It was a dark and stormy night. The arrow sliced through the dark, aiming for the Kill Shot. With a deafening crack, it struck its mark, leaving an explosion of epic rock n’ roll in its wake. Disciple’s new record Love Letter Kill Shot definitely finds its mark with searing guitar riffs, soul piercing lyrics, and crushing drum beats.
The record starts with “Cuff the Criminal,” a song about the inner struggle with the darkness in our souls. It starts quietly and mysteriously, the lyrics invoking a striking imagery, layers slowly being added until the full band hits. Up next is “Reanimate,” quite possibly one of the heaviest tracks on the record. Kevin Young’s vocals roar through the verses, imbuing a sense of passion, with Joey West’s intense drumming adding to this. After the bridge declaring that Jesus, who knew no sin, has become sin in our place, there is a blistering breakdown with djent-style guitar riffs and a time change, giving it a bit of a different feel. Lyrically, this song paints a dramatic picture of all the awful sins Jesus took upon Himself to restore us to a righteous and whole relationship with God the Father.
“Panic Room” has a slightly eerie, yet intriguing, feel to it, and features a guest appearance from Andrew Schwab of Project 86. It begins with a clip of a psychiatrist speaking with a patient about the voices she hears in her head, after which is an eruption of sound as the band enters full force. The lyrics display a sense of turmoil, and Young’s vocals almost have an edge of desperation, of one pleading with God to grasp them from the miry pit of gloom and guilt. “Play to Win” is a feel-good rock anthem that encourages the listener to persevere in running the race, striving for that crown that will last forever. We all fall down in this life, but we must keep our eye on the prize and rise up when those hard times come. And having a fist-pumping rock tune in your daily soundtrack certainly helps.
“Fire Away” expresses the heart of this record, drawing powerful symbolism from the Scriptures. God’s Word is a love letter to our hearts, yet it’s as mighty as a double-edged sword that divides soul and spirit, an arrow that pierces our hearts. It can be frightening to wave our white flag of surrender, waiting for that kill shot to speed into our soul, but it is this kind of absolute surrender that allows God to destroy our burdens and fortify our hearts with His strength.
“Misery” is a commentary of sorts on the state of the mental health issue is today’s society. There seems to be an air of wanting sympathy without taking the responsibility to fight for wellness. It’s almost comforting to be the victim, but this is just a lie. There has to be a genuine desire to get well before any real change can happen. In addition to the strong melody, there are some pretty awesome guitar riffs and solos. Josiah Prince and Andrew Stanton are at the top of their game on this record, and that is especially evident on this track.
Following this is “Chemical Wisdom,” the flip side of the same coin. On the other side of playing the victim is the tendency to overmedicate and treat each little symptom, regardless of the consequences. So many problems are much bigger than a pill can fix, and the only solution is to allow ourselves to feel, to walk through the pain, relying on God’s wisdom to guide us and make us whole.
In contrast, Disciple ends the record on a more positive note. Without all of the dark times and struggles, the light of hope and salvation wouldn’t seem so bright. The band slows things down a bit with the beautiful “Touch of Pain,” whose heartfelt lyrics remind us that our God is a God who saves. He is the breaker of our chains, and touches us with His amazing grace. The record wraps up with “Best Thing Ever,” which sings of the Light of the World who heals our hearts. It is incredibly comforting knowing that we have a Savior who can bury all the darkness in our lives if we just come to Him and ask.
Love Letter Kill Shot is an incredibly solid record from start to finish. The guys of Disciple put so much thought into crafting heartfelt lyrics. Some are encouraging, and some challenge our old ways of thinking. But it all points back to the greatest Love Letter written, the story of God’s only beloved Son becoming sin for us so we wouldn’t have to suffer the eternal consequences. Musically, the band just keeps getting better with every record produced. It is new and fresh and exciting, but at the same time, one can hear moments that are reminiscent of Disciple records past. So whether you are just discovering Disciple, or have been with them since the beginning, there is bound to be something for everyone. And a record this good is sure to stand the tests of time and reach fans for years to come.
Get Love Letter Kill Shot here