Eyes of Eli – Eyes Of Eli

By Lee Brown on May-11-2012 | Filed under Reviews | Tags : , , , | Share

Eyes of Eli – Eyes Of Eli
Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/54
4.4 (7 votes)

Artist: Eyes of Eli
Title: Eyes of Eli
Release Date: 4/19/12
Reviewer: Lee Brown

Tracklisting:

  1. Intro
  2. Fallout
  3. Open Up
  4. Church Of The Harlot
  5. Devil’s Going Down (ft. Mason Harrison)
  6. Creator
  7. Seed Of Lust
  8. You
  9. When Silence Speaks
  10. Don’t Be Afraid
  11. Your Word

Eyes of Eli’s self-titled debut album belongs in the same class as For Today’s Breaker, A Plea For Purging’s The Life and Death of…, and The Great Commission’s Heavy Worship. Read that sentence again (twice). If you still need to read this review, great, but most of you should now be on iTunes. Really, go. It’s simply that good.

Eyes of Eli is a heavy album that mixes in some amazing cleans, some guttural lows, and even some rap-core elements (on “Devil’s Going Down”). In terms of vocals, the range applied to this album comes just short of the astounding range of Ryan Clark (Demon Hunter). Overall, the style of the album is very much in line with Plea and The Great Commission mixed with War of Ages, both in terms of styling and message.

This self-titled album beings, fittingly, with an intro track. Intro tracks let the listener know what to expect and this one is no different. As such, it lets the listener know they’re about to enter war with the enemy. As the track begins, the sound of shells colliding with buildings is heard amidst resounding gunfire. When combined with the initial guitar chords, Metallica’s “One” is almost immediately brought to mind. This brief parallel is quickly obliterated once the vocals begin, however as JB initiates the listeners’ ears with a brief spoken word of testimony ending in the first scream of the album, “We seek Your face, Father!” This first scream says it all. This is what Eyes of Eli is about. This “Heavy Worship,” to reuse The Great Commission’s term, is what the listener can expect from the second they start the album to the moment it ends and leaves you wanting more.

“Fallout” carries the battle imagery the intro track creates and capitalizes on it to speak to the desolation this world lies in. It gives the battle cry to rebuild what the enemy has destroyed. Chants of “It’s all for Your glory” resonate as JB speaks to the devastation of this world breaking way to the Second Coming of Christ. Mentions of eschatological elements such as the Millennial Reign of Christ the band has slightly more theological depth than even some faith-based hardcore bands in the industry today. As such, the album comes across as missional music in the same vein (again) as For Today and The Great Commission.

“Open Up” opens up with some slick guitar and drum work that really shows off the deep talent EOE have been gifted with. It also begins with a guttural growl which fans of Demon Hunter will appreciate (I don’t know why, but I’m addicted to tracks that begin with quick guttural noises… call me crazy). The focus of “Open Up” is discernment as JB says, “I will not trust the liars, I will not fear the thieves, I’ll never follow robbers…” This theme is carried forward into “Church of the Harlot” which brings the same message captured by The Showdown’s “Fanatics and Whores,” and which is visually portrayed by A Plea for Purging in their “Shiver” video. Opening up with the sounds of “Name it and claim it” preachers, Eyes of Eli tackles the difference between a life conformed to Christ and those “religious vipers” who are only Godly on the outside.

“Devil’s Going Down” begins with the cry “War!” and then breaks into some 90’s inspired rap-core. Hardcore purists will likely dismiss the track, but make no mistake this song is powerful. Speaking of power, “Creator” is possibly the most powerful track on this album. While not the heaviest track, the message is certainly one that speaks to the heart where it both affirms God’s love for man, and (our) complete devotion to Him.

“Seed of Lust” shows off some of the best cleans of the album, and speaks to the war we face against the temptation of this world. “This is the seed I’ve sown and it won’t let me grow” hearkens to strong Biblical imagery about the consequences of sin. The listener isn’t left in the mire, however, as “You” admits these struggles, but points to the strength that is offered by a God who “meet(s) me right where I am.”

“When Silence Speaks” and “Don’t Be Afraid” (as well as the final track) share the distinction for being the heaviest tracks found on this album. If they were the only ones you were to sample, it would be easy to confuse Eyes of Eli with War of Ages, at least in instrumentation. Though both songs are great, “Don’t Be Afraid” stands out. It is heavy in all the right places and the message of not being afraid because God is with us is powerful. Theologically this track incorporates elements of Jesus’ final words, Paul’s deathbed assurance, and the powerful reminder that we are bought back from sin by the blood of Christ. In every way “Don’t Be Afraid” is an encouragement to the listener.

Eyes of Eli’s self-titled debut album concludes with “Your Word.” From start to finish “Your Word” models the overall themes of the rest of the album. Sonically it incorporates both the guttural screams and the clean vocals which balance so well throughout the rest of the album and the theme brings you broken before the feet of Christ. Though it would have been nice to have an instrumental track akin to the intro to close out the track (possibly utilizing the imagery brought in early on of the return of Christ and thereby serving as a nice bookend to the album), “Your Word” does a pretty good job of both closing the door on this album and leaving the listener wanting more.

