Sent by Ravens – Our Graceful Words

By Michael Mayer III on April-15-2010 | Filed under Reviews | Tags : | Share

Sent by Ravens – Our Graceful Words
Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/54
3.7 (17 votes)

Artist: Sent by Ravens
Album: Our Graceful Words
Label: Tooth & Nail
Release Date: April 20, 2010
Review by: Michael Mayer III

Tracklisting:

  1. New Fire
  2. An Honest Heart
  3. I Hear Her Breathe
  4. Beautiful List
  5. Trailer vs. Tornado
  6. Jack and Jill
  7. Philadelphia
  8. Salt and the Light
  9. This Awakening
  10. Stone Soup
  11. True Bride

Debut albums can be a tricky thing to anticipate. For the most part, they are like a greatest hits album of sorts for bands that have been around for a little while. Some bands never release an album as strong as their debut, especially if they have huge commercial success with it, and struggle to live in its shadow. Other debut albums show a band trying to discover who they are and what sound they want to pursue as they show off their potential for the future. If I were to try and peg Sent by Ravens’ debut album, Our Graceful Words, I’d say they’ll likely fall into the latter category. Of course, I don’t have a crystal ball to see the future, but this album is a collection of past songs from a previous EP, addictive tunes that could be hit singles, and some tracks that don’t hold up as well and end up as filler. The bottom line is Sent by Ravens is a band oozing with potential and their deft talent at their respective instruments propel this album to be one worth owning for any fan of hard rock.

Having the first single start off the album was a very wise decision. ‘New Fire’ is one of the best tracks and it features many of the components you’ll hear throughout Our Graceful Words. The dual guitars are heavy and direct the song, often coming to the forefront in the chorus, and the vocal hooks immediately stick in your head. There is even a dose of solid screaming during the bridge that fits surprisingly well and shows the variety of sounds the band can cover. Zach’s voice has a strong range reminiscent of vocalists like Jon Sumrall (Kutless) and, to a lesser extent, TJ Harris of Fighting Instinct/Decyfer Down. In the closing track, ‘True Bride’, the vocal hook in the chorus is so insanely catchy due to his range that it stays in my head for hours after hearing it. He also does a good job of changing his vocal delivery often and that’s most evident on ‘This Awakening’ where you get a kaleidoscope of different vocal styles.

Sometimes as you listen to this album you won’t know what to make of Sent by Ravens. The lyrics are very spiritually focused and uplifting with some songs that could even be considered heavy worship, like ‘An Honest Heart’. Then it’ll have a section in it where you may think another song came on as it transitions briefly with a metalcore vibe before going back to the worship sound. Honestly, I enjoyed the heavier parts thrown into a lot of these tracks since they blend the sound seamlessly and keep the listener attentive. It’s when they went with straight up rock tunes that they lost me. If anything, that might be due to the fact the heavier tracks stand out so well and the typical rock ones pale in comparison. Luckily, those are few and far between.

Overall: Sent by Ravens have created a truly catchy debut album while showing potential for the future. Need lyrical depth? They got it. Want infectious vocal hooks and explosive guitars? No problem. Could you use some heavier worship tunes that stray far from generic contemporary music? You’re in luck. Looking for something completely original and off-the-wall? Look elsewhere. Our Graceful Words will fit right in with any hard rock fan’s collection and steal away a few spins from their latest favorites in the process. What this debut may lack in total originality, it more than makes up for in sheer entertainment as you headbang along with the riffs or attempt to belt out the chorus along with Zach. Some albums are just meant to be enjoyed rather than analyzed through a microscope.

Gems of this album are: ‘New Fire’, ‘I Hear Her Breathe’, ‘This Awakening’, ‘True Bride’

[Myspace]

Sent by Ravens - Our Graceful Words, 3.7 out of 5 based on 17 ratings

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35 Responses to 'Sent by Ravens – Our Graceful Words'

  1. Saltine says:

    Hopefully this is gonna’ be a great record. So far it sounds great…especially for a new tooth and nail band.

  2. Best Tooth & Nail signing in recent years I think.

    Also, the tracklisting may be slightly different. I stuck with the names T&N sent me but I’ve seen about 5 different tracklists online as far as what the songs are actually named. :-/ Once I get the album in the mail I’ll change any errors.

  3. Chris Alexander says:

    Nice review. I agree that they are T&N’s best sing in recent years. I’m ready for this.

