Inconsistency is rough. It's something I usually do not enjoy. It's no fun when life twists and turns. But it is life.
Millennial Reign's albums have not been consistent. Their first album (self-titled, 2012) had a more AOR / 80's based sound. Then they joined Theocracy and other power metal bands on Ulterium Records in 2015 to release their second album "Carry The Fire."
But with their latest release, their whole line-up has been radically changed. The only founding member left over is guitarist Dave Harvey and the band's brought in Travis Wills as the new lead singer.
Millennial Reign is one of America's few and true power metal bands. The genre is most popular in Europe (where their label is located). Even though transition periods are rough and can provoke people to quit, I am thankful that Millennial Reign has chosen to carry the fire, pun intended. (They will be opening for a few dates for Stryper during their "God Damn Evil Tour.")
But with the new line-up, will the new album hold up strong?
"More Than Scars" starts with an energetic synth, but flows well with the fast-paced drums behind it. This song celebrates the power of God's work in our lives and the thankfulness we should have in the Lord. "Your will is mine, and my heart is able." I love that line!
The shortest full-length song on the album, "Imagine," has thoughtful lyrics, making us think if we spent our time building each other up. "Imagine spreading the kindness" the song pleads. This song is on the mellower side (in comparison to the rest of the album), but the double kick kinda ruined the effect of the song. (But it is a power metal band, so that double kick should be expected.)
"In Your Silence" has a very passionate and honest feel to it. It is one of the tracks I find myself returning to because of the perfect flow with the lyrics and music. I honestly am not fully able to understand the potential backstory behind the song, but if music is supposed to be emotion, then this does it.
"The Day The Sun Stood Still" is based upon the story in Joshua when Israel had to defeat the Amorites. This reminds me of similar songs that ApologetiX does. So thinking of them, this song had a fun feel to it.
It starts with the sounds of a clock ringing, but "Behind The Time" continues in with the sound of the album. This song probably refers to how people choose to spend their time but neglect the Son.
"Wounds In Hand" has a more emotional feel and has some of the best lyrics on the album. It paints Christ as the comforter who knows our struggles and is there with us: "I saw the light bare through / Was broken and made new from the power in You."
The album finishes out with the title track, "The Great Divide." It started with an electronic synth and ended the album with a more upbeat sound. This song seems to deal with the pain of losing loved ones, judging from the chorus: "Cause it’s easier to hold on / Than letting go / When lives cross the great divide."
I have to be very honest, this album didn't impress me that much.
Personally, I think it is due to the fact that the band has gone through such a change in its line-up that the band is still trying to find its feel as a band. It is heard through the music and the lyrics. (You can see that through other bands, even Stryper). The band is still a little young, and the changes they went through are not what most young bands go through. (I'm sure it's happened in the past before, but the only time I remember something like this happening was Stellar Kart.)
I do want to say that the mix of the album didn't stand out. I kinda felt like the instruments blended too much and it contributed to the slight monotony of the album. Also, some of the moods of the songs seemed off in relation to the subject.
In addition, I must be very fair. I am not the biggest power metal fan. The overbearing double kick drum has never really been my thing. So that contributes to the fact how I'm not a huge fan of this album. The album sounded like it had great potential with "The Genesis" and "Break The Tide," but it became spotty after that point. There are some gems as you listen through, but it didn't impress me the whole way through.
But I'm sure there will be those who will enjoy this album. These guys are talented musicians, poetic lyricists, and they are good what they do. And I can see that they love the Lord! But there is room to improve, and I sure am excited to see that in the coming years!
watch these videos!