Music Review: Dawn Of Destruction by The Persuaded

Music Review: Dawn Of Destruction by The Persuaded

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Updated June 28, 2019
Music Review: Dawn Of Destruction by The Persuaded
The Persuaded - To My Brothers (Official Music Video

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The inception of the band came about when vocalist/guitarist, Josh Honea decided to take a stand against depression, anxiety and suicide and start a band that writes songs about complicated life experiences and give hope in Jesus Christ through them.

Thus began the career of the current The Persuaded lineup. The band has since released two singles, toured extensively, performed alongside some of the biggest names in the industry and signed with RockFest Records in 2018.

The newest release is a highly anticipated debut full-length record titled “Dawn Of Destruction” out now.

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Dawn of Destruction by The Persuaded
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"The burdened, the weary, the brokenhearted, the hurting, the suicidal, the anxious, the depressed. Come find your rest. We are here for you. We love you.
Find your peace in Jesus." This is the 'about' on The Persuaded's Facebook page. The band was formed because Josh Honea (vocalist and guitarist) wanted to take a stand against depression, anxiety and suicide and decided to write songs about complicated life experiences and offer hope through Jesus Christ. Having released a couple of EPs and singles independently and also undergone some personnel changes in the few years since it was founded, 2018 saw them sign with RockFest Records. With a couple of singles released with this new backing, March 2019 saw the release of their first full-length album, "Dawn Of Destruction".

"The Dawn" sets the tone and theme for much of this album. Opening with screamed lyrics and muted instrumentation this is a declaration that "we will never be silent" despite being "persecuted for being unashamed of who we are" that we "must not lose sight of humanity". What will it cost us to hold on to our faith both now and in the future? It is no accident that the traditional church bell is opening this album opener, something that is part of the Western culture and a traditional call to worship, but it is also the death note for the radical followers of Jesus who see faith as more than a nod to a tradition. "Forced Silence" pushes us to consider what that cost might be for us as it opens talking about being burned at the stake. This deep rumbling shouting of the lyrics talks of the worlds pressure to silence us and to make us conform. The push-back comes in the form of a more melodic second part of the track which calls for unity and for us to change the world and to not allow it to take our voice. There is confusion in a world where all views are valid and we are told to speak our mind until someone is offended and then we are told not to speak our mind!

Disciple's Kevin Young is brought in as a guest vocalist on "Unashamed" which continues with the driving guitars, keeps the theme and drops the screams. This one is not so much about the world trying to bring us down and make us quiet, instead, it's an encouragement to stand and lift Jesus' name in the middle of life's battles and confusions. We must not be shrinking back in those moments when the difficulty comes, the struggle does not disqualify us from having a story, the faithful in the test will build their testimony. What happens though when we fail at that moment? When we lose trust, the belief and we do shrink back, as many of us inevitably do, and we lose hope in the battle? "To My Brothers" is the call to open our eyes and see the truth that we were made for more than living defeated lives. This track returns us to the metalcore screams, the great thing with this band is I can understand the vocal, something that isn't always the case!

Betrayal is the theme that underlies "Wolves" a track that shows the hurt that it causes, but also offers forgiveness. With an alternating vocal between screams and not "Lost Souls" brings us another picture of a life circumstance, being lost in a dark pit, trying to find ourselves again and get back into the light. As we stumble in the dark if we are heading to the light then there is a chance that others will also follow us. Sometimes it is the case that we can't find the way forward, but we keep fighting, keeping moving forward and eventually will find our way back home. "Betrayal" further explores the feeling of being let down by someone, in this case, it sounds like a romantic relationship that has ended in this way. If you've ever been there then you will know these feelings and the difficulty to overcome the feelings and thoughts. This is an angrier expression of the raw emotion that comes in these moments.

In a complete change "Heavy Heart" is a track where the vocal is accompanied by an acoustic guitar and offers a simple prayer based on the passages in Ezekiel where it mentions God taking a heart of stone and replacing it with a heart of flesh. I love this track, if the band move away from their metalcore roots then this is a good example of what they might release. It's a great juxtaposition with the track that follows which is all electric guitars slicing through the feelings of peace which were generated previously and that's not a bad thing, because this track realises the state that we live in inside ourselves and our minds, often tired of the darkness inside, aware but scared of the need for breaking crying out to God "Save Me". It's in this cry that we need to "Break", to move out from where we are but we have to realise that this is not possible on our own. The album closes with "The Fire" which is a prayer for the Holy Spirit to baptise us in His fire, to know the freedom from our past, that we are truly clean and we can move forward in that fire-power. This track starts with some screams and it mixes between standard vocals and those screamed lyrics.

The whole album deals with topics that we need to address. Persecution is not something we face in the Western world in the same way as the early Christians did, instead, we are pressured to conform and keep quiet, but how far would we go to make sure we can have the freedom to proclaim the name of Jesus in our lives? There are other challenges and betrayals, and the confusion that comes with trying to deal with life, including mental agony, self-harm and more and these are all addressed through this album. Ultimately there is a light to find, a hope to hold onto and help and power that can be asked for from the One who loves us, and wants to give us good gifts.

For me the contrast between "Heavy Heart" and "Save Me" really sums up what this is about. This is largely a metalcore/alt-rock album but there are explorations into other areas musically allowing this to feel diverse. I think "Heavy Heart" itself could probably stand alone as a chart contender in a Christian chart and raise awareness of this band outside of the Metal scene. Over the last few reviews where I have been listening to heavier music, I have been really pleased to see a high quality of writing and this album is no exception. If you are in a place, trapped in your head, struggling in the battle then this may help you vent and realise that there is hope and it's not worth giving up.

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