Album Review :
Dizmas - Dizmas

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Artist: Dizmas
Album: Dizmas
Label: Forefront Records
Release Date: April 29, 2008
Review by: Eric Pettersson

Tracklist:
1. Yours
2. Play It Safe
3. Save the Day
4. Redemption, Passion, Glory
5. Different
6. Shake It Off
7. Jealousy Hurts
8. This Is a Warning
9. Worth Fighting For
10. Dance

After acquiring On a Search in America, Dizmas’ debut release on Credential Recordings, my final conclusion was that this was a band with good potential that needed to make a decision. Their sound was half enjoyable screamo along the lines of Emery, Spoken, or (at the time) Underoath, and the other half took a more CCM approach along the lines of Leeland, Everyday Sunday, or Sanctus Real with lyrics and melodies cheesy enough to make me squirm. The decision they had to make, based on this situation, was which sound to pursue, but instead they did something even better.

On their self-titled debut for Forefront Records, Dizmas delivers a well-developed alternative rock sound that blends the intensity of Taking Back Sunday with the emotive melody of Anberlin and the catchiness of Jonezetta. On some level it retains the CCM appeal that would allow it to be played in the minivans of Christian soccer moms everywhere, while somehow also retaining the edginess and credibility to be enjoyed by the teens in that van on their way to youth group. The screams are gone, but so are the cheesy overtones. Lyrically the album shows tremendous depth and maturity from a spiritual perspective, focusing mostly on the need to come to the true God and not a watered down version of who we wish he was. Challenging thoughts are presented about the fullness of love and the cost of following Christ (as well as the consequences of rebelling against God).

And now, three records into their career, my final conclusion is that Dizmas has made a decision, and that that decision was to create some darn good music. Their latest effort, made up of ten catchy and driving songs with thought-provoking lyrics, is probably still not the pinnacle of what Dizmas can do (for one thing, why re-record old songs from their past two albums?), but it definitely shows a move in a very good direction.

7/10

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