Friday, October 26, 2012


Messenger hail from the East Coast, the nations capital specifically, and these boys have a strong understanding about how to rock! Messenger have crafted a sound that reminds me of early Sacred Warrior (musically not vocally) and Dio. This ten song album is full of hooks and well crafted songs. You Choose is the title and Messenger make no mistake about the choice before you.

Opening with the rythymic drumming of Tim TNT Tieff, The Sacrifice comes charging out of the wall of sound with a catchy chorus. Yet I notice immediately that there is no guitar solo. The End of Time is a bit heavier and struts its stuff in a slightly up tempo fashion. Well arranged and with a stellar guitar solo, the chorus is anthemic but not cheesy at all.

Songs such as The Back of My Mind, The Risen Christ and Christian Rocker kick it up much like End of Time, with powerful verses musically that hit like a hammer and break through when the chorus comes. This type of song writing is when Messenger is at their peak. Undoubtedly these tracks would go down a storm in a live setting.

However not to be overlooked the slow and moody Paradise finds it place just fine. With its tight songwriting and straight to the point arranging, it highlights a stellar guitar solo from Vlad Gurin. This works and the whole package is offered in a rather melancholic atmosphere. The vocal work of Frank Herring is solid and the bass playing of Roy Richardson rounds out the bottom end.

Power, Rulemaker are just a notch or two below the other songs, catchy none the less. The only song that left me completely flat is Come Home, which suffers from an overly simplistic chorus which is too repetitious.

Lyrically, this album harkens back to the day of early Resurrection Band, Daniel Band or Jerusalem as they present the Gospel and tackle various church issues. The only track that left me flat lyrically was Christian Rocker, just the title should tell you enough. It falls in that ‘Rock for The Rock’ category.

Clocking in at a smidget over 30 minutes long the whole thing is done before you get a chance to get comfortable. Yet that is one of the charms of this album, it hits hard and quick, closing with the aforementioned The Risen Christ, and it delivers the goods.

This is an independent release but don’t think it is substandard, it’s not by any stretch. The production is quality, slight mastering issues aside but nothing that detracts at all.

Messenger’s album You Choose is full tilt 80’s heavy metal in the vain of Dio or Sacred Warrior. The emphasis is on songs and strong melodies with powerful guitar. It’ll be interesting to see how Messenger grow from this release as they’ve been around for several years. You Choose has been more than a pleasant surprise it has become a driving companion.

7 axes


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