  4. Mikey says:

    I honestly expected no less from these guys after hearing their EP’s. I’m glad to hear they did not disappoint

  5. tyler h says:

    good review…i thought a lot of the same things…and its hard not to hear the Kutless comparison, isn’t it?

    • It is, but only in a few songs. The big difference between Zach and the guy from Kutless is Jon sounds the same on every song they have ever recorded. Zach uses his range a whole lot more and switches things up often. I’m glad for that because artists who never change things up become really dull before the album is even finished.

    • tyler h says:

      oh there is definitely a change up in vocals throughout…i feel like there are four or five different guys singing when its only one haha

  6. Trent W says:

    I am excited for this album, def gonna pick it up.
    Though, I must say I think it’s gonna be overshadowed for me by Write This Down’s album.

  7. Steve says:

    Solid review. I really like these guys.

  8. HAYNGMAN#3000 says:

    i think itll be good. but ive got my sights set on write this down for now.

  9. Tim says:

    I want to check this band out. First T&N signing I’ve enjoyed for years.

  10. As for Write This Down, I’ll be writing the review for that and hopefully have it up on Monday, Tuesday at the latest. That one is going to be a little tougher to write a review for since it’s all over the place. Hah

  11. linds4lif says:

    mmm, not really thinking ill like this band, the singles i heard sound mediocre, i am interested in write this down though

  12. Be sure to pick this up tomorrow if you guys haven’t already pre-ordered it. I can’t wait to get it in the mail so I can blast it from my speakers. I could always use some more hard rock worship tunes. :-D

  13. Saltine says:

    This record is great, however, I don’t know why they re-did Trailers vs. Tornadoes like they did. The original was much better! But, this albums is still great!

  14. Saltine says:

    Yeah, I don’t know why they made them do that. New Fire is my favorite song since they messed with Trailers vs. Tornadoes too much.

  15. Trent W says:

    This record is really awesome. A very good debut, and I like their incorporation of hardcore elements, its not overwhelming and adds to the songs.

  16. Rob says:

    This record is surprisingly awesome. I saw T&N had signed them and thought I would check them out, but this record blew the doors down.

  17. Derek says:

    The best artist that T&N has signed in years. When I heard that T&N has signed SBR I wasnt expecting much out of them but when my brother got their album I wa blown away. Solid record great guitar riffs great voicals. A con about the record they shouldn’t have changed Trailers vs Tornadoes. Check out New Fire and Beautiful List the best songs to me. I seen them going somewhere in the future.

  18. John Wayne says:

    Why is this album so hard to find in stores?

  19. Travis Aker says:

    I think this album is really creative,the way they mixed in the hardcore and the straight up rock was pretty slick if you ask me. I give the album a good listen I would probably give a 7 1/2 out of 10 though,I can agree with what the viewer said in the one part of the paragraph some parts did lose me. I think if they stick with a particular style and hold there talent together and not have someone leave the band. I think they have potential to be better on there next album and maybe step up a notch.

  20. Anyone get their preorder for this? I ordered from Tooth & Nail and still haven’t gotten it. :-/

  21. John Wayne says:

    OK, MMIII. I guess the new question is, has anyone seen a physical copy of this album?

  22. Steven says:

    i got my copy at my local best buy…it is very good

  23. Jeremy says:

    my physical copy (pre-order from amazon, as there are no physical record stores where I live anymore) came on release day last week

  24. WarriorSam says:

    Not a big fan of this cd..

  25. John Wayne says:

    So it does exist! But I’m still on the fence as to whether or not I want to own it.

  26. Rob J says:

    Does anyone else find the singers voice really similar to the singer of High Flight Society?

  27. You want to own it JW. :-P

    I emailed Zambooie and apparently they had a flub with receiving the CD. They just shipped it out on the 28th so I won’t get it until Monday. I’ve never had a preorder take 2 weeks AFTER the release date to get to me so this was disappointing. Good thing I had the digital promo copy to tide me over…

    • Rob says:

      I still haven’t got my pre-order from Facedown of War of Ages new album, but they did send out a free CD to those of us who weren’t going to get it because I pre-ordered the edition with the limited edition vinyl

  28. Milie says:

    I cannot stop listening to this album. All the songs are awesome.

  29. Dave says:

    I actually bought this album at a local Best Buy after reading the reviews on this site and I must say I LOVE IT!!!!!!! I never heard of these guys before, but now I can’t wait to see them live! I liked this album so much that I even went on iTunes and bought their EP. I strongly recommend that, as well! It is always exciting to come across a new band that grabs you right away and these guys definitely fit that category!

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