Artist: We As Human
Album: We As Human
Nashville Christian hard rock outfit We As Human are a band with the intensity of mainstream bands like Seether and Chevelle while keeping the lyrics devoted to their faith. They are absolute living proof, as with their labelmates Skillet, that a Christian band can just as easily keep the faith in hard rock music. From my initial discovery of this band, I was completely taken aback. I found them on a site I use daily with their single “We Fall Apart”, which is slow and subtle. Needless to say that once I did more research on the band and found “Strike Back” and felt the fire behind the track, I knew this was an album I just had to get my hands on. I can say with absolute certainty that this album stacks up with the greats in their genre and even surpasses them in ways! Add in their incredible choices in guest vocalists, their labelmate John Cooper of Skillet and Lacey Sturm, formerly of Flyleaf and you have a recipe for success. But what makes this album stand out among the others being released this year? Let’s go in-depth and find out, shall we?
We open the album with “Strike Back” which, as I mentioned early, completely took me by surprise. It’s one of the heaviest tracks on the album by far. “The bigger they are, the harder they fall! You’re gonna suffer! Hit me, I’ll hit back harder. The bigger you are, the harder you fall! It’s your darkest hour! Hit me, I’ll hit back harder. When my back’s against the wall, I strike back, I strike back, I strike back!” The chorus says it all, does it not? Everyone talks behind your back and likes to bully you, but as we all know, once you’re backed into a corner, primal instinct takes over and you “Strike Back”. I definitely feel some Seether-like edge in this track. The riff is overpowering and really throws you into that corner with our protagonist.
Followed by that track, we’re lead into “Dead Man” which is a track about finding your faith in the darkest of hours. “I’ve never been so alive, you pulled the dead man out of me. I am not what I was, I’ll never be what I was. You pulled the dead man out of me.” This track seems to be about erasing your past and finding strength and solace in the grace of God. While I’m not religious, I can definitely feel the Christian influence in the lyrics and it’s quite strong.
A little further into the album and we get to “Zombie” which features labelmate John Cooper, which starts with a muddled guitar intro and explodes with ferocity as vocalist Justin Cordle lets out a small scream and then starts the first verse. My favorite part of this track is when John comes in, his distinctive voice sits so well on this track. This track is about pulling someone back from a dark place. “Where did all your fire go? You’re on the inside and I know you’re fighting. On the outside, your flesh is dying. This is not your funeral, wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up the zombie!” This seems particularly about a person suffering from substance abuse.
This album wouldn’t be complete without talking about my favorite track on the album “Take the Bullets Away”. I’m a huge older Flyleaf fan so I immediately flipped once I saw that Lacey was on this track. Throw in the return of her near-legendary screams and you’d think that would be enough to make fans go nuts, right? Wrong! The lyrics to this track and the emotion thrown into it are what make this track my favorite. “Am I worthless, am I filthy? Am I too far gone for the remedy? Will you help cuz I’m dying to be something more than a memory! If I reach out can I trust you? Will you help me see the light of one more day? TAKE THE BULLETS AWAY!!!!!” This is a track about a struggle with suicide which I can relate with on a personal level. However, this take is about how religion can save you from such thoughts and pull you far away from that.
I’m not going to sugar coat it. This album, to me, is perfect. The lyrics, the melody, the instrumentals and, of course, the choice in guest vocalists make this album flawless. We As Human has something that will appeal to fans of every age. Whether it be subtle and slow tracks like “We Fall Apart”, harder tracks like “Sever”, “Strike Back” or “Take the Bullets Away” or anything in between, this album truly delivers. Don’t believe me? Go pick up your copy of We As Human on Atlantic Records next Tuesday and find out for yourself!