by Mark Woodhouse
Haste The Day have risen from the dead!
That’s right, the band that officially disbanded in 2011 are back with a brand new album, featuring all the members from their history. It’s a Haste The Day supergroup!
Coward is the album, and excited are the fans. It’s pretty cool to see this much anticipation for a band that so openly wears its Christian heart on its sleeve.
Haste The Day aren’t holding back. It’s a big band, and it’s a big sound. There are plenty of musical layers for you to mine into the umpteenth listen, and there are loads of head-bangingly, bone-crushingly heavy breakdowns.
And this is what really strikes me about this album – it seems heavier than previous Haste The Day albums. More aggressive, and less intricate. It’s full-on. The last track is called Gnaw, and it seems a very appropriate title. There are some lighter moments, like Reconcile, but even that song soon builds to a pretty epic crescendo.
Apart from this, though, there aren’t really many surprises. Nothing made me think ‘this is cool’ like on some of their other albums. Nothing made me sit up and take particular notice. This isn’t to say it’s a bad album! It just feels like it hasn’t quite lived up to the very high Haste The Day standard.
Stephen Keech from the band has spoken about the inspiration behind the title track Coward:
“Recently it seemed like a lot of relationships of people close to me were falling apart… I couldn’t believe how some people are afraid to communicate to the point where it leads to hurting each other so deeply. We are all afraid of fear and some of us to the point where we ruin so many good things in our lives.”
These are very personal themes, and they’re emotionally-charged songs. Perhaps this explains the aggression?
Reconcile is a highlight for me, and is a prayer of desperation. The prayer is that the tumultuous crashing waves that assault the vocalist would actually wash away sin and bring reconciliation. And the good news in the pain is that Jesus has reconciled us to God by his blood on the cross, and in doing that he has reconciled us to each other as well. There is hope for all our relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ, for we are family!
It seems like this might be Haste The Day’s last album ever. We’ve heard that before. Haste The Day definitely still have more to give. I give Coward three-and-a-half stars.
Coward by Haste the Day is available now on iTunes.