THE GREAT COMMISSION – Heavy Worship
Three guitarists (two of which also handle various vocal chores) plus a main lead singer means California’s The Great Commission aren’t your typical screaming hardcore-oriented breakdown crossover outfit. Lyrically focusing on Christian themes, this second album “Heavy Worship” runs along As I Lay Dying and Emmure lines musically, although the singing alternates between severe blood vessel bursting hardcore and the alternative clean harmonies during choruses like “When It Rains It Pours” or “Preaching To The Choir” that certainly bring New Found Glory and Good Charlotte to mind.
This one is a tough sell for me. Most pit oriented youth who appreciate the aggression will think the sappy choruses are a little too obvious for radio play – yet those who like the safer side of radio rock will find the heavier rhythms and ripping tough guy melodies too scary. “Road To Damascus” opens with that dual, easy going alternative vibe that invites audience sing-a-longs, but for some reason appears to be the same three to five notes you’ve come to know and expect from the scene five years earlier.
Probably earmarked for the Hot Topic and Warped Tour brigade – the stair step riff shifting within “The Prodigal Son” hints at better horizons ahead, if the sextet is willing to really hone in on what they want to portray musically. This one may scare the parents, but they’d be surprised by the messages of love, respect and redemption given with the fury and passion that independent metal and hardcore can deliver.
They could possibly become the new Hatebreed for the Christian market. I think it’ll take a third album to change my ambivalent thoughts about The Great Commission currently.