Rhema – “2014 demo”


Rhema demo 2014Don’t you just love finding new music, especially when a band is just starting to release material?  It’s almost like a game trying to find the good bands and to be honest, one of my tricks to see when people in bands I know and respect say something positive about a band.  When that happens, I can’t help but go check it out for myself.  That was the case with Rhema.

Rhema, from Rochester, NY, formed in August of 2013 and recorded their demo in December and recently had it remixed and remastered by Len Carmichael who has done a bit of work with other East Coast hardcore bands.

Old-school, Spirit-filled hardcore is in really short supply these days, and Rhema is stepping in to fill that void.  Think unashamed, Shai Hulud, Bloodshed, and focused and you have an idea of what Rhema sounds like, but at the same time, they don’t sound dated.  Yes, this is a demo and is a bit rough around the edges, but not in a way that detracts from the listening experience.  Strong emotion in the vocals, ranging from speaking to shouting near the ragged edge and the driving guitars and drums really carry these songs.

“Really There” opens up with a good groove in the intro, before launching into the rapid fire verse sections that have a vocal delivery reminiscent of some Chain of Strength songs.  Overall, the songs on the demo are well-crafted and filled with emotion and strong performances.  The tempo changes, starts and stops, and abrupt transitions from quieter sections to louder ones, really make the songs interesting to me.  “Port Dover” has a really cool intro with some slow chiming guitar that gradually speeds up when the drums come in and then gets even faster for the verses before slowing back down later in the song.  “Outro” fittingly ends the demo and from a stylistic and lyrical standpoint is the perfect end.  Slow guitars and some cymbals, gradually gaining speed when the drums come in, pick up more speed when the rest of the band joins and then the song ends with band in unison shouting “…Not my will but Yours”…  Spirit-filled hardcore, right there and obvious.  Rhema have set a pretty high bar for themselves when they get to recording their full length.

Rating: 7/10

Written by John Jackson

1. Really There
2. Your Voice
3. Not Like You
4. Port Dover
5. Outro

Band Members:
Adam- bass
Caleb- drums
David- vocals
Jon- guitar

Record Label: Independent, May 2014

Weblinks: Facebook / Bandcamp

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