Band: My Epic
Title: Broken Voice
Label: Facedown Records
Release Date: July 5, 2011
Reviewer: David Marshall
It’s rare nowadays that I find a band that truly amazes me with their album, let alone their sound. It’s also rarer to find a band that consecutively releases albums keep me interested. Sure, there are exceptions, but overall, it’s hard to keep me hooked because, let’s just face it: music isn’t the same it was years ago. I’m not even talking about genres; it’s more of a quality and overall polish that I feel is missing, especially since so many bands have moved to the digital recording method rather than analog. There’s a lot of warmth that I personally miss, and it feels so manufactured. That being said, My Epic from the get-go has kept my interest since I first discovered them here at IVM, and with their newest release, Broken Voice, there is no reason to be disappointed.
When you listen to the songs on Broken Voice, you’ll definitely hear similarities to their previous release, “Yet”, which makes sense as these were songs written at the same time as “Yet”, but didn’t make it onto the album. Before you write them off as “b-sides,” however, I can say these songs not only match the talented found on “Yet”, but almost seem more mature and well-written, so you won’t be feeling empty after a full rotation. There’s enough variety found in these songs to keep you interested, and the production quality is stellar; whether it’s the acoustic guitars or the beautiful (yet haunting) piano parts, you really can’t find any flaws with how it sounds. It’s raw and beautiful, just the way it’s meant to be.
Once “Centuries” sets the mood for the album, you find yourself once again serenaded by the beautiful voice that comes from vocalist/guitarist Aaron Stone in “Beloved.” I don’t have all of the lyrics on hand, as I bought it from AmazonMP3 the morning it came out, but it’s not hard to tell that he is singing to the Lord, and the intimacy you find is nothing short of chilling. The problem a lot of “worship bands” fall into is singing to God yet glorifying man, and that’s not the case here. All of the songs reflect a desire to know the Lord more intimately, despite being “feeble, and barely alive,” according to Stone. What I really enjoy about “Beloved” is the fact that besides “Garden,” it’s the only slow song, so the fact that they not only spread them out, but didn’t do the stereotypical “slow song at the end of the album” shtick made listening even more enjoyable and fulfilling.
After “Beloved,” My Epic hits you with “Alone,” and it’s easily my favorite song on the album. Just like “Lower Still,” this band has a way of describing Jesus and His life that I’ve hardly seen in the rock/metal scene, which I’m sure results from the fact they actually look at the Jesus we find in the scriptures, rather than the one that we tend to mold and shape in our heads. Here are some of the lines that stood out to me the most:
“I have been thinking hard about us trading place; maybe I can wear Your beauty if You put on my shame. Jesus, I’ve been trying so hard to look like You that I almost missed the worst of what I put You through. You didn’t die for sins, You died covered in them; a prideful lying thief gasping out my final breath. For that one moment, You looked just like me. Your Father left You, and You died completely alone.”
I could spend several more paragraphs talking about the rest of the songs, but I want you to go into this with a fresh and open mind, willing to experience what they have crafted with Broken Voice. I don’t know if anyone will agree with me, but I feel like due to the acoustic and orchestral nature of these songs, they have more of a Copeland/Anathallo/Cool Hand Luke feel compared to their other releases, but that doesn’t change the fact that if you appreciate My Epic for who they are, you’ll love this album. The lyrics are drenched with passion for the Lord and the knowledge that it takes vulnerability and humility to truly experience the grace and love He is ever-willing to share with us. There is not a single bad point about Broken Voice, and unless you’re close-minded about music and only listen to Gorguts and Behemoth, there is no reason for you to not pick this up. It’s about time bands remember that having passion and heart behind music isn’t a bad thing, and My Epic knows how to do that in a way that completely separates them from all of their contemporaries.
To God goes the glory.