Album Review :
Sinai Vessel - Labor Pains

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Artist: Sinai Vessel
Album: Labor Pains
Label: None
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Reviewed by: Cimarron Hatch
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1. Venture
2. Wisteria
3. Heels of Lions
4. Untitled
5. Vows
6. Yet Lovely
7. The Submariner
8. Parturition

Sinai Vessel, the band self-proclaimed as “lyrical rock & roll for miscreants and dreamers,” released their second EP, Labor Pains, in October 2011. They are excited for their fans to hear the music, and to introduce themselves to new fans with it. Released on Bandcamp, and recently updated with a pay-what-you-want feature, this album will blow away your expectations of any self-produced release.

On this album, Sinai Vessel is made up of Caleb Cordes, singer, songwriter, multi-instrument player; Brian Quick, drummer; and David Wimbish, tougher instrument player. Labor Pains is an album Caleb Cordes felt passionate about even before he knew exactly what he was feeling for it. All eight songs are focused on a common theme—the beginning, or birth and new life. Each song displays the theme prominently, each in its own original way. Starting with “Venture,” a song about the start of a journey and then suddenly not knowing where to turn. The album continues to “Wisteria,” which begins with a fun “wooo!” The track focuses on deception and the false illusion of beauty in things that are truly poison and detrimental to life. “Heels of Lions” repeats the same subject from “Wisteria,” this time talking about God’s desire to protect each of us from hurt.

Next is the song “Untitled,” which has a background that sounds almost electronic with guitar work that reminds me of Coldplay. After “Untitled,” comes “Vows,” a heartfelt passionate love song. Following “Vows” is “Yet Lovely,” a song which seems to be about being a sinner saved by God’s grace. The song is in waltz time, which is very fitting and beautiful, along with its extraordinary guitar work. The final two songs of the album, “The Submariner” and “Parturition,” close the album well. In my opinion, “The Submariner” is the best song on the album. I really like the synth sound in the background, and the lyrics of the final verse are chillingly beautiful about the first moments of being “born again” through Christ:
“They call it a revival,
But it’s more like a birth
When the marrow in my bones
Begins to mix with the earth
And the water in my lungs
Mixes as mud with the dirt
And “hallelujah!” is recorded
As my first spoken word.”

The closing track of Labor Pains, “Parturition,” is based off the lyrics to the hymn “My God, I Know, I Feel Thee Mine,” originally written by Charles Wesley, an English leader of the Methodist movement, and writer of over six thousand hymns. Caleb Cordes and David Wimbish rearranged the verses and arranged the music to their liking for this song.

Overall: This is a great album made by some incredibly talent musicians. I really enjoyed the unique guitar work throughout the entire album, which is stunning and brings a magical feel to every song. Caleb Cordes’ voice draws you in to emphasize the well-written lyrics of each song, with backing vocals at all the right moments to drive home each lyric’s point even more. I enjoyed every track of this album immensely, and I hope that many other people find this album as remarkable as I did.

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