Album Review :
As Bold As Lions - Martyr

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Band: As Bold As Lions

Title: Martyr

Label: Independent

Release Date: December 2, 2010

Reviewer: Joshua Clark


  1. Ephesus
  2. Kingdoms
  3. The Commission
  4. Holy Fire
  5. To The Death
  6. Until The End Of The World

As Bold As Lions is a hardcore/metalcore band made up of five guys out of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They released their first EP called, “Face of Reality” December 8th 2009. Which if your interested you can get for free from the band, just visit their Facebook page here. As Bold As Lions came back in 2010 for round two by releasing their new EP Martyr.

For those of you who have been looking for a worship album that doesn’t sound like every other worship album out there, well this is the band for you. On this EP they are heavy and aggressive while keeping their attention focused on Christ. This As Bold As Lions EP is loaded with lyrics focused on Christ and draws you into a true sense of worship. Now this is not exactly your Christ Tomlin or Hillsong type of worship but brought to you in a different way.  The main difference is that As Bold As Lions screams their praises very loudly to God for seventeen straight minutes on this EP. Along with that there are plenty of solid messages from As Bold As Lions. There is no sub-par songwriting here, there is a lot for you to sink your teeth into.  If you have ever found yourself looking for a little more “oomph” to your worship musically, these guys deliver. The music is intense and right in your face; the band plays their brand of metalcore and throws in some hardcore as well. There is plenty of satisfying heavy riffs here that should make any metalcore fan happy.  The band is made up of some more than capable musicians and there is a good amount of talent flowing from As Bold As Lions.

Like I mentioned earlier the lyrics are stellar on this album. The band has a great heart for God and spreading his word. They don’t attempt to sugar coat anything with their lyrics and will be very bold/upfront with the message they present. They have an intense passion for what they believe and their faith that shows through bright and clear. Here are lyrics from the last track “Until The End Of The World,” this gives you a good idea of the depth they put in their songs.

Inhabit the praise of Your people/Bring Your Glory down, inhabit our praise!/Lord, fill this room/And break these chains that bind us/In a moment, that will last for a lifetime/We make our stand, and we draw the lines/The peace of God will drive this Holy resurrection/Our lives are changed, not just for now, but forever and always/And always You are faithful, and never ever break your promises/And in Your presence I am still, and I know You are God/We who kneel before You God/We can stand before anyone/Let them fear death, the ones who do not fear sin/Before there was light, there was sound/Spoken from the mouth of God/With a word He made everything/In a moment we squandered it all/Amazing love! How can it be?/That You, my God, would die for me?

The sound on this album is really raw. Which works for those who want that dirtier sound to their music. But the production could use a little work on here. It doesn’t seem like the majority of the instruments are mixed in too well. There are times the vocals completely overwhelm them and you don’t get to focus on the instruments.  Which is a shame because each of the band members provides some great instrumental parts within each track. You get to see a more restrained side of the band in the instrumental “To The Death.” But all this said the EP still sounds pretty good and it holds its own. But if the production can get cleaned up a little more these guys will be set.

Jon Maheswaran is the vocalist for As Bold As Lions and is a solid screamer. I really have enjoyed his voice and I don’t think he sounds like every other screamer out there, which is really refreshing. Also he varies it enough that you aren’t stuck with one solid tone. In “Ephesus” there are some short segments that include no screaming, which break up the screams a little. There is also a nicely placed gang vocal section at the end of the track, which is a nice inclusion. We get to see a few of those sprinkled throughout the EP.  “Ephesus” also happens to be one of my favorite tracks on the EP along with “Until The End Of The World” being the other highlight.

Overall:In a way this album is a lot like their debut Face of Reality. It’s heavy, passionate, and a great form of worship. There isn’t a ton of changes but like their previous album there is plenty here to enjoy. It’s not perfect; I would like to see the production spruced up a bit in the future. But nevertheless this is pretty solid and I can’t find much else to complain about. I am ready for a full length album from this band though. But this is definitely worth coming back to every once in a while to throw in with your other metal favorites. Or it’s also a good worship album to throw in with all your others, it just has a different style to go with it, but it has the same purpose as any other form of worship. Which no matter what the style, the purpose is to draw your attention to Christ and give him the praise. I really enjoy a worship album like this, I’m all for the other types of worship music, but this style works perfectly for it. As well as it is not as popular to have straight up worship to this style of music, so its something different to enjoy. So if you haven’t heard these guys yet it would be well worth your time to check them out.