"Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust in ashes" - Job 42:6
Before you even listen to one note or lyric by Still Small Voice, you are faced with this verse on the front cover of their album. Anyone with half a clue will realize that this band from Ireland will not be any less ashamed when they open the CD booklet and read the lyrics to all five songs on this EP, Embers.
Throughout this disc, Still Small Voice challenges the listener with upfront, bold lyrics that proclaim their love and reverence for Christ. The lyrics, while bold and well written are nothing extremely creative. However, when you are praising the Lord like in the song "Hail", the main point is the intent of the heart, not the fancy or creative wording. Screams of "Hail/Precious/Lamb of God!" show a band that is set on pouring their hearts out to Christ. One line that I really like in "Hail" says, "I won't be put to shame/by the rocks/that cry and scream your name!"
Ok, now that we've agreed that the lyrics are challenging and worshipful, what is the music like? Still Small Voice is basically an agressive mix of metal and hardcore. Lots of chunky riffs and screaming fill all five songs n this 18 minute disc. For some reason, I feel like fans of bands like Faithbomb will really dig this band. They never really get stuck in one gear either as they will blaze along at 90 mph and then slow down to some plodding, heavy as crud riffs. They aren't afraid to sprinkle in some blastbeats as well as a bunch of double bass too. Vocally, there is mostly, blood curdling screams along with some clean singing. The song "Embers" is where I think the vocalist shines best, but the very next song "Guard Your Thoughts" is where the worst vocals reside. Not the screams, but the clean vocals. I just can't get into this song during those parts.
Despite all the aggression, I don't think that Still Small Voice forges any new ground here. There is nothing that really sets them apart from everyone else in their genre. Yes, they are a decent band but nothing here grabs me by the throat and convinces me to come back on a daily basis. If you like metal and hardcore mixed and you love a good headbanging album, Still Small Voice is sure to please. However, if you are looking for a blockbuster album, this probably won't measure up.
I'm not always the biggest know-it-all though, so feel free to check out the band's site at http://www.still-small-voice.com and decide for yourself. (Review by Matt)