This band from Southern California was one of the first wave of bands who set the foundation for what was known as “Spirit-filled hardcore.” A wave which also included Focused, Strongarm, Six Feet Deep and a handful of others, many of which remained unsigned. The scene was characterized by ‘new school’ or ‘chugga chugga’ or metallic hardcore of the early to mid-90s, combined with lyrics that were bold and unapologetic about faith issues.
The first time I heard Unashamed was actually a live show as they were the opening band at the first Tooth and Nail Weekend in 1994, a mini-fest at the Where-House in Bartlesville, OK featuring all Tooth and Nail bands (also on the bill were Focused, Chatterbox, Plankeye, Starflyer 59 and Wish for Eden who sadly had to cancel due to a broken down van). Unashamed had just started their set when I arrived from my 3-hour drive to the venue. What I heard and felt immediately blew me away. Such passion and energy caused something inside of me to leap. It was so raw and powerful, I honestly did not know what to do with the emotions that were being stirred up within me.
The debut album, Silence was being released right around that same time, and it contained all the emotion, all the passion, all the raw, sometimes sloppy, energy of that live set. To this day, it is my favorite hardcore album of all time. “Never Ends” is an accurate snapshot of the record with its spectacular chorus that both describes the camaraderie found in the hardcore scene and the dedication and conviction of true Christianity. I hope these words give you some food for reflection as we conclude one year and head into another.
I will be there for you, when no one else cares
God will pull us through, and His love never ends