Word Label Group
Release Date: November 4th 2022
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- From Heaven To Earth (Joy To The World)
- God With Us
- Flesh And Bone
- Christ Our King (feat. Steven Malcolm)
- This Is Jesus
At Christmas, we remember THE defining moment for all humanity, when God took on flesh to redeem a world lost in its own sin. God did not abandon us, but in His kindness and mercy came to reconcile everything to Himself. Our Christmas EP celebrates Jesus being ‘God with us’! It is because of His birth, perfect life, death, and resurrection that everything has and is being made new. Rejoice, God is 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 in 2016, as the band signed to Word Label Group, and the self-titled debut 14 track album dropped to digital and physical retailers in April 2016. The debut album released to much critical acclaim, and the hit singles “Everything Comes Alive”, “Magnify” and “Point To You” (of which you can read our review here!). Fast forward to now, and can I just stress and absolutely highlight that one of the most inspiring, encouraging, and hopeful albums I’ve heard over the past few years or so, is We Are Messengers’ full-length sophomore effort Power? Comprising their smash hit single “Power” as well as the dependable heartfelt ballad “Maybe It’s Ok”, the CCM band from Ireland provided us with a worthy follow-up to their self-titled debut in 2016, as we were delivered a rousing worship experience full of vibrant and eclectic melodies. My brother Jon reviewed this album, and you can view it here (and here for the deluxe edition!). Since that time, we’ve reviewed the group’s third album Wholehearted; but now, during the Christmas season, The Irish band have unveiled a 6 song EP of original Christmas themed songs called Saviour– an extension of their 2016 Christmas EP God With Us. Released partly just to tie us over until official studio album #4 (although it’s anyone’s guess as to why these guys don’t release a full-length Christmas album already!); 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, and that He alone is our Saviour. For some of us, which this holiday season may have negative connotations, but Saviour EP and by extension the 2016 EP God With Us, 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 with the newly penned “Saviour”, the original worshipful song is one of the most powerful and moving Christmas songs of this year, as Darren eloquently and joyfully relays to us the gospel message, that ‘…here in the darkness, I see the Light of the world, here in the chaos, there is peace coming to the earth, and all this will change, in the most beautiful way, with a virgin mother and a baby’s birth…here in the mystery, Son of God and Son of Man, dawn is now breaking, through the skies of Bethlehеm, Earth meeting Heaven, as one baby cries, death started running, running, and salvation arise…’. A haunting, poignant, compelling and exuberant track, “Saviour” sings about the new life we find in Jesus, and the hope we have in the promises that He has made. Next up is a semi-familiar tune, but 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 somewhat familiar melody segues into the entirely new song “God With Us” (well, new for 2016 standards!).
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 where 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…’. “This Is Jesus”, a song written and recorded in 2019, is an original worship melody sung to the tune of the timeless hymn “Come Thou Font Of Every Blessing”, with Darren passionately singing out ‘…this is Jesus, King of glory, here to rescue from the fall, Son of God who comes to save us, Prince of peace and Lord of all…’; yet it is the electronic dance worship anthem “Christ Our King” that is in my opinion the pinnacle of the album- even after all these years. 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. And then… the 6 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 (even still, although I’m still holding out hope for a full length Christmas album from these guys) 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 CCM/worship 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 #4 from We Are Messengers, whenever that arises! Keep up the good work guys!
3 songs to listen to: Saviour, Christ Our King, This Is Jesus
RIYL: Rend Collective, Urban Rescue, Delirious?, Tim Hughes, Matt Redman