Friday, June 1, 2012

Now - Fireflight




On the way to the Celestial City, Fireflight stoop to lift people out of the swamp of despair.

Now
Artist: Fireflight (www.fireflightrock.com)
Label: Essential
Length: 10 tracks/36:11 minutes

Imagine someone in the depths of despair. They have no hope. They live in the shadows of this world. Their existence is tortured and self-destructive. They identify with heavy music that expresses the weight they feel.

Along comes Now the fourth release from the female-fronted Fireflight, a voice for the desperate. This has the characteristic heavy chords but none of the sense of doom that other artists in the genre might project. These songs are like light that streams into dark places.

God is that light, though he is rarely explicitly referenced here. The band avoids being preachy. The only direct mention is on “He Weeps,” one of two ballads, the other being “Rise Above.” That these are my two favorites shows my bias for quieter melodies.

The rest are sometimes heavy, fast and intense. It is sweetened by programming in the quieter moments, often at the beginning and end of a song. The production is tight and excellent throughout.

Getting back to “He Weeps”; it is the answer to that age-old question, “Where is God when …” You fill in the blank. God weeps when we “taste defeat.” He is there in our darkest moments. Fireflight cheers on listeners, especially the broken, with this message.

These songs are loaded with encouragement and hope. To borrow from the imagery in Pilgrim’s Progress, Fireflight is on the path that leads to the Celestial City. On their way they purposely stoop to lift people out of the swamp of despair. Their music and words speak the language of the despondent. The time to rise above is now.

“Stronger Than You Think,” which directly addresses the work of Satan, exhibits a disdain for the dark side and a confidence that those who belong to God can know.

It was the passion that I saw and heard in a Fireflight video that drew me to this release. As much as I like mellower music, I recognize that rock, and in particular the heavier form of it, can be the best vehicle to convey the desperation and turmoil in this life. Anyone who has ever seen U2’s “Pride” video can also see rock’s ability to communicate passion. There is a fire in this band to take the light to dark places.  

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