atmosphere for the emotive lyrical delivery. Finally, there is ‘Pon Aceite En Mi Lampara’ (Pour Oil In My Lamp) which they translate from spanish latin american style into a glorious up-tempo romp and leaves me with a smile on my face.
Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby
1. There Is Power In The Blood
2. You Are Mighty
3. You Are Worthy
4. Lion Of Judah
5. Mighty To Save
6. In The Presence Of Angels
7. Jesus What A Beautiful Name
8. Leaning On The Everlasting Arms
9. Everlasting God
10. My Redeemer Lives
11. Via Dolorosa
12. Pon Aceite En Mi Lampara
Record label: Independent, Dec. 2015