DISCIPLE: Skeleton Psalms

Disciple has been steadily releasing in-your-face, no-compromise, hard rock and heavy metal records since 1995. They have weathered several lineup and label changes but have always remained consistent in their ability to communicate the truth of the gospel in a forthright manner that few bands have ever been able to achieve. Kevin Young’s (lead vocals and bass guitar) passion for sharing his faith and encouraging others has never waned, never weakened, and if their latest release is any indication, is not going to slow down anytime soon.

Skeleton Psalms finds Disciple laying on a thick slab of molten metal heaviness that is brutal in its attack, unrelenting in its delivery, and crystal-clear in its message. Downtuned guitars snarl over a booming bottom-end and thrashy percussion. Vocal harmonies abound and Mr. Young’s patented singing/screaming style rises above it all to challenge and encourage the listener.

The now firmly ensconced lineup of Kevin Young on vocals and bass, Andrew Stanton on guitars, Josiah Prince on guitars, and Joey West on drums have gelled into quite the cohesive team. The aforementioned vocal harmonies and the tight interplay between both guitarists are evidence of many hours of rehearsal and many shows played.

Highlights include:

The Executioner: The opening track starts heavy and just gets heavier. The lyrics deal with coming to grips with your own sin and recognizing that God’s perfect love and the life he has planned is what is worth living for. Twice Keven screams the phrase, “Let the hammer swing down,” and both times it is followed by a breakdown that shows Disciple at their heaviest.

Promise to Live: This may be Disciple’s most important song, ever. As mental health issues and suicidal ideation are running rampant amongst teens and young-adults, knowing that someone is out there who cares might just be enough to keep someone alive. This is Disciple at their most thoughtful and pleading. “Just swear you’ll stay alive” is a phrase many downtrodden need to hear.

Skeleton Psalm: The title track is groovy call-back to early Disciple and their rap-rock roots. It’s downtuned goodness makes for a blast of a song. It sounds incredible cranked on my car’s stereo.

Bad Words: This is quite the thrashy meditation on the woke movement and its ability to turn what was once good, into a perceived evil. But we should not back down from speaking the truth.

Lowlights: None, this might be Disciple’s most complete and consistently excellent album to date.

Production: Eschewing working with longtime producer Travis Wyrick, Skeleton Psalms was produced in house by Josiah Prince. But never fear, Mr. Prince astutely listened to the secret sauce that Wyrick poured into the previous Disciple releases and was able to duplicate his success. This album sounds MASSIVE!

Song Writing: Lyrically bold, musically inventive, creatively focused, the songs are crafted well and lead to repeat listens.

Instrumentation: Disciple crafts rock-songs and plays for those songs. Solos are short and serve to keep the head banging and the groove going. This is meat and potatoes rock-and-roll. And it is a dish seasoned with amazing skill and tightness.

Skeleton Psalms is a treat. Disciple has, again, served up an amazing helping of inspired lyrics backed by an entree of crunchy guitars, booming bass and nasty drums. Do not let this one get by. It is a world class release.

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