Lightshine Ministries has been around for quite a while, but after releasing Sardonyx's "Majestic Serenity" back in the early '90's they had been a little bit on the quite side in the realm of heavy metal. Now with the release of The Scream of the Guillotine, the silence is no more and this release is set to make a bigger impact than Sardonyx's first album ever did. This is not really an album in a musical sense but is more a theatrical production. Actually, the band itself labels the album "A Progressive Rock Theatrical Production". So, this is not just a bunch of music, but there is a huge, dramatic storyline with actors and spoken parts to go along with the music.
In my opinion, this production is nothing short of amazing! It is a powerful witnessing tool to the unsaved, but also a bold encouragement to the Christian. I often got chills as I played this disc. You absolutely have to read along to the 32 page script that's included as this album plays or you will be really lost as to the message that is being portrayed, since there is a lot of narrative written in the booklet that is not spoken on the CD that explains what's going on.
The actors do a terrific job and really draw you into the story to where you feel like you are right there with them. Musically, this is a top-notch album! The muscianship is phenomonal! Although I wished it were heavier at times, it does have it's heavy moments. The production is also very well done. Tom Delinger (Sardonyx's lead singer) does a good job with the vocals. But the vocals, however, are my only real complaint. Although they are well done, they are not consistent throughout. On a couple songs they leave a lot to be desired. But then again, in the same song ("Tell Me Why" for example) he will go from doing an average vocal job to just flooring you with an amazing vocal performance. It could also just be a preference thing.
The story itself tells of a man who has a dream, and when he wakes up, goes on a journey with many twists and turns. I'd go into more detail, but you should really just buy this disc and find out for yourself. The cool thing is, when you get the disc, Lightshine includes a flyer that allows you to buy multiple copies of the CD for a discounted price to give to unsaved friends. This is more than just musical entertainment...it is a true ministry in every sense of the word.
My favorite song on the album is "What Do You Want With Me?", but my favorite part is probably "Andrew's Prayer" which is probably the most moving part of the whole production. I am really, really impressed with this release and I hope and pray that many souls come to Christ as a result of this. For ordering info or to help support Lightshine Ministries you can check out the links for both sites in the Music Links section here on the Whipping Post or just go to www.screamoftheguillotine.com (Review by Matt)