Thursday, December 23, 2021

LOVE LIKE GRAVITY "Break The Silence"


(c) 2021 LLG

  1. Devil's In The Details
  2. Let It Go
  3. Scream
  4. Break The Silence
  5. Through Your Eyes
  6. All I Need
  7. Game Of Souls
  8. Grind
  9. Thorn (featuring Tony Palacios)
  10. Shaken

Billy Pind--Lead Vocals, Guitars, Piano
Cale Kight--Guitars, Programming
Stan Mayo--Drums, Synth, Programming

Additional Musicians
Tony Palacios--Bass on all, Guitar Solo on "Thorn"

You have to say this about the Covid pandemic: it really kickstarted the creative process for a lot of bands who had disappeared into the ether.  Despite the success of several singles off of the band's first two efforts, it had been six long years since Love Like Gravity had released an album, and it seemed as if LLG was another band that had simply moved on.  Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the band dropped "Devil In The Details", its first single since they released their Chain Reaction album in 2015.  Numerous weeks on the charts (including several spent at number one on various Christian rock charts) have proven that not only is Love Like Gravity back, they appear to be back bigger than ever.

The album kicks off with the lead single, "Devil In The Details", and it is obvious the band has not lost their penchant for hard-edged guitars mixed with electronic elements that drove such songs as "Slave", "Dig", "Adrenaline", and their biggest hit to-date, "Stronger".  I reviewed the single previously HERE, so without rehashing everything, I'll just leave the video here for you, just in case you are one of the few people who have missed the band's big return hit. 

From here, the band finds themselves continuing in a similar vein throughout much of the record, with varying levels of intensity.  "Let It Go" backs off the angst a bit, dialing back the snarl on the guitars and aims a bit more for a mainstream modern rock sound and hitting the mark solidly.  Pind's voice is absolutely suited for this type of track that recalls a lot of what was so great about Love Like Gravity on their previous efforts.  My instincts tell me this track will be a single in the not too distant future, and I imagine people familiar with the band will eat this song up!

"Scream" is one of the best tracks on the album, and one that I find myself returning to again and again, with Pind utilizing both clean and harsh styled vocals and Kight absolutely tearing things up on the guitar.  "Scream" is a great representation of what this album does well, and the current trio of Pind, Kight, and Stan Mayo (who handles the drums and programming) is exceptionally tight and complement each other well.  The same can be said for the title track, "Break The Silence", which is another one of those three or four songs that keep fighting for that top of the heap slot.  Featuring a hook that could snag a whale, "Break The Silence" is yet another track that is screaming for radio airplay, and I find myself hitting repeat on this track practically every time I pop the disc in.

Things slow considerably from here with the big ballad, "Through Your Eyes".  A largely acoustic number, this track perfectly showcases Pind's vocal power, as well as some serious skill on acoustic guitar. It has been my experience that a lot of players really find themselves exposed when they unplug their guitar, but that is not the case here.  Normally, the ballads take a bit of time to grow on me, but "Through Your Eyes" grabbed my attention right away.  

"All I Need" stays on the slower side but doesn't really hit ballad territory, and the guitars and amps stay plugged in for the duration.  A profession of our need for Christ to save us from "the enemy", as well as from ourselves, "All I Need" confronts self-medication ("I tried to take a pill to kill the pain, but it never left me...") and calls on our Savior to "save me, from the enemy, that was trying to beat me down...rescue me before I drown" in this world that will betray us and leave us on our own.  A powerful song that Pind pours his passion into vocally, "All I Need" is another great example of a track that sounds perfectly suited for modern rock radio, whether Christian or secular, with a message that the entire world needs to hear. 

"Game Of Souls" is another big-time rocker with a hard-hitting message that just keeps forcing me to hit repeat when it comes on.  The guitars crunch nicely, and Mayo's drums sound particularly huge on this track, with Pind's voice rising and falling with ease throughout the track.  The album's second single, "Grind", is also an absolute ear-snagger for me, definitely top two or three on the record, with Pind utilizing that edgy snarl to perfection on the chorus sections while his clean vocals glide through the verses.  Kight's guitar, once again, charges hard throughout the track, and the modern elements added by the programming perfectly round out the sound.  Yet another competitor for the top track on the record, "Game Of Souls" warns the listener to consider the cost of the actions we choose to take and to know that life is more than just a game, our souls not something to gamble away.  

Despite all the really good tracks on the first half of this album, there are two specific tracks that directly challenge "Devil In The Details" for best on the record, and they are the closing tracks on the album.  "Thorn" is actually a re-worked track from the band's previous album, and while I really liked the original, I LOVE this new version.  Edgy, gritty, and angsty in all the right places, "Thorn" is just a monster of a track, with Kight's churning rhythm guitar carving its way through the meat of the track, before...BOOM...Tony Palacios, of Guardian fame, drops a teasingly short but exquisitely tasty solo that blows this new version of the song so far past the original that it's hard for me to consider them to be the same track, honestly.  Not a lie, this is definitely one of the best songs I have heard this year...but it technically is a "next year" track, and I have to believe it will be one of the best in 2022, as well!  

The album wraps with yet another great rocker in "Shaken" that, once again, finds Pind absolutely dominating on vocals, the full range of his dynamics on display as he sings/screams/snarls across an electronically-enhanced bed of grinding guitar and thundering drums.  Not blazingly fast, but definitely punchy and powerful, "Shaken" is a potent track for the times.  The first verse talks about putting on that false face for the public, worrying about how we are perceived by others, while the second talks about not letting our fears shake our foundation of faith in ourselves and in God.  An excellent wrap for the album, "Shaken" really puts a neat bow on a great comeback record from a band that I had seriously considered dead and buried.

The production on this record is excellent, with the band tackling that monumental task with great skill, with an assist from Tony Palacios on mixing the album.  To sound this big, this crisp, and this professional with ZERO label support is quite an achievement.  The songwriting on the album is excellent, with hooks galore, and the songs deliver a serious lyrical punch, with the band members' faith on full display without beating the listener over the head.  I love the tone of Kight's guitar throughout the record, and he and Mayo retain the formidable modern rock punch they first exhibited back in 2011 on their debut EP, and with the addition of Pind on vocals, they have managed to progress in their sound, maturing as we all do, but not compromising who and what Love Like Gravity is.  There are likely to be some comparisons to Decyfer Down on this record, especially surrounding some of the vocal stylings of Pind, which is probably fair...and pretty high praise, in my opinion!  That being said, for anyone who is familiar with the band's past, there is no doubt this is still Love Like Gravity. 

While I am sure there are still a lot of people like me who have been around pretty much since the get-go with LLG, with such a long layoff between albums, it is likely an entirely new generation of fans has jumped on the LLG train with the success of "Devil's In The Details" and have helped to propel the single to the top of the charts.  I truly hope this same group of new fans snaps up Break The Silence and keeps the LLG train rolling so maybe we won't have another 5 or 6 year gap between stops!  I also hope 2022 gets us closer to normal in the world and Love Like Gravity can take their show on the road!  Trust that if they show up anywhere near Nebraska, I will do everything possible to be in attendance!  

The album releases in January, 2022,  so you can still snag your a copy of Break The Silence by hitting the band's website here.  If you're more the digital type, you can download a copy on iTunes here.

Rating:  Still crankable even after a long layoff!  Crank this to an 8.5!


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