Blessed Are the Persecuted by Overcome (Review)

These guys are still fairly young, so expect some good things to come from them.
Blessed Are The Persecuted - Overcome

Yep, it’s another one of those hardcore bands. For awhile there, that seemed to be all that Tooth & Nail was releasing, with stuff from Unashamed, Bloodshed, Everdown, and this band, Overcome. Now, if you’ve read my Strongarm review, you’ll probably see that I know very little about hardcore music. It’s a genre that I’ve only recently started listening to. So I can’t really compare this stuff to any other bands other than the few I’ve heard.

That being said, I’ll say that Overcome doesn’t really sound like the other hardcore bands I’ve heard. There’s a much more polished, almost metal/thrash tint to this band’s music — which is not a bad thing. At times, it almost reminds me of the punk/thrash veterans One Bad Pig (also not a bad thing). The music has much more of a melodic nature than bands like Focused. In fact, some of the songs have great pop hooks, propelled along with Jason Obergfoll’s very rhythmic basslines. His playing adds an almost funk feel to some songs. Drummer Ryan Hayes must have an inexhaustible energy source, since he maintains a breakneck pace throughout the entire album.

But what sets this band apart from some of the other hardcore bands I’ve heard are the vocals. Tooth & Nail’s catalog says that Jason Stinson’s vocals will “put the fear of God into you” and I won’t disagree. There’s really no other way to describe it. He pretty much screams his head off through every song, stating his mind. One can’t help but listen, as if he is railing against all of the forces of Satan by himself. At times, he almost reminds of Corey Womack, One Bad Pig’s infamous lead screamer.

The lyrics are good and solid. While not as poetic as Strongarm’s, the lyrics are all well-written, simple, and upfront. They touch on topics including dedication to Christ, personal failures, problems in the church, veganism, and persecution. “Prayer” reminds me of many of the Psalms, where David is crying out for God’s cleansing and forgiveness. On “Understanding,” Stinson, puzzled by the world’s ignorance and hate, and the futility in looking to it for answers, finally realizes: “This world is full of so many lies/Satan owns the lie and we’re all being fooled/We’re all being fooled/Save us, Save us from this world of hate.”

The album closes out with “Blessed Are the Persecuted,” a song about being wholly dedicated to Christ in the face of persecution, with the thought that seems to dominate Overcome’s message as a band:

We feel your hate
Actions speak louder than words
You hate us, you try to silence truth with your lies
It will take much more, if you think you can shut us down
Your efforts are worthless against us
We will always stand our ground

Whenever I want to listen to something that will immediately move me and get me going, I reach for Blessed Are the Persecuted because there ain’t a slow song in the bunch. I don’t say that to dismiss the witness that this band has, but the music never fails to get me out of the chair and going nuts. It’s like an intense adrenaline rush straight to the soul. This album is far more immediate and accessible that Strongarm or Unashamed; with time, their lyrical and musical depth should only increase. These guys are still fairly young, so expect some good things to come from them.