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Crash by Decyfer Down

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Review of Crash

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The Advocate

Crash by Decyfer Down

Reviewed by Caleb Newell

"...the disc has quite a few noteworthy tracks and resonates within your mind long after your stop listening."

After Decyfer Down’s near tragic accident, which left all four members fighting for their life, Crash almost didn’t made it to fruition. “After the accident, we all questioned what we were doing because that was just another factor in it being such a big sacrifice to be on the road,” guitarist Brandon Mills recalls, also citing the fact that the guys miss their families when they're gone. “When we posted a blog on our MySpace page explaining what happened, it was so encouraging to see a whole page full of thoughts and support from people all over the country--and other countries as well--plus people who told us how much our music meant to them. That really helped us see that we are meant to do this, and even though we still run into obstacles, we're a better band because of it.”

Even though Crash is a metaphor for Decyfer Down’s ability to rise above its hurdles, it’s also a call for anyone broken to bounce back from whatever bogs them down and may hang between where you are and where/what you hope to be. The band has also had a lead singer change from Caleb Oliver to TJ Harris, who was formally of Fighting Instinct. All that has been said on Caleb’s departure is that he is dealing with “personal things”. It is unknown if he will even return. Caleb focused more on a unique voice; TJ Harris focuses on an edgier type of vocal. Even though most fans will be downtrodden by the removal of Caleb, fans will most likely enjoy TJ Harris when Crash is released.

Crash consists of 10 original songs; including rock and ballad tracks. Produced by Paul Ebersold (3 Doors Down, Saliva, and Sister Hazel) the disc has quite a few noteworthy tracks and resonates within your mind long after you stop listening. Starting out the highly anticipated (and greatly delayed) album is the title track, “Crash”. A picture of how everything in our life builds up a sort of pressure in our life. You try to buy time, figure out what is causing it, and fix it. Though no matter what you do you know you’re going to crash, but you’re going to try until you find a way through it. “Desperate” examines how our past and present situation seems to haunt us constantly, but we desperately want and need God, “a love that stands true”, to change us. It is so easy to be drawn into an addiction; it quickly takes root, digging chains deep into us, and takes us into a deep desperation, states “Fading”, we can’t even see hope through the darkness surrounding us, and we call out to God to save us from what we are becoming. “Best I Can” is my absolute favorite song on the album, hit-you-right-where-you-are lyrics as well as a mellow-hammering sound, it tells how even though we can’t live a perfect life, we are trying the best we can. It even seems hard to see ourselves how God sees us, and we can barely hold onto hope, which keeps us going. But we are promised God won’t let us go (we are never alone). Through that promise we can know we are living the best we can (through God’s grace) no matter where we go.

Calls to run from your addiction, of truth, to scream, and ride away from your pain, resonate from “Ride With Me” . . . let out your pain, leave it all, and get away from your addiction. “Wasting Away” is a cry for something more, and a reminder that it’s not too late to change, and you’re not alone in your struggles. A great southern twang with a caustic hammering intertwines together for a perfect rhythm, in “Over My Head”. The song examines when you think you’re in over your head how you need to find a way out, pack up, and get out of there because the battle’s already been won by God.

Continuing with the southern twang, “Moving On” (my second favorite) says how we can move on from our past lives (not wallowing in them), pick up our pieces, and live with what we have done. Because God has forgotten our pasts, so can we, and maybe we can start seeing hope through the clouds of discouragement. “The Life” is a song about moving on to a better life, leaving all our imperfections behind us and surviving through God’s grace (this world is not our final home). Even through provoking, we aren’t going back to the old wasted life so we can someday get to Heaven.

A depiction of how short this life is, “Forever With You” is my third favorite, and tells that when we get to Heaven we will be forever made new, and it reminds us that God is never far away. “Forever With You” is also a cry to love what He loves, to see what He sees, and a heart that burns like a fire in me. “I want your light in my life/ I want my heart renewed/ here I am/ here I am/ here I am/ Forever with you.”

If you’re a returning fan or a new one, you’ll want to Crash on 5/5/09. They have a great deal on the CD up on their site now, a mere steal for a (signed) superb album.

Caleb Newell BIO:  My name is Caleb Newell. I am from south-central Pennsylvania, where I’ve lived my whole life. Surprisingly, I have never attended a Creation Festival, even though I’m about forty-five minuteS to an hour away. I also go by two pennames: Rauhl Ang (Secular), and Cylos Eli (Christian), if I ever strap myself down long enough to get a novel finished.  I’m just a mundane guy, trying to find his place in the world, Asking the one important question all the time “Where do I go from here?”, and trying to see light in the darkness of this world. While attempting to budget my time better, I like to augment just some of my God-given abilities and love criticism for them: writing (mostly fiction), reviewing, singing, drawing/painting, and counseling. My regular blogging site is: http://reviewsplus.blogspot.com, where I review various materials. On that same profile, you will find the online church I started for a while: http://theshatteredchurch.blogspot.com . My writing can be read on: http://cyloseli.blogspot.com . Until next time, God’s Grace to You.