Written by: Abby Baracskai-Thigpen (September 10, 2019)
Before I dive into the album review, I want to take a moment to say this band has been around making music longer than I have been alive and that absolutely blows my mind. It seems like so many bands make one big hit then disappear off the face of the planet; but not these guys. Album after album they continue to deliver biblical truth smashed between heavy instruments and killer screams.
Love Letter Kill Shot is exactly what this anxiety-filled, self-righteous, lonely world needs to hear. Fortunately, Disciple is not one to shy away from the fact that hurt and pain are real and that bad things happen in this world. They don’t give you that “you’re a Christian, so you must be joyful and thankful all the time” lie that seems to be preached so quickly by so many people. The album handles difficult topics but tears them down with truth that may seem hard to swallow, but is needed to be said, especially as a reminder to many Christians who may be a little lukewarm; and, of course, it’s all wrapped up perfectly with some rock n roll, baby.
My personal favorite track is “Chemical Wisdom” because the content is something that hits close to home. The message sounds exactly like something I passionately share with other people when I talk about anxiety and depression. I like how the song acknowledges that people walk through immensely difficult and painful seasons in their life. We have all these things like depression and anxiety that are at sky-high numbers and our world solves these problems by “push[ing] another prescription” or “double[ing] the dosage” on these chemically designed medications. I’ll be the first to say that there is nothing wrong with being on a medication for any form of mental illness. I was on anti-depressants for a while to help me cope and work through losing my mom. The point is, they are not a forever fix. Medication is simply one tool in the growing process. As stated, “[our] problems are deeper than the pill you’ve given me. [We] need more than a chemical remedy.” We need more than “chemical wisdom” to heal and grow from the hard times we face in life. That may look like counseling, group therapy, time away from work, developing a new hobby, joining a support group, journaling, so on and so forth. But I digress, medication can be a useful tool, but it will never be the ultimate fix to our problems. Only God can make us whole again.
The album leads right in to my second favorite track, “Never too Late.” If you’re anything like me, you went back to angsty middle school you belting Three Days Grace’s version in the shower. Thankfully, Disciple’s version does not give me that same experience. For one, the song opens with crashing cymbals and roaring riffs that automatically make your head start banging. Then that powerful voice of Kevin’s makes a booming entrance to tell us all a simple message that we have a hard time believing and accepting. A lot of us believe that we are too far from being saved or that we’ve done some unforgivable thing that God can never cleanse us from. Besides being the farthest thing from the truth, that undermines God’s power and ability, which we simply cannot do. The song reminds us that it is “never too late to start again, if you’re breathing.” God’s love and forgiveness is ALWAYS there for us to turn back towards and he accepts us with open arms EVERY time no matter what we’ve done.
Finally, the slower ballad on the album, “Touch of Pain.” As much as I love the high energy that rock offers us, it’s nice to have a change of speed in the middle of it all to rest and recharge. The lyrics outline a beautiful love story we have with our savior. That He has been and always will be there for us whenever we call His name. It also acknowledges our desperate need for Him and His love and grace in our lives every single day. My favorite part is that the song is clearly worship because we’re talking about God and his praise-worthy attributes, but it doesn’t feel like a “typical” Sunday worship song. We are all unique creations and have different preferences in how we praise our Lord, and musical style is just one of them.
Album number eleven, Love Letter Kill Shot, delivers beloved metal and hard rock melodies that Disciple is known for, along with open, honest, thought-provoking lyrics that challenge listeners to take a look at their life and their faith. With the popularity of the few singles released already, I believe Disciple fans will not be disappointed with the album in its entirety.