Welcome to a special post. In fact, this could be the biggest album review I’ve ever written. To begin this incredibly difficult review, I want to talk about the issue of the music industry today. These days we’re so focused on singles, pop hits, and the top forty that we forget everything that comes around it. Today it’s singles, E.P’s or albums that are only meant to carry that single. Rarely does an album demand to be listened to from front to back. And with the rise of itunes and other digital outlets, buying full albums is just an inconvenience when you can just buy the song you hear on the radio. It’s safe and risk free. The Violet Burning are pretty much against that way of music production. To begin the review on a high, hard hitting note, this could be one of the greatest albums I have ever heard.
As you may have noticed, this album bares a fairly long title. The reason for this title is astounding, because apart from a few secular artists, this type of album has never been seen in the Christian industry. The three titles after the main title represents three separate albums. Yes, this is a three piece album, with a total of thiry-four songs. And to answer your other question, this is not a collection of the Violet’s other albums put into a set for the new fan, this is one album. One story. Each part released on the same day.
As a writer, this album hit me where my passion sits. Again, contrary to the modern music industry, this is a concept album meant to be listened to in one sitting, and that’s pretty hard when it clocks in at two hours and twenty minutes. But it demands it, and rewards it.
The Story of Our Lives is just that, a story, anyone’s story. It begins with the heaviest of the three, the Fantastic Machine, and right off the bat we’re hit with a beautiful piano and strings, and then the next song builds to a hard rocking crescendo. The story begins with our protagonist searching, looking for an answer. He sees the materialism and is haunted by “big brother” beautifully sung in the two “brother” songs. They talk about the state of the world’s obsession for possessions, and how it will only lead to emptiness and loneliness. In the end our protagonist chooses death.
This is where the second part, Black as Death, comes in. This is some of the darkest on the album. It explores the problems, difficulties and fears of death all face. But in the end, our protagonist realizes he needs God. He needs a savior.
That’s where part three comes in, Liebe uber Allies, (Greek for love above all else) the softest set of songs on the record. The protagonist comes out of the darkness, and into the light. This set of songs is my personal favourite, and each and every song gives me chills. The album ends on the highest note of them all, “Made for You.” An epic worship song, and one of the best I’ve ever heard as our protagonist surrenders all to God.
I’ve given you the basic plot line, now you have to go and experience it for yourself.
Musically, it can get heavy. It’s classic rock’n’roll at its finest, and we sometimes get to hear Michael Pritzl bash out some incredible screams. Unfortunately for some, his voice can either be irritating, or amazing. I’m in the latter. But without a doubt, his soft vocals carry beauty the likes of which I haven’t heard in a long time. It’s perfect.
Some can buy this album so nonchalantly, but it does not deserve that. It’s an absolute masterpiece from beginning to end. Art. The way music should be.
Overall, to end this review, I want to ask a question and make a special announcement. First, if you could choose one album from your collection, what would that be? Before, I would answer with an, “It’s impossible.” Now, I can honestly pick this. Like I said before, this is without a doubt, THE best album I have ever heard. And for that, it deserves a special rating. One rating that can only go to one album. Five stars won’t cut it, because there are multiple five star albums in my collection. For me, this is in the next level: Six stars. Seven years in the making. The one album I can finally call my favourite. The one album I’ve been looking for my entire life. The Story of Our Lives.
And like always, the best music is usually free. The Violet Burning have put the whole album for free download on their website. Here’s the link, and please, please listen to this album. It will bless your life. The Violet Burning: Story of Our Lives.