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Music Review: AntiVillain by Wayward Son

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Updated October 02, 2018
antiVillain cover

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£7.99 (Amazon)

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Individually we represent three generations of life and music. Our personal interests vary widely from music preference to pastimes, but we all agree that seeing lives transformed through Christ is our greatest endeavor.

+ The Vision.....The Mission:

- To bring the message of Jesus' love, salvation, and forgiveness to people who feel unloved, hopeless, lost, and forgotten.
“My wayward children,” says the Lord,“come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.” “Yes, we’re coming,” the people reply, “for you are the Lord our God.
Jeremiah 3:22 NLT

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antiVillain by Wayward Son
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It's not often that you start reviewing someone's album only to find that since their release the band have decided to call it a day! That is the case for this band "Wayward Son", starting in 2014 and disbanding in August 2018, sometimes it's hard for people on the outside looking in to see the reasons, but it is a reminder that in our lives things have their seasons. So what is the last message these musicians have for the people listening to their final release? What from this will be their legacy?

The band describe themselves as Alternative Christian Rock / Worship and there are definitely many different influences at play on this release. The album opens with an instrumental with a piano with some thunderous pounding in the background and a spoken word piece. This is before we have a nice grunge feel to the track "Invisible". The track itself is about people who are invisible in our society, people forgotten about by all of us, however even those who feel most invisible are reminded that God remembers them and see's them because He shaped that person. The next track is a dip into some rock worship, keeping the same vocal tone this track is a cry out to God that we can be more like those attributes of God and to be "Honorable".

Track 4 on the release is another instrumental called "The Fall Of Man" starting with the noise of kids playing and chatting while the keyboard plays and a child reads passages from Romans 3 ending with the reminder that "All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God." This track is followed by "All Fall Down" which looks at what it means to fall, that it is not just a condition for some people, but that each and every one of us has fallen at some point in our lives. It's not nice when we fall physically, gravity hurts, and it's the promise that even if we fall we can rise again out of the ashes. It ends with the message that sometimes we fall so that we can learn how to fly, which is a nice picture for those hurting or struggling with addictive behaviours! There is a style to the rock track that is "Homecoming", it's like a classic rock, but not, and it's hard to put my finger on who it sounds like. This looks at how, so often, we run away from God, but reminding us we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" and we should come back to God.

The next few tracks play on the supernatural idea's not least in their titles with "Werewolf", "Shapeshift" and "Phantoms". The track "Werewolf" looks at some of those times when we are less than we should be, when we seem to be something we are not, when we try and handle things on our own and end up hurting other people around us. "Shapeshift" is another instrumental and takes it's name from a line in the previous song. This instrumental has a short sermon about being under personal attacks and how we get through things in our own strength and how we need to rely on God alone in these times. There is some thumping bass and feedback that opens up "Phantoms" which takes it's inspiration from various passages of scripture and tells the story of our humanness of feeling that we are more and greater than we seem as we chase after various things. This is counterpointed with a chorus that God rewards those who diligently seek Him!

"Tetra" brings things back to praise and worship with a song that just thanks God for what He provides for us. This gives way into another instrumental called "Donum Perfectum" which in my basic understanding means "Perfect Gift", again this instrumental continues the theme from the previous track, although this time it truly is an instrumental track. This gives way into "AntiVillain" the title track - and there is more significance to this title to which I will mention later. The track itself has a great rock feel, some more lovely bass on the opening. It's the words that intrigue me, because it's more like a 3 verse thesis taking the misconceptions about faith, contrasting them with what Jesus said, and the actual interpretation of faith and grace that we live in. I love the way this is written, because it reminds us our qualification as Christians is not in the court of public opinion, but in our personal walk with God.

The album bows out with another full worship anthem that is a bit of a faithbuilder in "Anticipation" reminding us of the glory that is to come, but also that right now we are meant to be the watchmen on the walls, being ready for Christ's return. We need to be ready for that day when Christ returns and so many of us have taken our eyes off of the skies. The final track is another short instrumental called "...Before The Storm" which has more of the spoken word and music and some chorus in the background.

So the message that this album leaves us with is that we have all fallen, even the best of us. However our faith does not rely on our ability to be able to pick ourselves up, instead it is in God. We don't have to worry about how the world see's us, we know that we are saved by faith through grace and that makes us, not good, not heroes, but the 'AntiVillain'.

So with this band ending it is paving a way for some members of the band to continue forward with a continuation of the same message and a name of "AntiVillain" or to give it's full title "The AntiVillain Venture". This is at least good news, because there are good sounds on this album and there is a lot of scripture embedded in these lyrics that some of the songs feel like a little rock Bible study! So Wayward Son must end so that the AntiVillain message can continue.

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