RATING: (8 out of 10) RELEASE DATE: November 20th, 2011 LABEL: Unsigned REVIEWED ON: January 23rd, 2012 REVIEWED BY: Sara NapierREVIEW
“She·ki·nah - n. The glory of the Divine presence, conventionally represented as light.”
When I first heard this album, I thought, "What a great idea it was to put an instrumental as the first track!" It flowed so well and created a peaceful atmosphere for the listener while showcasing the talent of the members. I decided to dive right into the no doubt thought-provoking lyrics that I assumed would follow. It was about halfway into the second track when I realized this album was 100% instrumental.
This is not a method that just anyone can pull off successfully. A lot of fans like having lyrics to help identify a song; I tend to lean this way myself. However, I can honestly say there is something different about this album. The five-song EP feels as though everything is in its right place with nothing missing and nothing forced. It is genuine, heartfelt and purposeful, yet seemingly effortless.
Based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Shekinah is a group of brothers and friends. Stating that their band is the product of countless nights playing intercessory worship music together, they share a passion not only for their faith in Jesus Christ but for music as well. Forming in 2007, this young band has a purpose to play worship and invite the Holy Spirit into the rooms they play in. Acting as ushers of the Spirit, their desire is to see God’s glory with every set they play.
The Wind Lost Its Breath Redux is their second recorded project and serves as a rerecording of some of the tracks from their first album, The Wind Lost Its Breath And The Sea Became As Smooth As Glass. On their Bandcamp page, they describe themselves by saying, “We are a band that is passionate about our faith and always tries to play with heart and conviction.” In both albums it is clear that this statement is true. It is hard to compare Shekinah to any band I can think of, but their passion channels greats like Mewithouyou, The Devil Wears Prada, Hillsong, The Chariot, and other talented artists of that nature. A unique mix for anyone to be compared to, their music offers a rare encompassing feeling.
“The Flood” is a perfect song to open the album with: a light sound that pours into gentle guitar riffs. The song grows gradually more intense and turns back to a steady calm only to build up again, offering a well-placed drum beat and skillful infusions of instruments. The pause of silence sets up for the intesity of “Wanderer,” which--while offering a very mellow symphony of guitars, the bass, and drums--has a hard music feel to it.
“The Breaker Anointing” may be my favorite track title, and coincidentally it just may be my favorite track. There is something so refreshing about this song. It starts with what feels a bit like a dark undertone that evaporates into a hopeful buildup. I would guess that this song could be a little overwhelming (in a good way) to play if it lends the same free feeling to the band playing it as it does for the listener.
“Ascension” genuinely made me smile upon hearing the composition. This song offers a joyful sound that can be felt and enjoyed and makes me feel as though even the most carefully crafted lyrics could never evoke the same feeling as the instrumental. The album closes with “The Writer’s Ink,” which only kind of adds to the “metalcore” feel of the album. Without being aware of the band being heard, one could almost compare the sound to that of an instrumental found on an album by any of the greats of a few different genres.
There is such a beautiful blend of heavy and light throughout this album. It is just enough of a drive to engage the listener yet soft enough to just enjoy the ambiance. This is one of those albums I’ll be able to listen to repeatedly, no matter what I’m doing. There is something so completely honest and liberating about their music, a certain freedom that can be heard in few albums. This is a great addition for every music collection, one that showcases skill, dedication, and the glory of God.
You can check out the album on Shekinah’s Bandcamp page as well as the original The Wind Lost Its Breath And The Sea Became As Smooth As Glass. And if you're just as curious as I am about what a jam session would be like with them and what gets used on their no doubt impressive pedal boards, you should probably check them out on Facebook.