Sometimes I just have to stop and wonder, “where did the time go?” In the music review biz, that often happens when you find a release worth reviewing, and then realize it was released a year ago. That is what is happening here with the Tulsa, OK band XIII Minutes. Somehow, time flew by and their 2019 Rottweiler Records release, Obsessed, slipped by us. So let’s rectify this right now. First let us start by sharing what the band says about themselves:
THIRTEEN, this number conjures up several images depending on who is observing it. Every thirteen minutes, one American will take their own life. Every thirteen minutes, someone in America dies in a motor vehicle accident. Every thirteen minutes, a woman dies of breast cancer and thirteen minutes is the time the warning sirens give before a tornado hits.
Insert XIII Minutes, the metal band from Tulsa, OK taking on the significance of thirteen in the spiritual realm. Thirteen Minutes is the time it takes every day to be spiritually fit. Thirteen is the number of great blessing. The number thirteen is the number of new life. God’s number (seven) together with man’s number (six) = Thirteen. The number thirteen is the difference of what man can do and what God can do.
The dichotomy that is thirteen, perfectly describes XIII Minutes as they work together to infuse such dichotomy into their music blending traditional elements of metal with a touch of post hardcore and nu metal in an effort to expand their sound beyond any particular genre definition.
Forming in Tulsa, OK in early 2016 out of the ashes of former projects, XIII Minutes aims to blend brutality with harmony, commercial and underground, the old and the new; taking on the sinful and the sacred. Let the dichotomy begin
XIII Minutes is set to battle on each and every stage in their path using their music to take on the darkness and infusing it with the light; Depression/Hope, Sin/Redemption, Darkness/Light, Evil/Good: The Dichotomies of Life.
Sometimes it is good to let the band speak, and in this case I couldn’t agree more with their general synopsis of the sound you’ll experience here. Instrumentally, they appeal immensely to my traditional metal loving ears. Solid riffs, mega-crunch, tasteful soaring leads and all. While vocally they have the approach of so many bands before them, with the often back-and-forth mix of melodic and the more harsh barking stylings.
As a more traditional “old school” metal fellow, I tend to gravitate towards bands with more melodic singers, but I truly enjoy the mix if the harsher side is not so harsh as to distract or be indecipherable. Favorite bands like Demon Hunter come to my mind as an example of a the intensity of vocal style I really love. And XIII Minutes fits right in that pocket that I thoroughly can enjoy.
I know in this day and age of media everywhere, unlike in the days of print, you, the reader, have the ability to find and listen to most anything desired. So while I can go on and on with telling you what I like or dislike about a release, my main goal here is to not to just put forth my opinion, but to bring to your attention bands I have found and enjoy. Who knows, maybe you missed out on this release too last year. Another thing I always appreciate in a review, when possible, is to share a little insight and background about a band and their message, to help you be more informed with details about a release. I therefore asked the band to share some info about the songs, their stories, and any other insightful musings, and here is what we discover:
Sibling Rivalry – The ages old story of Cain and Able
Victim Less – The message is in the hook, a message of empowerment…I DON’T CLAIM VICTIM STATUS. Interestingly enough, we had a young lady message us about how this message has helped through a traumatic experience and helped provide encourage to face the men who violated her.
Self Portrait – This song was created messing around to some System of A Down stuff…see the song “Sugar.” Well, out of it we built a swing rhythm with a gospel music cadence and turned it into a “metal” song.
Machaira – The most misunderstood lyric that we have. But, in short, this one is about spiritual battle and the armor of God. The “machaira” was a Roman weapon used in close combat.
Blue Flame – This is our current single on Rottweiler Records and currently charting on the Christian Music Weekly “Loud” Charts. The Blue Flame analogy is based around Faith, Strength, Power, and Protection…all characteristics of God the Father. Whatever issue we’re facing, struggle we’re endearing, we should look to the Father in the process.
Obsessed – Another spiritual battle anthem. This song was born out of struggle and frustration to find God’s purpose in trying situations.
Fragile – You’re probably starting to see a theme here. Fragile is an awareness of how easily our faith can be broken.
This Life – This was our first single release upon being signed to Rottweiler Records. Again, another song of struggle but with a conquering theme. Claim Victory Now In This Present Life. See the tie in to Victim Less. 🙂
Who Told You – Is a direct question to societal lies that we embrace. It’s a challenge to look for the truth of the things that we believe about ourselves and others. This was our number one charting single in 2019.
Water Vice – Is a song about travesties in the name of religion. Favorite line…The “water” I could walk on can suffocate my faith.
Out of Time – Begins part one of a 3 part story. This is the story of a man engaged in his addiction that eventually finds himself snared in the trap, with the realization that he is “Out of Time” … aka dead.
When You Have Suffered – A part two of the story. It’s the interlude…the place the protagonist find himself. He’s alone and in despair. The accuser comes to him in this moment reminding him of his failures. You’ll find six accusations of the man, which was intentional with six being the number of imperfection. You’ll also see each accusation followed by a scriptural promise. The accuser doesn’t get to seven…that’s where God comes in.
Reckless Love – Was chosen as part 3 of the story to remind us/the protagonist, that no matter how far we feel we’ve fallen and failed, God is close by and searches for us, finds us, and brings us home.
Hopefully by now you you are getting a feel for the direction, heart’s desire and a bit of the band’s focus. For me personally, I have found this release making repeated trips into my player; something more rare these days with so much new music flooding in. Finding out some background on the songs was not only enlightening, but deepened my appreciation for what I was hearing, and with each repeated listen, I am enjoying it more and more. I guess you could say I have become somewhat OBSESSED with it!
I believe my earliest discovery of this band, was from the Rottweiler Records annual Christmas-fun releases, Fleas Naughty Dog releases that I grab each year. Here is one of their tracks from that series:
So, do yourself a favor and check out what the band is doing. They can be fold on most of the normal social media outlets these days, and their music is in most all of the normal places. Support the music scene, buy great new music!