Album Review :
Clear Convictions - The Mystery Of Iniquity

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Band: Clear Convictions
Title: The Mystery Of Iniquity
Label: On The Attack Records
Release Date: 9/28/2010
Reviewer: Jeremiah


1. 2 Thessalonians 2
2. The Mystery Of Iniquity
3. Mr. Identity
4. Stretch Forth Thine Hand
5. Minister Masks
6. Justice From Heaven
7. Salvation Has Come
8. Faith Vs. Science
9. How Far
10. The End Of Our Era
11. Martyr
12. Wounded But Not Defeated

Sometimes you expect something that isn’t expected. Sometimes you don’t expect something but something comes at you from some place anyway. I think both pertain to Clear Convictions new album “The Mystery Of Iniquity”. Steve hooked me up with this band’s latest album and I was glad to have the chance to write a review for it. I knew nothing of this band two weeks ago and now I’ve read everything I could find on this band. This current 3 piece is from Puerto Rico and they play hardcore with metal undertones and punk sprinkled throughout here and there.

– The first time I started listening to this album I left my apartment with the first track playing of course. “2 Thessalonians 2” started to play and totally caught me off guard in regards to what I would be listening to. It starts off with some Lord Of The Rings Soundtrack type strings and synths and then goes into piano and a drum beat followed by the reading of the entire chapter of 2 Thessalonians. The version used is the King James Version narrated by Alexander Scourby. There is also some nice guitar work throughout the rest of the song. All the elements make the song really soothing and relaxing to listen to which made me forget that I was suppose to be listening to a hardcore album. I can’t really say that this is an intro because the song is over 3 1/2 minutes. It’s very unique that this band started out their album this way. It’s definitely one that you want to tell your Mother about and by the time she gets to track 2 she might be screaming “What is this I’m listening to now?!”

– When “The Mystery Of Iniquity” started I awoke from my daze of relaxation and I thought the end of the world was coming upon us. Blast beats, double bass, and guitar riffs were pounding out my car speakers as I was driving by IAH airport watching the planes head in for their landing. The only thing that didn’t happen was planes blowing up and the end of the world. This was an excellent track to start out the heaviness of this hardcore album.

– “Mr. Identity” comes in with more blast beats, there’s a little bit of southern flavor in the middle of the track with some bass drops here and there. It all ends with a killer breakdown full of double bass. This is probably my favorite track on the album.

– There is no let up in the intensity as “Stretch Forth Thine Hand” begins. It starts off with a punkish beat with hardcore screams follow by gang vocals. The gang vocals are the part Stretch Out Your Hand.

Stretch out your hand
And give God a chance
Stretch out your hand
He will change your life
Stretch out your hand
And you won’t go back
Stretch out your hand
And you’ll see

There’s more blast beats, bass drops, breakdowns and a cool guitar solo at the end to finish an amazing song.

– “Minister Masks” starts with a guy talking to a boy saying

When you are a man
Sometimes you wear stretchie pants in your room
It’s for fun
The boy then says Don’t worry I won’t tell nobody

It actually made me laugh the first time I heard it. It was just bizarre and plain funny to hear something like that on an album. It has some awesome up-front and bold lyrics

Christians in the scene, you’ve became fashion, looking for your own good and fame, failing in the primary rule that is to preach the Gospel as God desires. Weren’t you clear in the vision? I don’t judge you ’cause at one time we’ve all fallen asleep or lost focus, but WAKE UP! Your testimony is the only thing that’s being ruined, nobody believes in you or in your words. You don’t reflect Christ ’cause for you, your ambition is more important

the song ends with intensity followed by an answer

Turn back to His purpose; you can’t keep walking on two sides. The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few

– “Justice From Heaven” is a straight forward hardcore track with punkish tones throughout. It has more excellent lyrics

Life’s not fair for anyone.
Those who do bad things
Act according to how they have been treated.
Us, the “good ones” also act in evil
And influence others with the same evil we criticize. We all act in injustice, it’s our nature. But who can humanly provide justice?
NO ONE! Yet some of us have found repentance and forgiveness for our actions, the solution to be completely free from it. Justice founded in pure love, in someone worthy to dictate it,
Sent from heaven to take that weight off of us, this is Jesus that justified us and was a living example of justice. That had freed us from our own nature so that we can live in love and peace with others

– “Salvation Has Come” comes in a throws me for another loop. Piano starts the song as the Gospel is given to the listener. There are more orchestral type elements throughout the minute and half presentation. It’s something I didn’t expect and I’m happy that they decided to do this and put it on this album. I love it when a band is not ashamed and not afraid to share the Gospel with others. This could be the only chance someone might have of hearing it.

– On “Faith Vs. Science” the music itself is excellent but the lyrics take this one to home plate.

Don’t you know that only fools say in their hearts that there is no God? What you know is because He has revealed it to you. His eternal power and deity are seen through what is done, So you don’t have an excuse to not believe The heavens declare the glory of God; The skies proclaim the work of his hands. Do you not feel, not cry, not have a soul? Are you not greater than the beasts of the earth? Proclaiming to be wise, you’ve made yourself a fool, by not noticing He that breathed life into all things. You teach us twisted truths, but the day will come, When truth will manifest itself, and what we’ve believed by faith, will humble all human reason, because God is REAL!

– “How Far” is an average track but nothing mind blowing.

– “The End Of Our Era” is an excellent song about the rapture.

When Jesus returns, many will disappear
There will be confusion, chaos
Many are going to make up fables,
Possible theories about the happening
And many more are going to believe them to calm their consciences
Others that knew this truth, religious leaders and believers will look for death
And will not find it. They will pay great consequences for their lack of integrity
Don’t be part of this. There’s still hope
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is still extended as you breathe
Look for God while He can be found
In the midst of many tragedies, and the reality of hell and in those final days for the judgment of this world It has been revealed to you the way out,
But more than that, a hope and a gift of eternity and happiness Near the Creator of all.
Now you can’t say
I didn’t know!
No one told me!

This song really hits me as it pertains to the rapture. This is a pre-trib version so I don’t want to get on a theological debate on if it is or not. I used to be post-trib but after doing more study earlier this year I’ve changed my viewpoint. The song has an epic ending with spoken word and then singing blended with the hardcore vocals. It’s the only song to feature any singing.

– “Martyr” is another average track. Good but nothing more.

– “Wounded But Not Defeated” is a fitting ending to an overall excellent album. I like these lyrics

Just to let you know we’re still playing this game
Looks like there’s no hope
Like you won again!
Maybe we’ve lost all
But we know God has control
Lies always come around
Wounded but not defeated
God has victory
Over the mind oppressor
Trials must make you grow
And make stronger your call
Can the enemy
Tear us apart?
This is what we live for
Hardcore for Christ
Our decision is firm
Enemies prepare your self
Cause here we strike again!
Wounded but not defeated

These guys don’t care who they play for or what they believe. They will give them the truth no matter what. It’s this kind of boldness that I like throughout this entire album.

Overall: A lot of hardcore albums come and go out of my rotation mainly because of the lack of a bold and upfront message of the Gospel and ones faith. This album doesn’t break any new ground musically, but what it does it does well. If your looking for one hardcore album with excellent music and a bold message that is firmly rooted in Jesus Christ then this is your album.