Album Review :
Civil Parish - Abolition's Well

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Abolition's Well

Artist: Civil Parish
Abolition’s Well
Release Date:
3/11/11 (C&L! re-release 7/10/12)
Carter Fraser


  1. Creation Song
  2. Wicked Wounds
  3. Weight of Glory
  4. Beautiful Step
  5. Convergence of the Twain
  6. Jubilee
  7. Post Script

Come&Live!’s latest signing is Orlando-based Civil Parish. You can probably take a rough guess at what they sound like; indie worship with some atmospheric elements, not-too-groundbreaking lyricism. Fear not, however, Civil Parish manage to standout amongst the ranks, even if they aren’t doing anything particularly new for the label.

More than capable heart-on-the-sleeve vocals add a great deal to Abolition’s Well. Fans of sudden pitch changes will find a lot to like, with above average vocal melodies littered throughout this four-piece’s debut. As mentioned before, Abolition’s Well is fairly typical in the lyrics department, but this is more or less forgivable when coupled with creative instrumentation. Vaguely post-rock inspired song structures are common, although there’s nothing too challenging present. Instrumentally, Civil Parish manage to have moments of note consistently throughout Abolition’s Well’s 32 minute length. Often times they shine through the textures and flourishes as well, rounding out the album nicely.

“Beautiful Step” is a certain highlight, combining all of Civil Parish’s strengths and coming out as a tight, well-executed cut. “Wicked Wounds” features one of the better lyrical moments with the shouted bridge “when I ate fruit from that tree / why’d You come find me!” over layered guitars. It’s perhaps the “epic” of the album and the hardest hitting track, placed at the two spot. The closing pair of “Jubilee” and “Post Script” play off each other well, with the former being a haunting ballad and the latter a brief rousing charge to close things off. Despite these tracks though, Abolition’s Well isn’t memorable for its standouts, but rather its consistency and subtle nuance.

Overall: But you may ask, aren’t a lot of these qualities consistent with a lot of other Come&Live! and general new indie worship artists’ releases this year? Pretty much. But know Civil Parish are at a minimum as talented as their contemporaries, and at times they’re a bit ahead of the pack. So give them a listen/free download if you think they might be to your liking.

RIYL: Ascend the Hill, The Ember Days, Loud Harp, David Crowder Band