Word Label Group
Release Date: November 4th 2016
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- From Heaven To Earth (Joy To The World)
- God With Us
- Flesh And Bone
- Christ Our King
“…At Christmas, we see the love of God take on flesh and bone so that He can be with us, rescue us and heal our brokenness. God is not removed and distant, but present with us in our humanity. Jesus is God with us…” Born out of Monaghan in Ireland and formed in 2015 by husband and wife duo Darren and Heidi Mulligan, the worship band We Are Messengers, previously known as the rock band The Remission Flow, have instantly connected with fans and critics alike, as Darren and his friends Dylan, Steven and Matthew strive to point listeners and fans to Jesus, the author of life and our Everything, while also simultaneously trying to provide a quality live show to fans. The result was a strong lyrical and musical debut album released earlier this year, as the band signed to Word Label Group, and the self-titled debut 14 track album dropped to digital and physical retailers in April this year. Now, during the Christmas season, The Irish band have unveiled a 4 song EP of original Christmas themed songs. Released partly just to tie us over until official studio album #2, We Are Messengers also inspire and encourage us throughout these newly penned holiday melodies, reminding us all that God is with us throughout the good and bad times, that Jesus’ love for us stretches infinitely higher, longer, wider and deeper than we even could imagine. For some of us, which this holiday season may have negative connotations, God With Us EP provides a bit of hope and light in an otherwise hopeless world; so let’s dive in and see how these songs stir the soul and provide healing and restoration.
Opening the track list with a semi-familiar tune, the similarities end with the title, as “From Heaven To Earth (Joy To The World)” has a vastly different melody and an added chorus to provide a more modern atmosphere. As Darren authoritatively proclaims across big booming guitars and vibrant synth that we can ‘…sing for the Lord has come, O what a wondrous love, sing for the Lord has come from Heaven to Earth, our King is victorious, He is reigning glorious, sing for the Lord has come from Heaven to Earth, our King is victorious…’, we are eloquently reminded that Jesus, who reigns in glory and power forever in Heaven, chose to come to Earth as a man because of his immense and endless love for us, and that thought alone should be confronting and comforting at the same time. Certain to provide perspective and healing, the familiar EP opener segues into the entirely new title track. Driven by bell chines, captivating gang vocals and stirring synth and keys, the hopeful and inspiring melody highlights the fact that ‘…He is with us, always, in our joy, and in our pain, in the lonely midnight, keep looking up, love has come, God with us…’, with the melody written predominately for those who find Christmas a difficult time for whatever reason. Though “God With Us” may not have any reference to Christmas time (the song could have been recorded and sung at any time of the year, and it would still have the same powerful and captivating effect it has now!), what We Are Messengers have deftly recorded in a melody for the ages, one that can and probably will be a hit in the coming months and years, and not just on Christmas radio!
The piano prominent slow tempo ballad “Flesh And Bone” (complete with an ever building epic orchestral crescendo near the end of the song, is the penultimate melody on the short but punchy EP, as Darren ardently reiterates that he feels grateful and thankful for Jesus, who ‘…abandoned Heaven’s throne, when You took on flesh and bone, you have saved my wandering soul, when You made this world Your home, and you made my heart Your home…’; yet it is the electronic dance worship anthem “Christ Our King” that is in my opinion the pinnacle of the album. Led by electronic dance remix effects, and vibrant synth, the thoroughly enjoyable melody is probably the most un-Christmas song I’ve ever heard, particularly with the inclusion of Steven Malcolm’s effortless and seamless rap, and with Darren highlighting the fact that Christ is to be praised, as He is our King; the 4 song EP ends in my opinion, way too soon, yet nevertheless on a bright note, as I remember with fondness the reason why Jesus came to Earth, which is because He loves each one of us with a lavish love beyond any other love we can every experience.
What a brilliant EP that We Are Messengers have recorded! Well done Darren for a thorough and entirely enjoyable Christmas EP, that is sure to increase your popularity, and win souls for Christ. As I finish listening to this exquisite and unique listening experience, there is only one thing left to do, and that’s to press repeat, though the project doesn’t necessarily fit as a Christmas EP, this is a worship EP nonetheless. Truly, Darren, his wife, and his band of spiritual brothers have created something special. Though it’s not as enjoyable as Rend Collective (the other Irish band I am loving at the moment!) it’s still worth a listen, as I stomp my feet, dance, and praise Jesus, to the many, many genres encompassed on this thought provoking EP. Well done, Darren, I can’t wait to hear the album #2 from We Are Messengers, whenever that arises!
3 songs to listen to: God With Us, Flesh And Bone, Christ Our King
RIYL: Rend Collective, Urban Rescue, Delirious?, Tim Hughes, Matt Redman