Album Review :
Take / The Forerunner - The Beginning of Sorrows

By in Reviews | 3 Comments

Label: Resuscitation Records
Release Date: March 15, 2024


  1. Take – Everything I Once Was
  2. Take – Leech
  3. Take – Golden Calf
  4. Take – Void
  5. Take – Tin Soldier
  6. The Forerunner – Crowns
  7. The Forerunner – Holy
  8. The Forerunner – Lion
  9. The Forerunner – O My Soul
  10. The Forerunner – Empty Grave

This split LP is a vinyl release featuring two hardcore/metalcore bands from Las Vegas. It appears from the photos that both bands also share some members. One of the first things you’ll notice about this 12” is the provocative cover art and exquisite packaging.

Liner notes are printed on a full 12” booklet with glossy printing. It’s very similar to the booklets that have traditionally come inside CD packaging, except this is like 4 times the size. I don’t know if this is becoming a trend in vinyl packaging, but I’ve never seen anything quite this extensive. Another cool feature is how each song has its own piece of artwork on the page accompanying the lyrics. Resuscitation Records have really outdone themselves with the packaging on this release.

So what about the music?

Take is up first. “Everything I Once Was” kicks things off with some metalcore riffing and thick, chunky riffing. The song features introspective lyrics:

I sit thinking
Of what life could have been
But in the end
It’s all the same

I sit thinking
Where did life even go
And in the end
What will Have to show

Seasons pass us by
We think we live forever now

The song hits hard for people who are aging (read: all of us) and evaluating our lives and where we are headed.

Track 2, “Leech” ups the ante on the metalcore riffing, but also melodic elements on the chorus. It seems like the band might have more than one vocalist as this tune has a raspier vocal style than the first track. This track attacks greedy preachers who focus more on dollar signs than the signs of the Kingdom.

“Golden Calf” warns of the dangers of confusing nationalism with biblical Christianity with a heavy dose of sarcasm for a healthy reality check:

Grab your guns and salute the flag
One nation under man
Jesus died so I could worship my country
Throw your Bibles out the window
The constitution is the world
America is salvation
Bow down

Golden calf hands up
Thrown them out of the temple
Remember the One who shed His blood

“Void” carries on the societal observations with reflections on consumerism, war, greed, and so forth—all driven by our greedy desires. It ends with the believer’s true hope: “I wait for Your return.”

Their side of the LP closes with “Tin Soldiers,” which is by far my favorite of the tracks on Side A. Somewhat ironically, it’s very different from the other songs musically. The riff is almost a country-rock/indie rock riff set to hardcore tempos and riffing. I’m not doing that justice at all, as even when I read back what I just typed, it doesn’t make sense. But the track is overall the most creative on the album—and one of most innovative hardcore songs I’ve heard in quite some time. Add to that the fact that song’s theme critiques government overreach and police brutality, showing solidarity to our minority brothers and sisters:

Tin soldiers the government’s coming
We’re being hunted in the streets
This summer I hear them drumming
Hands up don’t shoot can’t breathe

At a time when the church has been all too compliant and failed to be a prophetic voice, standing arm-in-arm with those Jesus called “the least of these, my brethren,” the song is a welcome addition in Christian hardcore.

Side 2 features The Forerunner, what appears to be a 10-person hardcore worship band. No kidding! And at least some of the members are those Take. This whole side is basically and praise and worship project set to melodic post-hardcore anthems. To be honest, I have been waiting for something like this for decades. In many ways, I’m surprised it took this long for someone to take the mantle from the Spirit-filled hardcore bands of the late 90s. But The Forerunner take it even further, doing outright “hardcore hymns” as their half of the split is affectionately nicknamed.

“Crowns” starts things moving in the right direction:

I’ll praise the one that paid my debt
All praise the One who conquered death
I’ll praise the One with my final breath

Crown him with many crowns
The Lamb upon the throne
Mark how the heav’nly anthems
Drowns all music but its own!

The intermingling of traditional hymns and their lyrics recalls both some modern worship remakes, but also points to a similar approach taking on Warlord’s excellent sludgecore debut EP. Of note is the track “Lion” which actually explains the name of the band. “Prepare the way of the Lord” was part of the prophecy concerning John the Baptist, who himself was the forefunner of Jesus the Messiah. The track features a more subdued, melodic approach replete with even (gasp) vocal harmonies.

Hail, hail Lion of Judah
Let the Lion roar

Prepare the way
Prepare the way of the Lord
O valley, be raised up
O mountain, be made low

Prepare the way
Prepare the way of the Lord

The LP closes out with 2 final tracks: “O My Soul” a hardcore romp through praises that would rival the psalmist, and album closer “Empty Grave,” a celebration of the resurrection that again recalls an older hymn:

And because He lives
I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
An empty grave is there to prove
My Savior lives

What’s particularly cool about this release being made up of two bands with overlapping members is the juxtaposing of each band and their respective lyrical emphases: Take offering their prophetic critique of American society; The Forerunner doing straight-up praise and worship. Both are valid and needed avenues of faith intersecting art in music.

For ordering info, see the link below.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Noah Hardwick
March 17, 2024 2:09 pm

It’s worth noting that “Tin Soldiers” is a cover (of sorts) of the Neil Young song “Ohio” which likely explains why it sounds so different from the other songs on the EP.

Last edited 1 month ago by Noah Hardwick
March 18, 2024 8:51 pm
Reply to  Noah Hardwick

Good ear! -John (take)

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x