Crunchy guitars? Check. Occasional piano or strings? Check. Grungy vocals with an average of two screamed lyrics a song? Check. At least one member with dreadlocks and eyeliner? Check.
It appears that AngeLight meets all the qualifications I can think of for a radio-rock band. If you like songs with heavy intros, a few screamed lyrics and lyrics that are unmistakably cries to God, than you’re in for a treat.
Their debut album, Prisoner, opens with a four-minute intro (strategically titled “Intro”). Within a minute, the band reveals a bold and powerful call to the hope that is in Christ. If the listener had any doubt about the band’s faith, they should have no questions by the end of the first track. The track continues into the radio-ready song “Your Scars Remain” (not to be confused with Disciple’s “Scars Remain”), and it sounds a lot like anything else on a modern rock station. As goes your preference for modern rock, so goes your like or dislike on this one.
One disappointment of the album is that the energy at the start of the songs are often weakened by the time the vocals come in. “Break Me Down” (not to be confused with Pillar’s “Bring Me Down”) opens with a strong guitar riff, but then the band puts on the brakes for the vocals only 30 seconds in.
On the plus side, instead of watering down spiritual themes in order to gain a larger secular audience, AngeLight brings unabashed lyrics to the table. Musically, they’re just as filled with teenage angst as Trapt, Sevendust or Breaking Benjamin, but they do bring plenty of hope in their lyrics, like the screamed, “Oh God, Your will be done / Will You save me from myself?” from “Bring me Back,” and like “Constantly struggling within / never again will I give in / I need a Savior to come into my life” from the ballad-ish “Monster” (not to be confused with Skillet’s “Monster”).
While they aren’t quite heavyweights like Red or Love & Death, AngeLight’s debut is worth checking out if you want more praise in your rock music.