Golden Resurrection – Man With A Mission
Man With A Mission
In the realms of rock and metal, there are two ways one can go about writing Christian music. Some groups write songs that are subtly Christian, dealing with issues that we all face – love, hate, life, death, faith, doubt, fear, honor – albeit with a Christian perspective. Take, for example, the famous rock group U2: though Jesus is rarely mentioned in their songs (and they are much more likely to write a song of anger than one of praise), the underlying messages in their music are decidedly Christian.
On the other end of the spectrum, we find Golden Resurrection. There is no lyrical subtlety here; from the painfully obvious “Identity in Christ” to the vague “Finally Free” and the corny “Flaming Youth,” the listener is treated to all sorts of well-intentioned but poorly-conceived lyrics. The lyrics are Golden Resurrection’s great weakness; a listen through their sophomore effort, Man With A Mission, is a comedic experience as much as it is a spiritual one. Here we have a classic example of the means overwhelming the end: these guys preach with such blunt intensity that their preaching lapses into self-parody and effectively defeats its own purpose.
All that aside, though, the material here is rather well-executed. Golden Resurrection play a brand of power metal that is permeated with elements of both arena rock and neoclassical shred, making for a listen that is at once catchy and energetic. The songwriting, apart from the lyrics, is quite solid. Concise and instrumentally interesting, none of the songs overstay their welcome, and the album, clocking in at less than forty-five minutes, follows much the same format.
Perhaps the greatest strength of this record, however, is the interplay of instruments. While the songwriting may be concise, the composition is anything but simplistic. Bass, drums, keyboard, guitar, and vocals intertwine with expert precision to create an instrumental performance that is as subtle as the lyrics are not. This multidimensional nature is the saving grace of the album; we have here a group of highly technical musicians using their technicality not for its own sake but for the sake of the music, in the process creating something that is instrumentally fun without sacrificing their songwriting. (For those of you who are interested, this lineup includes singer Christian Rivel of Narnia and Divinefire fame, as well as Tommy Johansson of ReinXeed).
All told, Man With A Mission is an extremely fun listen. The songs are catchy, the instrumental performances are great, and the album is infused with an energy that is poppy without being overbearing. If Golden Resurrection could only do with their lyrics what they have already done with everything else, we might have something truly great on our hands.
The digital version comes with two covers: Kansas’s “Point Of Know Return” and Gary Moore’s “The End Of The World,” both of which are pretty much like the originals with a more modern production. Neither is necessary, but both are interesting, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Tom’s Rating: 3.0 out of 5
Regrettably, none of the songs from Man With A Mission are online yet, but check out this recent digital single, “Pray For Japan,” if you want to hear a bit of what Golden Resurrection is about.