Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In the Midst of Lions: The Heart of Man Review


I have never been a heavy metal fan. Recently, however, upon hearing a single from In The Midst of Lions' The Heart of Man album I was very surprised. Not only was it an immediate sensation, I very much enjoyed the Scripture-based lyrics, and rythmic death metal. Based largely on the book of Matthew, The Heart of Man has a powerful message behind the album of being sincere and having a pure heart.

The Heart of Man opens with the title track, showing the metal band's strong sound that is a characteristic of every track. However, even though most of the tracks sound the same, each track has a different lyrical perspective, making for an enjoyable listen. "The Heart of Man" speaks about how the heart of every man is deceitful and no one can truly know it. But the song shares that Jesus is the Savior who knows the thoughts and intentions of the heart. I really enjoyed the opening lyrics and the excellent message of this song and others. "The Pharisaical Heart" is written to the Pharisees of Jesus' day actually using Jesus' words that they are " a brood of vipers" and rebuking them for their adamant desire to put Jesus to death. "The Machine" is a simple, yet powerful track speaking of the root of evil -- greed -- and how it controls us all, even though we know it is wrong.

"Abandonment" speaks from the perspective of God, speaking to those who see His obvious handiwork and choose to reject Him nevertheless. In the song, Jesus speaks to them and says, "You can drown yourself in that emptiness. I'll be patiently waiting for you to call on my name while you try to find your own way home." Although I enjoyed the honest lyrics of every song on The Heart of Man, I especially thought that this song in particular boasted on behalf of ITMOL's awesome lyrics. "Opposition" is a call to repentance, as it speaks of judgment day and the consequences of our actions. I particularly enjoyed these lyrics from the track: "His wrath will fall on all who oppose/ Lucid choices made all too difficult when truth is staring us in the face/ The line is drawn/ Where do you stand?/ The skies will be split in two/ and all will fall to the ground in reverence/ His glory will overtake the land/ Withdrawing now seems all too meaningless/ Time is short and days are numbered/ Repent."

"At the Feet of Creation" is a cry to God this His glory may be revealed as we seek His face, as "Released" praises God for the freedom we have through His redemptive work on the cross for our sins ("A release has been provided through a Savior sacrificed for us"). Death metal was the perfect style for "Defiance," creating a track about those who refuse to be the hands and feet of Jesus -- those who hear "I never knew you" on that great day of judgment. One thing I greatly admired about this track was the combination of verses from Romans 1, Matthew 26, and Psalm 2 into a lyrically-rich track.

The Heart of Man closes with "Home," "Fearless," "Awakening," and "Reborn." "Home" and "Fearless" are practically Hebrews 12 and Matthew 5 put to metal, respectively, as "Awakening" is a cry for transformation ("God transform me/ The world will see that I am Yours/ They will know that Your Spirit dwells in me"). Following is "Reborn," the end track speaking of being reborn and taking a stand for the kingdom of God: "Conform my heart to that which is pleasing to You/ Reborn into a new life/ I will spread truth to the nations/ Light a fire inside of me/ I will rise up! I will rise up!"

Although I loved In the Midst of Lion's death metal style more than any other metal I've heard before, I especially enjoyed the powerful lyrics that were drenched in Scripture. With one listen, you will be pulling out passages of Scripture from every single song. The Heart of Man is for lovers of Red, Skillet, Becoming the Archetype, Demon Hunter, and Disciple, with it's crazy metal sound that will enthrall any death metal listener.

Rating: 4/5
Release date: August 3, 2010

Track listing:
1. The Heart of Man
2. The Pharisaical Heart
3. The Machine
4. Abandonment
5. Opposition
6. At The Feet of Creation
7. Released
8. Defiance
9. Home
10. Fearless
11. Awakening
12. Reborn

4 comments:

  1. And for Living Sacrifice fans... Sounds like an awesome CD. I love when they roar the truth! :D
    Thanks for posting.
    Mike

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  2. Wow. Your reviews are always good, but this album sounds... interesting ;)

    Personally, I can't seem to become any kind of fan of death metal when I read in the Bible that the Spirit gives life, lol!!! Okay, maybe that was just an excuse... ;)

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  3. @Mike Roar the truth... like that! :) I will need to cover some Living Sacrifice in the near future.

    @Alice Interesting... as in a good way, right?? :) That IS a poor excuse, because the lyrics they sing about also give life since they come from Scripture! Haha Thanks for commenting on my death metal review. :D

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  4. Yeah, I hear that Living Sacrifice's The Infinite Order Deluxe Edition just came out last month. (Maybe you could do that?)
    In addition to what you said Jay, metal is even more influential than other types of music, so when the truth is so firmly placed in their songs, it has an even greater response. (BTW, many non-believers listen to Christian metal, which gives them an even greater platform for spreading the gospel.)
    Mike

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