Disciple – “Long Live the Rebels”


I’m new to Disciple. That’s funny, right? ‘cause they’ve been around since the time Nirvana dropped “Nevermind” on the world (for the millennials, we’re talking 1990’s here). I wanted to hear what Disciple sounded like then, so I flipped back to “What Was I Thinking” (1995). I wasn’t sure what I would get. Would it be “bust-a-move” pop, or what? I picked “Mothman”, and was instantly transported to when I was a teenager: the baggy jeans, the loose t-shirts, the grunge music.

Fast forward now to 2014’s “Attack”, the staccato rhythms emblematic of a band that moves with the times; a powerful call to “let your faith arise”. This album featured a new lineup: Kevin Young (vocals), Josiah Prince (guitar), Andrew Stanton (guitar), Jason Wilkes (bass, backing vocals) and Joey West (drums). When Jason Wilkes departed from the band, “Disciple 3.0” – as the band members called themselves – saw Kevin Young taking over bass duties. It is this lineup that brings you “Long Live the Rebels”.

This marks their 13th release, and is also the second album funded by fans through Kickstarter. It is an album that deserves to be played loud.

The album opens with “First Love”, where the protagonist reflects on a life poorly lived, aching to return to God. The lyrics are vivid: “So I throw my heart onto the floor, and let it all bleed out… I’ve been such a sinner, now I’m ready to return to my First Love.” The drums are expansive and the bassline tight. The guitars snarl in a very satisfying way. To me, it feels like I’m soaring up with the vocals, emboldened by strong melodic synths… I’m such a fanboy.

In the same way that “Attack” called the believer into battle for his/her mind, “Long Live the Rebels” – the second track – is a war cry. It is a true rock and roll anthem where we are reminded that we are in this world, but not of it.

In “Secret Weapon” you can hear the introduction of sequenced elements that remind of the band, Angels & Airwaves; specifically their debut album, “We Don’t Need To Whisper”. “Secret Weapon” has a decidedly punk rock feel to it, a style that returns in the ninth track, “Forever Starts Today”. But it’s not all blistering snare and double-time kick drum, as slower tracks like “Troubled” and “God Is With Us” invite reflection. I enjoy these changes in pace.

For me, the eighth track, “Spirit Fire” is the worship high point of this album. It reminds of where Paul talks about running the good race, in 1 Corinthians 9:24. Listen out for the excellent build up to the chorus, “Never gonna stop the fury, never gonna stop the flame…” I can picture this song live, in a packed out stadium – true power.

My favourite tracks on the album are “Underdog Fight Song” (track 6) and “Black Hole” (track 10). These tracks are the heaviest on the album, but remain melodic. The vocal delivery in “Underdog Fight Song” is Zack de la Rocha-like (vocalist, Rage Against The Machine), the lyrics triumphant: “Yeah, I heard everything you said… It’s been my pleasure proving you wrong”. And in “Black Hole”, inspired by Jesus Christ’s words: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). This comparison was particularly striking: “Just like a black hole exists to steal all away, you can project all your pain onto me.” We are also reminded that, “These stripes on my back speak love for you…”

“Long Live the Rebels” closes out with “Empty Grave”, a fitting ballad that talks of a resurrection through Jesus Christ.

At 44 minutes, “Long Live the Rebels” felt like a quick listen. It’s the balance between the heavy and the melodic, and the changes in tempo that keep the listener’s interest.

“Long Live the Rebels” is a highly recommended 09/10.

Written by Karakul

1. First Love
2. Long Live the Rebels
3. Secret Weapon
4. Troubled
5. Come My Way
6. Underdog Fight Song
7. God Is With Us
8. Spirit Fire
9. Forever Starts Today
10. Black Hole
11. Spinning
12. Empty Grave

Band members:
Kevin Young (vocals, bass)
Josiah Prince (guitar)
Andrew Stanton (guitar)
Joey West (drums)

Record Label: Independent, distributed by BEC Recordings / Tooth & Nail Records

Release Date: Oct. 2016

Studio albums/EPs:

“What Was I Thinking” (full-length, 1995)
“My Daddy Can Whip Your Daddy (EP, 1997)
“This Might Sting a Little” (full-length, 1999)
“By God” (full-length, 2000)
“Back Again” (full-length, 2003)
“Disciple (full-length, 2005)
“The Wait Is Over” (single, 2005)
“Scars Remain (full-length, 2006)
‘Game On’ (single, 2007)
“Things Left Unsaid” – Acoustic (single, 2007)
“Southern Hospitality” (full-length, 2008)
‘Dear X’ (You Don’t Own Me) (single, 2010)
“Horseshoes and Handgrenades” (full-length, 2010)
“O God, Save Us All” (full-length, 2012)
“Attack” (full-length, 2014)
“The Best Of Disciple: 2003-2013” (compilation, 2015)
“Vultures” (EP, 2015)
“Long Live the Rebels” (full-length, 2016)

Buy the album here:
First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

Weblinks: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Lyric video for ‘Spinning’

Lyric video for ‘Erase’

Lyric video for ‘God Is With Us’


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