Cincinnati, Ohio, based Spirit and the Bride are back with their second full-length album “Dry Bones” If you read this and you come to the end of the review, you will notice that it came out in May 2017…. I know, I am a bit, okay much too late with the review, sorry about that.
What about the lyrics? Well I think they said it very well in their own words in the reviewer notes:
“Each song deals with spiritual matters, from being in the Bloodline of Christ (“Bloodline”), to praying for the heavens to open (“Open Heavens”), to the epiphany of the thief on the cross. The album has a spiritual progression throughout — one of hope, redemption and love. God provided a way for us to rid ourselves of self-hatred, and this album explores all aspects of the journey.”
Guest vocals are also present on the album by Nick Detty from Wolves at the Gate (song Dead Men), and Zack McKim from Take it Back! / Paperweight (song Jesus Wept).
Now for the actual album, do they deliver? Let’s find out;
Spirit And The Bride are not your thirteen in a dozen hardcore band. They are passionate about their beliefs and that is what you hear in their music. Passionate hardcore but with some math-core elements. The first track ‘Bloodline’ blasts through your speaker with an enormous energy. Beautiful message in this song, the lyrics really touched me.
“O son, you’re in the bloodline. When I died for you my blood flowed out of me covering the whole world and all who dwell within forevermore. You’re in the bloodline, that’s why you call me Father and it’s why I call you son. You’re in the bloodline.” Love it!
If you think that the entire album is full of Christian based lyrics then you are correct. They are bold in spreading the message of hope and renewal.
Title track ‘Dry Bones’ is an up-tempo hardcore track that gets really bombastic near the end. A song full of slamming riffs. Production wise there is nothing to complain about the album. Every instrument is well defined and can be heard. The screams of Josh are typical for the classic New York hardcore sound. Sometimes high pitched but never overdone. Did I mention the sound of the bass? Give the album a listen with a decent set of headphones and you will know what I mean.
‘Jesus Wept’ features Zack McKim from Take it Back! / Paperweight, a nice addition to the vocals of Josh. Man what an energetic song this is. The riff at 1:30 minutes got me doing a little moshpit for myself on my seat…. (I am not going to explain that, not a pretty sight).
From time to time there are the additional and obligatory breakdowns that serve the songs well. Not breakdown after breakdown that we get to hear so often nowadays.
Also a compliment for Adam on drums, very tight and listen to the song ‘Threshold’ to hear what I mean. He definitely stepped over the threshold here.
‘Armageddon’ has that Armageddon feel to it, man what a brutal track. Right from the start you have the feeling that the end of the world is near and this world is coming to an end…
But: “Stand firm, take hold of the cross. If God is our foundation it will not shake. So listen you kings, hear me you rulers. We will sing to the Lord. We will worship the King of Kings, the God of Israel. We will sing.” There again is the message of hope.
What to say about the rest of the album? Well, every song is raging forth with the same energy, never a dull moment. Let’s be honest; hardcore tends to be a bit of the same for the untrained ear. But for hardcore dudes like myself there is much to discover in this album. Regular moments of surprise!
I do have to say something about the last track ‘Perseverance’, I talked about passion before but this track gives me goosebumps from head to toes.
“For we know that the testing of our faith, it produces perseverance. We left everything behind to become something far greater than ourselves. And we’ll continue pushing forward until the day of Your return. We’ll be shouting Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest. Holy are You Lord. “ When they sing “Holy are You Lord” they remind me of Sleeping Giant. There is something in his voice that sounds the same as Tommy. The song is based on Hebrews 10:19-25, 12:1-2.
I really believe that Spirit And The Bride have made a step forward with this album compared to their previous album “With Eyes and Ears to See and Hear”. When I wrote the review for that album I gave them a 7.5/10 so it is no more than fair to give them a higher score this time. Spirit filled hardcore at it’s finest.
Written by: René Woning
2. Dead Men
3. Dry Bones
5. Jesus Wept
9. Open Heaven
Vocals- Josh Simmons
Drums- Adam Simmons
Bass- Jeremiah Medley
Guitar- Josh Summerville
“With Eyes and Ears to See and Hear” (2016)
“Dry Bones” (2017)
Record label: OnTheAttack Records, May 2017
Video (audio) for ‘Bloodline’
Video (audio) for ‘Perseverance’