Kutless ‘Surrender’

///Kutless ‘Surrender’

Kutless ‘Surrender’

Written by: Jay Heilman (12/22/2015)

Upon first hearing Kutless in 2004, the song “Sea of Faces” had all but dominated radio, along with the record of the same title it came from. It’s follow up and successful 2005 release Strong Tower solidified the band’s ranks in the upper echelon of Christian rock. It was 2006 when the band released the record Hearts Of The Innocent, which in this writer’s opinion, was the best record the band released… until now. I liked To Know That You’re Alive, Believer and Glory, but the heavy rock element that the band once featured in their earlier records had all but dissipated with each passing record – turning more towards a pop, praise & worship sound. I mean that’s not a bad thing, after all Kutless continued to honor and glorify Christ through their music, but it was a far departure from their earlier work. When the band announced in early 2015 that they were recording new music, I messaged guitarist James Mead on Twitter asking “Will this one return to the “heavy” roots?” His reply was simply “Maybe :)”. That was enough for me to hold onto hope that the next record would be a return to the heavy music that made Kutless a name in Christian rock to begin with.

So when Surrender hit iTunes on November 13th, I bought the record and listened with nervousness at first – and boy was I glad I had picked it up! Surrender starts out with the track “Tear It Up” – a good spot to bring back and showcase the original sound. The track sounds like it could have been recorded during the HOTI days and features an in-your-face, no holds barred heavy guitar intro in which lead vocalist Jon Micah Sumrall screams “We got to tear down/So we can build back up/Never stop, never stop/Until it’s done/We gotta reset and find every flaw/We’re gonna become stronger than we were before”. What a great way to start the record off. The message of “Bring It On” is a call to arms for us to deny the negative aspects of this fallen world and embrace Jesus and the coming world, proclaiming for Him to ‘bring it on’. “There’s a world on the way, when this one is gone, gone, gone/We’re ready Jesus, bring it on, bring it on”. I love this. There are certainly days in our lives, as I am sure you could agree with, that we’re more eager for Jesus to come back than others.

The middle part of the album is not what I call fillers either. The band manages to put songs forth that are not only catchy to listen to, but ones that could be encouraging to believers who may be dealing with issues on their daily walks. “Mirror” reminds us that no matter what those issues are, Jesus is always watching us, we just need to look for Him. “I Will Go” reminds us to put that faith and trust in Christ and that where He leads us, we go knowing that He is the one leading us. “Overcome”, another great track reminding us that the love of Christ has overcome the evil that envelopes this world, proclaiming “I know His love will overcome/Overcome/His love has already won”. Have you ever felt that through your troubles and tribulations, that at times God can seem so far away? I know I have certainly endured those challenges. It’s tough, but the message of “Not Too Far” reminds us that, those moments where we don’t feel His presence, He is closer than we think. “All I see is a shadow/When all I want is to be right where You are/Holding onto forever/And the promise that heaven is not too far” Take pride in knowing that no matter what, He’s never far away.

Okay, so now to my favorite song on the entire record. Not only does the song “My Heart Is A Ghost” start with a cool and haunting one-string (drop-C) intro, but the message of the song is one that I can relate to personally. When I gave my heart to Christ in 2003, there was a period of time where I felt vibrant and alive, wanting to share my faith with everyone I came into contact with. There was a time however, when that fire subsided and I questioned everything, including my faith. The devil had me believing that though I was saved, my past was just too heavy to just move on. My heart (of faith) felt like a ghost of its once vibrant self. When I came to my senses, I made a vow that I would NEVER let Satan do that again and I would devote my life in following Christ and putting Satan in his place as the liar he is any chance I got. “My Heart Is A Ghost” to me, is an amazing piece of music that is not only fun to listen to, but also remind that no matter what I have gone through, Jesus never left me, even in those darkest parts of my Christian walk. Fellow musicians, mainly drummers, will appreciate this track, as new drummer Drew Porter tears it up on the kit.

Surrender was a welcomed surprise and I was not only impressed with the early Kutless sound returning, but the lyrics still stand strong as a testament of the band’s desire to proclaim Christ to the world through their music. Sumrall and company really hit the nail on the head with this, putting forth their best effort in nearly a decade. Only downside? The album just wasn’t long enough and I was yearning to hear more when the last track faded out. Hoping a Deluxe Edition of this album hits soon, but until then, Surrender is an album that new and old fans alike will enjoy for a long time to come.

Released: November 13, 2015

Label: BEC Recordings

Track Listing:

  1. Tear It Up (3:04)
  2. Bring It On (3:18)
  3. Mirror (3:37)
  4. Love Came Crashing Down (2:59)
  5. I Will Go (3:30)
  6. Overcome (3:32)
  7. Not Too Far (3:44)
  8. Loved (3:54)
  9. One Thing Remains (4:45)
  10. My Heart Is A Ghost (5:40)

10 Tracks, 38:03

Buy on iTunes

Buy on Amazon Music

More from Kutless:

  • Kutless (2002)
  • Sea Of Faces (2004)
  • Strong Tower (2005)
  • Hearts Of The Innocent (2006)
  • To Know That You’re Alive (2008)
  • It Is Well (2009)
  • Believer (2012)
  • Glory (2014)
  • Surrender (2015)

Links for Kutless:

Official Site




By |2017-03-09T11:10:21-04:00November 13th, 2015|Music, Reviews|0 Comments

About the Author:

Jay is the co-founder and live media & content director for Today's Christian Entertainment.

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