Overall: Eyes of Eli is a powerful debut from a band that deserves to be considered one of the breakout bands of the year! For an independent debut album, Eyes of Eli shows good production value, solid dichotomy between clean vocals and guttural growls, and features some amazing instrumentation. Fans of For Today, War of Ages, A Plea for Purging, and The Great Commission will be enthralled with this album, but all fans of heavy music owe it to themselves to check out this powerful album. When it comes to Eyes of Eli, all I can say is, I can’t wait for more!

RIYL: For Today, War Of Ages, A Plea For Purging, The Great Commission

Eyes of Eli - Eyes Of Eli, 4.4 out of 5 based on 7 ratings

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About the author Lee Brown

Lee Brown is Discipleship Pastor at Meadow Park Church in Columbus, OH. He is the author of "Here's How: An Introduction to Practical Discipleship," and is also an adjunct professor and content specialist for Mid-America Christian University. Most importantly, he is a loving husband and father. Lee loves jamming to bands like Blindside, Project 86, Demon Hunter, Spoken, Lecrae, and Lil' Dre. For more about Lee, be sure to visit www.KnightoftheSon.com. View all posts by Lee Brown

18 Responses to 'Eyes of Eli – Eyes Of Eli'

  1. JahWarriah says:

    Thanks a ton Lee! Great review and it’s awesome to see these guys getting covered on here.

  2. David M says:

    Good review, but I’m not impressed. If it would have came out maybe 5 years ago, I think it’d be fresh for me, but there’s a reason why I listen to For Today and a Plea for Purging and not bands like this and the Great Commission (just to borrow some of the bands you mentioned). While the former may be heavy, the technicality and musicianship that occurs dwarfs the latter.

  3. MrM says:

    Thanks for reviewing this, I wanted to see some others’ opinions :) I think they’re great, although the album artwork isn’t my thing.

    “Devil’s Going Down” is the reason I started following this band ^_^ hahah

  4. Carrie Harrison says:

    This is an AWESOME band with an awesome ministry! I have the privilege of knowing each and every one of them personally and even more of a privilege of being married to Dane, one of the guitar players! This review says it all and you did a GREAT job!

  5. Thanks so much Lee for an awesome review! We appreciate everyone’s comments and opinions. We agree that there are heavier bands out there as well and we are definitely okay with that! When it comes to our influences it is a very wide range: from P.O.D., Blindside, Project 86 to Norma Jean, As I lay Dying, Demon Hunter and even Impending Doom. We just play what we feel and enjoy playing and don’t try to fit in to any genre or scene. The main thing is that we are able to go out and spread the love of Christ and glorify our Lord and Savior through our music. Anyways, thanks again for the awesome review and keep doing what you guys are doing at Indie Vision Music! Any other comments and opinions are greatly appreciated. God Bless!

  6. Rob G says:

    I hate when news posts are tagged as “hardcore” or “spirit filled hardcore” when they’re not…I get all excited, then realize it’s just another metalcore band.

    • Smacky X says:

      Thanks for opening up to us. Where can we send the kleenex?

    • David M says:

      I mean, I can understand the confusion. Spirit-filled hardcore definitely makes a lot of people think of bands like Strongarm and No Innocent Victim. Then again, I never pay attention to the tags and can generally tell a band by the album artwork and name, so I don’t get mislead that often. :P

    • Rob G says:

      Thanks Smacky for trying to be funny, I was just stating how there’s a difference between hxc and metalcore.

    • Smacky X says:

      Rob- I understand your point. I was just goofing around. No offense intended so I apologize if I did offend

  7. Industrial_king says:

    Eyes of Eli, Since I know your reading this review I thought I would agree strongly with Mrm’s statement said in passing about the albumn art. It hurts the overal image of the band and can be limit your exposure. As a graphic designer and Illustrator I know the value of a strong cover and the impact it has on Fans. I recently Did Ilias last Ep “We Were Shipwrecks”.

    I started a project 12/12. Where I decided to use the gifts God gave me as an artist and help out Christian bands. I’ve done this by providing artwork for free (which is really counter productive as a starving artist) or working within a bands budget. This can cut huge costs and help bands with artwork they are proud represents the band, the cd, and message your working hard to share. This go’s for you any band that might read this as well.

    If your interested you can contact me at ar.sikstrom@gmail.com
    God bless you guys and the best to you!

    • MrM says:

      Thanks for agreeing, nice to know I’m not way off base XD And I just checked out that artwork, wow, well done. I’m not actually a fan of Ilia, but if I hadn’t heard them before, that artwork most assuredly would have drawn me in! Excellent work

    • MrM says:

      I’d also like to ad that you’re completely right, the artwork has a huge value. When browsing sites like Bandcamp, iTunes, Noisetrade, what makes me click on the band is purely their album artwork. ’tis important stuff!

    • We really appreciate your opinions on the artwork….but personally we love it and think it does a perfect job of portraying the message we are trying to get across. It fits perfectly with our lyrics, message, and album photography and feel that it was exactly what we wanted in an album cover. Again, we appreciate your opinions and understand that everyone has a different feel and style when it comes to art, but this was the style and message we were going for with this one.

  8. 5 out of 5 for me. Not one song is skip worthy and I’m looking forward to their next release!

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