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Blissed - "Death Is Not The End" (2-CD Set)

Blissed - "Death Is Not The End" 2-CD Set cover image

"Death Is Not The End" track listing:

1. End of the World I
2. Sever
3. Kiss For The Pain
4. Come And Take It
5. Easier Said Than Done
6. Flesh
7. I Know My Place
8. Gasoline
9. Justice
10. Freakshow
11. That's Satisfaction
12. Asthma
13. Get Your Hands Up
14. Roll With It
15. End Of The World 2

Reviewed by on October 24, 2010

"Blissed is definitely more in the Jars of Clay mode than some of the early more explicitly preachy Christian pop music acts, and realize that if the music ain't there, no one's going to be listening to the message."

As I watched the DVD portion of "Death Is Not The End," which featured a stage decorated with skulls and the thoroughly tattooed and pierced members of Blissed furiously headbanging, I realized that Christian metal has sure come a long way since the days when Stryper (and possibly Petra) were the only names that those outside the Christian scene would recognize. Of course, that's a little ironic since Robert Sweet of Stryper spent some time in Blissed, before being replaced by the band's current drummer Nathan Kojak.

Blissed is definitely more in the Jars of Clay mode than some of the early more explicitly preachy Christian pop music acts, and realize that if the music ain't there, no one's going to be listening to the message. By and large, the band gets the job done on tracks like "Easier Said Than Done" and the single "Come And Take It," which rely on metaphor more than outright religious statements. Songs like "Justice," in which singer David Pearson sings that he should be "hanging up there on high" rather than his savior and "Roll With It," in which he sings that "the good book and guitar's all I need" are probably the most explicitly religious.

Jeff Miller's guitars often have an appealingly sludgy feel on tracks like "I Know My Place" and the Korn-esque "Freakshow." He's also hammers out a great solo on "Easier Said Than Done."

Pearson's vocals range from a Dave Mustaine snarl to whispery Korn stuff and guttural tones, generally to good effect. He's definitely the star of the show when it comes to the live DVD that accompanies the album, often standing atop a monitor and generally keeping the crowd thoroughly engaged.

The DVD "isn't pretty" as they put it in the credits. It's obviously intended to be a rough affair, but there are a few too many intentional blurs and slo-mo for my liking. Still, it's definitely extra value on a good album.

Blissed's "Death Is Not The End" is an solid metal album that will appeal to Christian fans and those who don't care one way or the other about theology, so long as the music rocks in much the same way as Jars of Clay.

Highs: "Come And Take It," "Freakshow" and "Justice"

Lows: The live DVD, though capturing a lot of the energy of a live show, has some amateur hour moments.

Bottom line: A solid disc that will please metal fans of any faith.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)