Artist: Righteous Vendetta
Album: Volume I
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Label: Independent

If you're looking for another Lawless release from Righteous Vendetta, just stop right now because you will not find it on this release. However, if you're like me and enjoyed the new sound of the "This Pain" single, then you're in look because with the release of Volume I, Righteous Vendetta have moved more towards that straight hard rock sound. There are pretty much no metal parts of this album, but it still rocks like no other.

As with "This Pain" the band has gone the hard rock route and eliminated all screaming vocals from this release. It's refreshing to have a good hard rock band out there in the Christian market. I feel it's become where we have the Skillets and Red and then the metalcore bands, and there was nothing in between. Well, that's all changed now because Righteous Vendetta has found the perfect blend of intensity and hardness of the metal genre while using the cleaner vocals of the rock genre.

The first song "Defiance" reminds me the most of "This Pain" and is probably my favorite track on the entire album. The music is high energy and rocking the entire time, the intro reminds me of Korn or something like that for some reason and the song has some great sing-a-long lyrics especially in the chorus. "Great is the power of violence/But greater is the defiance." "Come on stand up/Put your hands up/Live in defiance" are a couple of examples of lines you cannot but help to sing/scream along to when this song comes on.

The next song "With Love" starts off like another butt-kicking song and then takes on a softer side for the verses and kicks in for the bridge and chorus and it works very well. "We have the power to change the world/With our love/With our love!" I don't know if the band wanted to write an album of anthem type songs but they did and each song has it's part for the crowd to take over and those lyrics are it for this song, and I cannot wait to see this long live because it will be powerful to hear the crowd singing those words.

The next song is "So Long" and the beginning of the song is the closest the album gets to metal for now, with the slower, lower growl vocals. Not quite screams but more than the singing clean vocals throughout the rest of the album. The vocals come back after the chorus for the next verse as well. I really feel the band is on to something with this song but it lacks the intensity and sticking power of Defiance, if they could find a way to combine the two songs it would be the perfect mix for them.

Song number four is "The Fire Inside". I love the intro to this song it's just great energy and some nifty guitar work. There are some additional lower vocals in this song as well, but it still contains mostly the clean singing. "These walls cannot contain the fire inside me/With or without you I'll keep on fighting." This song gives me goosebumps every time I hear it, I don't know what it is but it hits home every single time.

"Inside My Eyes" is the next song up, and it starts off with a section that reminds me of Hawthorne Heights when they were at their height in popularity. This song is probably my least of the release. It's not a bad song or anything but it's just lacking some of the intensity and energy from the earlier tracks and there's something about the vocals during the chorus that I just cannot get into.

The final song on volume I is "What You've Done" and this the most metal song at the beginning, and there is a nice little guitar solo around 1:00 into the song, and it's awesome. The music in this song is probably the hardest and the fastest of the entire release, this is the one song I wish they would have done some more screaming on and it would have blown the roof of Volume I, but overall it's still a solid song.

Overall: Each song on this album sounds different while still keeping the same tone/theme and keeps you listening from start to finish, even if it is only six songs long. Each song speaks to a different theme and has great lyrics and the aforementioned anthem, sing-a-long lyrics as well. Volume I was a very pleasant surprise to get, and a complete blast to listen to, I hope it convinces more bands in the rock genre to push those boundaries just a bit more and really come out with a big sounding hard rock album that can rival the big boys in the secular market. The best part of this album is you can get a signed physical copy directly from the band for $5 at the link below! I don't usually include EPs, and I consider this more of an EP than an album, on my top albums list for the end of the year but this album may be the exception, I dig it that much.

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by: Michael Small

Tracklisting:
1. Defiance
2. With Love
3. So Long
4. The Fire Inside
5. Inside My Eyes
6. What You've Done

(Buy Here)

About the Author

Brooks Ginnan
Brooks Ginnan is the editor of Exiled Music Press. He is usually crying over the fact that we will never see a reunion of The Smiths or Cocteau Twins.

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