I have to tell you, I was not familiar with the band Life In Your Way before being told to check them out by an associate. My views on faith and religion definitely vary quite highly to someone who may be considered a practicing Christian. As a matter of fact, I am quite ambivalent to the role of faith in the realm of music in general. So to say I was a skeptic before my first listens, would be a vast understatement. This highly energetic and devoutly spiritual metal band hailing from Hartford, CT., proved that my skepticism was all for not.
The story behind the recording of this record is a great one indeed. After being on hiatus for close to three years, the band announced they would re-group and record a new album. Three days after launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the album, Life In Your Way reached their goal of $12,500. In return, the band made the album free for download. This is very inspirational in itself, and has come to show the DIY success that can be achieved with today‘s self marketing process.
“Kingdoms,” is a concept record broken down into three separate EP‘s, The Kingdom of Man, The Kingdom of Darkness, and the Kingdom of God. All of these different pieces have a profoundly unique message to convey without pushing the agenda of religion on you. The Kingdom of Man is rooted in themes about overcoming challenges in the face of adversity. We as listeners can all relate to the universal obstacles put in front of us, and this first EP drives that home. When singer Josh Kellam delivers a verse like “ Open my eyes to the truth behind this all. This is still breaking me down and I am powerless to change it,” I can relate. I am sure all of you can relate to this on some level as well. The second EP, The Kingdom of Darkness, is my favorite segment of the bunch. I was truly intrigued by all of the songs in this set, but blown away by Buried Idols. This cautionary tale of living life on the edge is accentuated by lyrics that howl with disdain. It is tough to not hear the urgency in “You’ve got yourself wrapped around this. It will dig your grave.” Even more chaos is invoked when Kellam asks, “Will the heart become so callused from self-deceit?” These are strong words of doubt that conflict with some one on a righteous path. The final installment of EP’s is The Kingdom of God. In this last segment of songs, self correction and “being saved,” is the topic of choice. Although I respect what has been laid down here, themes of salvation through a higher being are introduced. This is where the record got a tad uncomfortable for me. I can respect everyone’s opinion of faith, but just not in a preachy way. Luckily, the band does not come off as the type that aims to do this on any level. They are simply proclaiming what they believe to be the truth.
“Kingdoms,” is a great set of songs that is sensational on a musical level. They are progressive, technically astounding, and diverse in harmonic excellence. Lyrically, these songs are universally inspirational regardless of your notions on religion. I strongly urge you to check out this disc with an open mind and heart!
The Kingdom of Man
02. Blind in Retrospect
03. Growth in Passion
04. Forsaken Me
The Kingdom of Darkness
05. Ruler of the Air
06. Take Notes
08. Buried Idols
The Kingdom of God
10. Who I Am
11. Like a River
12. The Healer
13. The Ascension
For more information on Life In Your Way:
You can download the digital “Kingdoms” for free here: http://comeandlive.com/kingdoms-life-in-your-way/
You can also purchase the 3 disc set through Life In Your Way’s online store on Facebook.