LAYTON & MARTIN: Roxology: Majestic Hymns from the Catacombs

Roxology - Unearthing Majestic Hymns from the Catacombs

Take one part traditional Church Hymns, and another part hard rocking musicians, blend well, and you end up with ROXOLOGY: Unearthing Majestic Hymns from the Catacombs. Featuring the bass expertise of Roger Dale Martin of Once Dead (formerly of Vengeance Rising and Die Happy), and the amazing guitar prowess of Nick Layton (Firewolf, Q5), this Sanctuary International associated project is a rocking, yet melodious trip through some of the great, classic hymns of the historic Church. Layton & Martin bring forth a new look into the traditional, well-known church hymns of yesteryear with ten instrumental tracks.

Nick Layton and Roger Dale Martin

While this may not be the first time we’ve seen traditional hymns set to rock music, this is still a fresh sounding set of tunes, especially with them being instrumental. For those of you who, like me, grew up singing these songs in church, it will be like revisiting an old friend who has had a complete make-over. The songs are not simply a transferring of the old organ into guitar, the underlying songs are great sounding rock tuners in themselves, and then they break into portions where the guitar “sings” the melody of the vocal part.

At times, a little shredding takes place, and other times, you can’t help but close your eyes and sing along the beautiful words of these classics. I found myself many times just closing my eyes, and raising my hands and singing loud in praise at these new renditions. Heavy riffing, double bass drums, thundering bass lines, overlaid with awesome classic “words” – guitar words, that is. With it being instrumental, it would make great background music for any Christian gathering, that is if you can control yourself and not break into singing along.

My hope is that a new generation of people, those who maybe only grew up in the age of modern-praise music, might discover the richness of these classic presented in this new, updated styles. Classics are timeless for a reason, and may the wonderfulness of these classics live on in new formats for new generations to drink in the richness of, as they discover the Christian worship poured out by our forefathers in the faith.

Good hymns are an immense blessing to the Church. They train people for heaven, where praise is one of the principal occupations.

J.C. Ryle
Roxology back cover

At the time when I was first told of this forthcoming project, it was slated to be more of an independent release. But shortly after that time, this project was snatched up to be a release on Roxx Records. Yeah, they knew a good thing when they heard it too.

From the Roxx Records website:

This album includes the lyrics to each song. They are provided so the listener can spend time meditating on the great Biblical truths declared by the original hymn writers. In addition, the band will be launching  very soon, with stories and study tools that bring each song to life. This music will enrich you in your pursuit of a deeper and richer worship of our Majestic God. As stated by the 19th century, English pastor J.C. Ryle, “Good hymns are an immense blessing to the Church. They train people for heaven, where praise is one of the principal occupations.”

Track Listing:

  1. A Mighty Fortress
  2. How Great Thou Art
  3. O Holy Night
  4. O The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus
  5. Nothing But the Blood
  6. The Old Rugged Cross
  7. They’ll Know We are Christians
  8. It is Well
  9. Holy Holy Holy
  10. I’ll Fly Way

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