The good kind of preaching.
When Thrice went on hiatus last year, angels literally lost their freaking wings. To make up for this, frontman Dustin Kensrue took a job as a worship pastor at Mars Hill Church in Washington and recorded his third, heavily religious, solo album 'The Water & The Blood.'
If you have ever been to one of these new age churches where they sing songs of praise together, that is essentially what this record is, except the songs are written and sung by Dustin from Thrice. This makes things a little tricky as these tracks, by nature, are a very specific style, with fairly obvious subject matter, and that style is, without being too negative, kind of lame. But, on the other hand, Dustin and any kind of music results in all good things. A conundrum indeed.
Opening track 'Rejoice' shows that these songs were written to have a sing-a-long qualitiy, with a lyrics on the projector, hands in the air type of style. All is saved however by the clear injection of Kensrue's unique style throughout all of these tracks, altering the church song genre slightly.
Lyrically, those who don't necessarily have religious beliefs will have a tough time relating as the message is coming in hard and fast on every track, and sadly, the clever lyricism that we all grew accustom to through Thrice has been toned down to something far more stark and easily digestible to the masses. "Raise your hands/he is worthy of our praise" is no "The wind's a cheating wife/her tongue a thirsty knife" but Kensrue is trying to get his message across more directly on this project.
There are plenty of Thrice-esque moments for fans however, the piano laden 'Suffering Servant' for example or the atmospheric and heavy 'The Voice Of The Lord', which ends up being a highlight. This album uses far more instrumentation and is more rock driven than the acoustic folk based ‘Please Come Home’ record landing somewhere in between all of Kensrue’s past musical endeavours.
If you can handle the preachy "churchiness" then there is some very enjoyable music here, especially for those who currently love Dustin Kensrue's unique style. Praise be to Thrice, always.
2. Rock Of Ages
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3. Suffering Servant
4. My One Comfort
5. God Is Good
7. The Voice Of The Lord
8. Its' Not Enough
9. Come Lord Jesus
10. Oh God
11. It Is Finished