Album Review :
Hymns From Nineveh - Endurance in Christmas Time

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Band: Hymns From Nineveh (Facebook)

Album: Endurance in Christmas Time

Label: Good Tape Records

Release Date: November 29, 2011

  1. Endurance in Christmas Time
  2. Anywhere with You
  3. Christmas is Here
  4. The Boy in the Manger
  5. These Same Old Snow Covered Grounds
  6. Who Can Make a Woeful Heart to Sing?
  7. Colour Bird
  8. Immanuel
  9. The Groaning Creation
  10. A Silent Asylum
  11. Uncomplicated
  12. Winterfire
  13. It’s December Again
  14. Tonight We’ll Toast to Your Memory

Christmas music. I typically hate it. More so than packed malls, bumper to bumper traffic, and snow all combined. Yeah, it’s that bad. And the worst part is, the radios play it earlier and earlier every year. Now, I don’t think I would mind Christmas music so much if was only played the week or so before the actual day of Christmas. The reason for this is because I don’t believe most Christmas songs have very much talent involved in the writing. So needless to say, I was a little scared when I received a whole Christmas album to review. However, I can confidently say that I wouldn’t mind if radio stations played Hymns From Nineveh all year long.

“Endurance in Christmas Time” is unlike any compilation of Christmas songs I have ever heard. It is haunting, challenging, intricate, and most of all, beautiful. The thing that strikes me the most about Hymns From Nineveh is the vast arrangement of instruments used to create massive soundscapes behind the smooth crooning of Jonas Petersen. Violins, banjos, accordions, double bass, whistles and glockenspiels are all present on “Endurance in Christmas Time”. The variety of instruments along with Jonas Petersen’s soft, delicate voice compliment each other incredibly. Like I said, different from any Christmas music I’ve ever heard.

Now onto the songs. Endurance in Christmas Time was the first song on the album that really stuck out to me. It seems to be about how painful it is to celebrate holidays for the first time after loosing a loved one. The song instantly gave me chills the first time I heard it. The simple, elegant piano arrangement adds a sense of  sorrow and enchantment that really makes the emotions stand out.  Anywhere with You is Hymns from Nineveh’s top song on iTunes and for very good reason. Petersen lightens up the mood, adding playful lyrics about a lover accompanied by subtle banjo a light,happy keys, making the listener forget that the album is about winter time and have you envisioning warm summer days. Immanuel is another uplifting song. Petersen proclaims that God is with us through out all the holiday as we celebrate with family and friends. Strong violin and delicate keys brighten the mood of this song.

The only thing I could really complain about would be that I would have liked to hear a little more vocal range. While I believe that the soft, crooning fits very well with the music, I would be interested to hear what some higher scale vocals would sound like.

Hymns from Nineveh have created a phenomenal Christmas album that is perfect for the whole family due to the Folk nature of the over all sound. These songs will be continually playing on my Christmas play list this season and predict even months after all the snow melts away.

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