Review: Disciple – Long Live the Rebels

discipleLongtime rockers Disciple have always been something of a rebel band. From releasing music on their own independent label to suffering through not one but two reiterations, the Kevin Young-fronted outfit has kept their head high while swimming against the stream of life, consistently delivering high octane music designed to melt your face while bringing glory to Christ. And on their latest outing, this self-proclaimed “Disciple 3.0” is out to declare, Long Live the Rebels.

Speaking to the heartbeat of the record, Young shares, “When we started Disciple we wanted to play music that would impact people’s lives, and that mission has never been stronger than it is today. And while the world goes their way, we are the rebels who will walk the other way. We want to be the rebels who will change the world.”

Accompanied by Andrew Stanton (lead guitar), Josiah Prince (rhythm guitar) and Joey West (drums), Young keeps that keeps mission alive with the pedal to the metal.

The title track is a perfect example to show that Disciple hasn’t lost a step and is perhaps even a little better, Stanton’s guitar licks scintillating and West’s percussion hammering away while Young showcases a voice that’s only gotten better with age. It’s a relentless onslaught which, as listeners have come to know, is Disciple 101. “Erase” carries some similar vibes, Stanton’s guitar work again stellar as the track builds to a ripping conclusion as “Underdog Fight Song” explodes with raucous energy, Prince’s rhythms throbbing while Young screams his head off. “Secret Weapon” is another pounding highlight here, the hook-filled chorus and kicking energy bound to get your feet stomping.

Fans looking for something more melodic won’t be disappointed either. Opening track “First Love” rocks, sure, but carries a much more melodic vibe along with some layered vocals as “Come My Way” follows suit, still showing some edge with a disjointed breakdown that builds to another explosion of sound. Some acoustic guitar shows up on “God Is With Us,” a near ballad that showcases some heartfelt notes of faith while “Spinning” delivers the best of both worlds, a near screamed chorus accenting a smooth verse line. “Spirit Fire” simmers before throwing blows like a heavyweight boxer, the punches building and building to the knockdown as “Empty Grave” brings things to a close with a bluesy, radio ready arrangement that showcases another facet of this talented collective.

Long Live the Rebels is an album that is at once vintage Disciple and at the same moment isn’t. Glimmers of the face melting band are there and are, as always welcome, but with years of performing under their belt, Disciple shows themselves to have grown a little older, a little wiser, and that reflects in the music. But longtime fans have no need to worry, these are the rebels you’ve grown to love and they’re not going anywhere; long live the rebels!

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