Before coming to Christ I was a big Deftones & Meshuggah fan. After giving my life to Jesus I got rid of all of my "secular" CDs, that was a super hard day for me. I remember praying rather boldly & not necessarily in a way that I would recommend but I remember saying "Lord, You better replace this." See I longed to be obedient to Jesus but I really loved music & I was so worried that I wouldn't find bands that were comparable and that I would live a sub par if not music-less existence (I knew nothing of Christian music at the time & all I had heard I thought was super cheesy). I was legitimately torn & young in my walk.
God did not have to honor my prayer but He did.
I began to scour the scene for solid rock and metal bands. I came across Red, Oh Sleeper, Memphis May Fire, For Today, Fit For A King, and a band I came to enjoy exponentially A Plea for Purging. I was super sad when A Plea for Purging called it quits as their last album is by far my favorite. You may be wondering why I am sharing all of this in an album review for the new Bloodlines album, and your wonder is valid but trust me I have a point ;)
For me "Hostile | Minds" picked up where The Life & Death of A Plea for Purging album ended. A Plea for Purging's album dropped in 2012 and I hadn't heard an album like it until July 30th 2019 when "Hostile | Minds" Dropped.
Bloodlines has managed to create something really special here. Their album isn't just heavy in sound and style, it is super heavy in it's content which is super refreshing! Bloodlines is unapologetically Christ-centered in their music. A stand out track to me is "Babylon" where lead singer Alexis Rodriguez is boldly proclaiming that he understands that he will be persecuted for his faith in Jesus but that will not cause him to loose his faith in God and that as God's people we are not to be silent.
I love the over arching theme throughout this album that life is hard and we are at war but our God is good and worthy to be praised. The first song "Esh" comes flying out the gate and sets the whole tone of the album and with it comes an admonishment and exhortation to burn bright for Jesus so that the world can see (Matthew 5:14-16). I was absolutely thrilled when I heard the song "Wrath". I loved that they had a song warning people of the judgement to come, this is not only bold but it is so often over looked these days when sharing the good news of Jesus. "Wrath" carries with it a sense of urgency and the stylistic choices they used in the song are nothing short of brilliant as it creates the same sense of urgency and dissonance as the message they are sharing. You can feel their heart for the lost through the music as they want people to realize that apart from Jesus they are slaves to sin.
The other dynamic I really enjoy about this album is how transparent it is lyrically. You can sense the struggle Alexis is facing as he seeks to grow in his walk with Jesus. The material is extremely relateable. "End of Days", Disconnect", "Had Enough" & "Spiritual Warfare" really capture a genuine battle between the flesh and the Spirit as portrayed in Galatians chapter 5 as well as Romans 7. For me, this makes the album very real and when they are sharing the realities we are up against in say a song like "Wrath", a non-believer may be more apt to listen to the message of that song based on the testimony shared through out the album.
From an overall production stand point, this album is very very well done. It is incredibly well written and laid out, everything is clearly done with intent and purpose. "Hostile | Minds" is very dynamic, it has a fantastic flow and it is recorded superbly.
I don't normally do a rating system but if I did I would give this album a 5 out of 5 and I am inches away from calling it an instant classic. If you are a fan of Christ-centered metal you would be doing yourself a real disservice if you passed this album up. These guys are the real deal both in their boldness to proclaim the truth of Jesus and in their music.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the album, leave a comment below. We are also big proponents of asking people to support the bands they enjoy by purchasing their albums as this helps them continue to make the music you enjoy listening to! Links to stream and/or purchase are at the top and bottom of this post .