Independent hard rock/metal outfit Repentance is scheduled to release its latest record Friday through Noble Demon. The band’s new EP, Volume 1 – Reborn, is a powerful return for the band, which boasts Shun Glass (Soil, Broken Hope, Dirge Within) among its members. Also in the current lineup are Adam Gilley (vocals), Eric Burns (guitar), Eric Karol (bass), and Brandon White (drums). Considering that Glass is the only original member of the group – the lineup previously consisted of Glass alongside Robby J. Fonts (Stuck Mojo), on vocals, as well as Mike Sylvester, Kanky Lora, and Markus Johansson – the EP’s title is fitting, especially considering the lineup changed so dramatically over the course of just one year. While the band’s lineup changed quite a bit, the lineup’s influence on the music clearly has not changed, which is a very good thing. From the EP’s opening to its end, the power in the record’s musical and lyrical content goes a long way to make it appealing. Each item will be examined in its own right here. The production that went into the presentation rounds out its most important elements wand will also be examined here. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the record. All things considered, they make this second offering from Repentance a work that could make the band one of the next big names in the metal community, given the right support.
Repentance’s forthcoming new EP, Volume 1 – Reborn is a powerful new entry and solid follow-up to the band’s 2020 album, God For A Day. As with that record, this presentation is one that could very easily help make the band one of the metal community’s next big names. That is proven in part through the five-song record’s musical arrangements. The arrangements are intense, fiery, and so many other adjectives that one might add to that mix. They are so powerful from one to the next, exhibiting influences from so many bands. Comparisons can be made, for instance, to works from the likes of Hatebreed, Terror, and Dry Kill Logic at points throughout the 19-minute presentation. At other points, audiences can just as much make comparisons to works from the likes of Unearth and Lamb of God. While all of the noted bands are metal acts, their styles are distinct from one another. That they are so well-balanced in each of the featured songs is a testament to the work put in by the band and to those responsible for the record’s production. This item – the production — will be addressed later. That the songs exhibit those influences and blend them so well is important also, because it will appeal so much to such a wide range of metal purists. Keeping that in mind, the amalgam of influences exhibited in the songs and their stylistic similarity from one to the next is sure to keep listeners engaged and entertained. Add in the fact that the songs still boast their own unique sounds separate of one another, even with the noted stylistic similarities in mind, and audiences get in each arrangement, five unique compositions that will appeal to the most casual of metal fans.
Clearly, the musical content featured in Volume I – Reborn plays a pivotal role in the EP’s presentation. They offer audiences plenty of familiar content while still also giving listeners something unique within the record and in comparison to other metal acts out there. The lyrical themes that accompany the EP’s musical arrangements are just as important to its presentation as that musical content. Case in point is the EP’s title track, which is also one of the record’s singles. The song’s lyrical theme comes across as a fiery statement of determination, of letting go of the past and moving forward after cleansing one’s self of the stains of the past. This is inferred from the lyrics provided in the song’s lyric video, which the band debuted in September. On another note, ‘No Innocence,’ another of the record’s singles, is a song whose lyrical theme focuses on its own relatable, accessible theme. Gilley, who currently handles vocals for the band, “‘No Innocence’ is about being betrayed by someone you thought you can trust. When enough is enough and you just can’t hold back anymore.” His statement is translated well through its chorus, in which he sings, “Self-righteous ignorance/Pull the blade from my back/No innocence/I’ll ruin you to the quick/A snap of the fingers/I’ll flip the switch.” That is a powerful statement that also matches the fire in the song’s musical arrangement. As if all of this is not enough proof of the importance of the EP’s lyrical content, the theme featured in the record’s opener, ‘All The Misery.’ If this critic is correctly interpreting the lyrics here, this is a familiar sociopolitical commentary that is so common among hard rock and metal acts. That inference is made as Gilley screams in the song’s lead verse, “Open up/Start a new entry/They part us like the Red Sea/Submerge/Indoctrinating/I will not die on my knees/They pit us against each other/Divide/They will conquer/Put blame on one another/We must stand together/I will not/I will not cry/I will not/I will not die/We will/We will rise/Unite and let’s fight.” These opening lines seem relatively cut and dry. This comes across as one of those lyrical fists in the air, standing against the powers that be and how they intentionally work to divide Americans in order to continue controlling us. That inferred message continues in the song’s second verse in which Gilley screams, “Let’s breath the cycle/From those who are cynical/Fade away/Fade them away/Misery/All the misery.” This is a call to eliminate the misery, to overcome those who would bring us down. Again, this seems to point the finger at those in the nation’s halls of power. The same kind of message is added later in the song, too. The whole makes the statement, again, familiar, but just as welcome as ever, considering where America is today. Any cry for unity against those who would divide people solely for control is welcome. To that end it is yet another example of the importance of the EP’s lyrical content. It is yet another accessible, welcome theme that builds the EP’s success that much more. When it is considered with the equally accessible and relatable themes in the other songs examined here and with the EP’s two remaining songs – ‘Down in the Water’ and ‘This Is Hell’ – the whole of the record’s lyrical content proves just as important as ever to its presentation as the EP’s musical arrangements.
It should be obvious at this point just how important the overall content featured in Volume I – Reborn is to the EP’s presentation. For all that the content does to make the EP so engaging and entertaining, it is just part of what makes the EP successful. The record’s production brings everything together and puts the finishing touch to the whole. The production is so important to examine because, again, how fiery the content is overall. Each arrangement is so loud and so intense. That means that the utmost attention had to be paid to each arrangement in its instrumentation; making sure no one part overpowers the others. In the same breath (no pun intended), just as much attention had to be paid to balancing the instrumentations with the vocals in each song. Those painstaking efforts paid off in that aspect, too. The result is that even with all of the screams against the intensity of the instrumentations, audiences can mostly understand and decipher the songs’ lyrics even without lyrics sheets to reference. Keeping all of this in mind, the EP’s production is not just an aesthetic element. It plays a key role in the EP’s general effect. Keeping that in mind along with the positive impact of the EP’s content overall, the whole makes Volume I – Reborn hopefully just the first of many new volumes of music from Repentance. It makes the record a work that, with the right support, could make Repentance once of the next big names in metal.
Repentance’s forthcoming EP, Volume I – Reborn is a strong new statement from the band. It is a powerful statement about the band’s potential future, as is evidenced in part through its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements boast so many influences while also boasting their own unique identities separate of the works from the bands that clearly influenced Repentance and from one another within the bigger picture of the EP. That in itself is sure to appeal to any metal and hard rock purist. The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical arrangements are important to the EP’s presentation because they are just as accessible as the record’s musical content. They present themes that are familiar but still unique in their presentation without being too metaphorical in their language. The record’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation. It ensures the songs’ instrumentations and vocals are all equally balanced. The result of the work that went into this aspect is five songs whose general effect are all so powerful. Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the EP’s presentation. All things considered, they make the EP another powerful work from Repentance that given the right support, could make this band one of the next big names in the metal and hard rock communities.
Volum I — Reborn is scheduled for release Friday through Noble Demon. More information on the record is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
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