Review: Disciple’s Horseshoes & Handgrenades

Posted: September 30, 2010 in Album Reviews
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After nearly two decades of making music, Disciple continues to be a force within the Christian hard rock genre. The Knoxville-based band’s eighth studio release, Horseshoes & Handgrenades, packs in all that fans have come to love about Disciple- fist-pumping, mosh-worthy metal tracks, melodic rock songs, stirring power ballads, potent lyrics, and a powerful message.

Mid-tempo rocker “Dear X” provides a strong start to Horseshoes & Handgrenades, with a solid melody, crunchy guitars, and backing strings. But it’s not the explosive track that would be expected to kick of a Disciple record. In fact, there are quite a few mid-tempo rock songs on this record. “Eternity” starts off deceivingly like a hard rock track but quickly shows its true colors as an alt. rock sing with a melodic chorus. “Collision” and “Invisible” are radio-ready tracks, similar in vein to “Dear X.”

Make no mistake though, Horseshoes & Handgrenades is not for the faint of heart. “Watch It Burn” is classic Disciple- fiery metal riffs and spitting vocals. “Shot Heard Round The World” also has an old school Disciple flare to it. “The Ballad of St. Augustine” is a bit deceiving in it’s title, as it is certainly no ballad. It’s actually one of Disciple’s hardest songs, with brutal guitar riffs throughout.

Disciple’s lyrics are as potent as ever (Infiltrated crawling on the inside/Crooked hands put us all in their chains/Wrapping nooses all around the halos/Another chemical making my blood insane – “Watch It Burn”), but the lyrics are not without purpose. One of the things I love about Disciple is that their CD booklets list the Bible passages that the songs came out of. A few tracks have verses paired with almost every lyrical line.

Disciple will surely pick up new fans with Horseshoes & Handgrenades, as it is their most accessible album to date. However, it is not too much of a departure from their original sound that it will alienate longtime fans.

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