CHRIST RISING: The Eternal Winds of Hoarfrost

Christ Rising is the brainchild of Vision of God Records owner Duane Keith. For years I’ve seen my friend put his heart into the extreme christian metal bands on his roster, but as some of his own projects are coming to fruition, it’s obvious that he is musically quite talented in his own right.

Black Sabbath was one of the pioneers of what later came to be called heavy metal, but their slow, plodding, but devastatingly heavy riffs also became the progenitor of the doom subgenre. Place of Skulls, Pylon, and Trouble are 3 bands that have excelled in this niche. There are several names for this styling: doom metal, stoner rock, sludge metal. Christ Rising easily embodies all of those titles, although Keith prefers the last nomenclature for his one man band outing.

Eternal Winds contains a full 12 songs, but often they are different versions of the same songs. If you’re a nut like me that likes the creative process of recording music, you’ll enjoy hearing different variations of songs, such as 4 songs featuring the singer utilizing a clean, melodic voice akin to John Bomma of Rivera/Bomma, and then replacing those vocals with death metal growls on alternate versions.

Duane’s clean, soaring vocals have me picturing him down in a dungeon, in chains, singing for all he’s worth, and it’s echoing and the walls are starting to shake apart, but meanwhile the enemy forces are getting louder and trying to drown him out. And that succinctly describes Duane’s testimony and life. His metal career after salvation has been rocked with salvo after salvo from the enemy. Strange unknown illnesses have brought my brother down, kept him from working, and even brought him to his death bed on several occasions, but God has been faithful, and Duane continues to minister in a dark corner, putting out extreme metal that honors God and proclaims His gospel to a hurt and dying world. “God I’m In Pain” reflects this personal journey musically.

I know that many fans listen strictly to melodic vocals and don’t have an ear for death metal vocals. But those that do- know the difference between good and bad vocals in that field. Great death metal vocalists are rare to find and what makes this interesting is that Duane’s harsh vocals are as good as his clean ones, sometimes both can be heard within the same song. 

As a bonus, 2 songs from Duane’s 2 man band Memorium “A New Dawn” and “Beautiful Sadness” are included. They are roughly the same style as Christ Rising, perhaps a little better fleshed out, and leaving the listener hoping for more. Pick up this album (physically or digitally) at (Vision of God Records).

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