Vertical Church Band – White EP

vcb_white_ep_cover

Provident Label Group

Release Date: November 4th 2014

Reviewed by Joshua Andre

Vertical Church BandWhite EP (iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. Lamb Of God
  2. The Rock Won’t Move (Radio Version)
  3. White
  4. Captain Of My Soul
  5. Found In You (Dance Version)

Recording their live debut album Live Worship From Vertical Church in July 2012 and their sophomore live album The Rock Won’t Move last year; Vertical Church Band, the worship part of the Harvest Bible Chapel ministry based in Chicago, have unveiled a new studio EP. White is a collection of new versions of fan favourites and a few newer tracks never heard before, and Vertical Church’s third offering is 5 tracks of celebration, joy, and total devotion to our Lord and Saviour! Bringing many different worship leaders all serving the same God into a space that doesn’t discriminate, a space that serves the one purpose of making Jesus famous; the result is once again nothing short of sheer brilliance (as the songs sound different in the studio but nevertheless excellent in delivery as well!), with worship leaders such as Andi Rozier, Meredith Andrews, Seth McConkey and Kyle Friedricks each creating gem after gem. White truly is one of the best worship EP’s this year; this magical offering from Provident Label Group deserves to be picked up on iTunes!

The immediately recognisable tracks are “The Rock Won’t Move” and “Found In You”. “The Rock Won’t Move”, led by Kyle Friedricks, is an emotional, heartfelt worship song, and for me this is the pinnacle of this EP, as Kyle emphatically proclaims that ‘…the Rock won’t move and His word is strong, the Rock won’t move and His love can’t be undone, the Rock of our salvation…’, which the ‘rock’ is a metaphor for Jesus, and alludes to the parable of the House built on the Rock and built on the sand. Posing the question of what our foundations of what we believe are based on, we are encouraged through this anthem to seek after Jesus, and let Him be our Rock, that is unshakeable and faithful. As Kyle sings with abandon and fervently and skillfully excels in this radio version (shortened from 7 min to 4 min), I can tell that a classic song has been born, and one that will surely be sung in churches in the many years to come! Though at times sounding cliché (lyrically in the chorus), on many more listens, Kyle’s earnest and honest offering captures a place in my heart, and it will definitely impact other listeners also.

“Found In You” is an electric guitar prominent mid tempo ballad, yet also with high energy. Led by Andi Rozier, this dance version remix is a brilliant updated version for us to rock out and move to. The melody starts off with a slew of instruments, as guitar, keys and drums all collide in a beautifully recorded worship anthem, and then builds to an epic God moment further on in the track. A praise song that declares that everything we need in life is in Jesus; as Andi emphatically and passionately sings out ‘…all we want and all we need is found in You, found in You, Jesus every victory is found in You, found in You…’, I can’t help but sing along raucously as well, amongst the keys, captivating drums, and exquisite electronic remix effects. Declaring God to be high above any other, “Found In You” packs a punch thematically and lyrically.

The remainder of the three songs are the never before heard tracks “White”, “Captain Of My Soul” and “Lamb Of God”, and all three songs put God’s love for us firm and centre of the themes. A slower pace electric guitar led ballad, “Lamb Of God” speaks about how ‘…the lamb of God in my place, your blood poured out, my sin erased, it was my death You died, I am raised to life, hallelujah…’, basically the gospel in a nutshell, and musically is similar to something you would hear from Hillsong, and could be a radio single in the future. Simple yet effective, this track is sure to be loved by many in the future, and will be changing people’s lives! Similarly the upbeat guitar prominent rock anthem “Captain Of My Soul” reminds us of God’s sovereignty and faithfulness directs the theme and lyrics of the song to the fact that God is the author of our lives, and the One who is guiding our steps, a comforting thought and a fact that we can hold onto in times of trouble. Led by the guitar and the bass, this jovial expression of our love for Jesus, and proclamation that we believe in Him, creates a God-breathed moment, one that is sure to impact all who listen!

The final song, the title track, which is the longest track on the album, speaks about how God makes us white as snow, and is an acoustic guitar and keys led slower reflective and contemplative melody. Though not building up to a rousing anthem, I think that the lyrics and vocals are more accentuated here, and it’s nice to see the band record something different. An assertion of surrender by Jon Guerra and Tara Rios that ‘…it’s Your blood that makes me whole…it’s the only fount I know…I am covered in the flow and made…whiter than snow…’ we are met with the realization that Jesus’ love stretches over all of our sins, and that when we come to God we are clean and don’t have to worry about anything at all. What a freeing thought, and what a majestic song on this exquisite EP!

Vertical Church Band has done it again, and have expertly translated their superb efforts of live albums into the studio! With many bands/movements that have been impressing me of late, including Hillsong, Bethel Music, Jesus Culture, Passion, Desperation Band, Worship Central and New Life Worship; this group of musicians hungry for Jesus Christ and His presence, stand tall amongst all of these talented men and women of God. Vertical Church Band will definitely be around for a while yet. Fans of worship music in general should not miss this fine and enjoyable worship experience, although the EP is a bit short, which is my only grievance and nitpick! Nevertheless, let me say well done Vertical Church Band, and I look forward to the 3rd full live album, or new studio EP, whichever comes first!

3 songs to listen to: Lamb Of God, White, Found In You

Score: 4/5

RIYL: Hillsong, Bethel Music, One Sonic Society, Delirious?, The Digital Age

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