Release Date: September 18th 2020
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- What a Beautiful Name
- Run to the Father
Seventh Day Slumber have always been a mixed bag for me. I’ve enjoyed songs like ‘Caroline’ and the hard-rock anthems the band have given to us over the years, alongside their 2009 classic worship album Take Everything. But ever since they have decided to create worship music covers using their trademark traditional rock atmosphere, it’s always been hit-and-miss for me. Since unveiling to us earlier this year, an EP titled Unseen: The Lion; the band has once again given to us another EP- this time it’s Unseen: The Lamb, featuring worship song covers ‘Waymaker’, ‘Run to the Father’ and ‘What a Beautiful Name’, and original songs ‘Branches’ and ‘Unseen’…and while the album has a lot of heart and good intent, the execution when it comes to both this EP release, and their previous EP, seems to be lacking. Though I have thoroughly admired the band and their heart for ministry- I’ve even enjoyed albums in the past like Take Everything, Once Upon a Shattered Life, Love & Worship and The Anthem of Angels, to name a few; what I have seen the result of this EP (and the one previous) is a set of songs that are lacking something. And maybe the EP isn’t fulfilling as much as it can. What I will say is this- to some people, Seventh Day Slumber is their favourite band, and these guys can do no wrong.
Maybe people’s lives have been changed by this band, and I commend Joseph Rojas and the guys on such feats, if that were the case. Yet, for me, this new EP, as well-intended it is, seems to fall a little flatter than even they themselves intended. The original recordings of these cover songs are good- ‘What a Beautiful Name’ and ‘Run to the Father’ are some of my favourite worship songs over the last few years, and ‘Waymaker’ is one of my favourite all time worship songs ever. Even here on this EP, amongst all the noise of the electric guitars, the cover of ‘Run to the Father’ is comparable, all things considered. But for me, I’ve never really been much of a fan of worship songs covered relentlessly and without fail, year after year after year, but every artist you can possibly think of. And I know it can seem blunt and even uncharacteristic of me to say this, but it just seems on face value that this band is capitalising on these songs and are just recording them because…well, just to say they’ve done a cover of this famous worship song. As much as I want to believe that there’s heart, poignancy and emotion behind any of these songs, it seems a little difficult when half the time you’re trying to drown out the electric guitars so as to enjoy the song yourself rather than to get distracted by the instruments. Even the two original tracks ‘Unseen’ and ‘Branches’ both don’t seem as memorable when placed against ‘What a Beautiful Name’ and ‘Waymaker’- by the end of the EP, I kinda forgot about the original tracks and how they went, as well.
As I’ve said in the review for Unseen: The Lion EP and the single release for ‘Run to the Father’; that this band is 10/10 for effort and heart (as evidenced in countless of other albums previously). But here on this release, there seems to be a lot of it lacking. For me I’d just check out the original recordings of these songs- especially songs like ‘What a Beautiful Name’ and ‘Waymaker’; two great songs that have impacted a generation and both stand tall out of any other worship song in the 2010s decade. Nevertheless, this is an album if you enjoy a lot of Seventh Day Slumber songs…and that’s about it. Even people who love a lot of corporate worship songs, may or may not get into this, because of the heavy instrumentation that seems to take away and discount from the overall worshipful experience. Alas, this EP has indeed released, and maybe, in the heat of the moment, I’m being a little too harsh on the band. Regardless, this EP didn’t click for me, nor did their EP a couple or so months ago, either. Maybe later, but if you’re looking for a lot of originality in these covers, then Seventh Day Slumber isn’t it- they’re too electric-gutiar driven and sound very formulaic- verse, chorus, verse, bridge, no room for a little bit of flexibility. And so this EP (and the previous one) has dropped, and maybe you’ll hear it and be impacted by this EP…good on you, then. But even if the band are covering some of my favourite songs of all time, I’d still be hesitant. Then again, I do miss the mixture of rock, light pop and acoustic presence on their 2009 album Take Everything. Now that is how to do a worship album. Maybe Take Everything Part 2 can be released soon? Or just listen to Take Everything and other cover worship songs, just for your sanity I reckon. Or just listen to these songs still; but turn your volume down a little. Whichever one is the easiest for you. You’ll thank me later!
3 songs to listen to: Unseen, Branches, Run to the Father
RIYL: Skillet, RED, Fireflight, Flyleaf, 7eventh Time Down, Hillsong Worship, Cory Asbury