Various Artists – A Testament to Broken Walls

Various Artists
A Testament to Broken Walls

The first thing mentioned in the liner notes of this compilation is, “the main purpose of this release, like any challenging punk/hardcore record, is to engage people in a dialogue. As you might notice, there is an interesting, uncommon mix of bands on this record. You will find bands that are strongly Christian alongside bands that are fervently anti-Christian.” Further on in the notes it says, “We desire a mutual acceptance in the punk community between people of various ideologies and perspectives. This is our attempt to fan the flames of understanding; this is our testament to broken walls.” Such good setup. Seriously, no better idea for a compilation of bands. But you might as well forget about all that, because it seemingly has no further purpose beyond a paragraph in the booklet.
First of all, no information is provided on any of the bands on this disc; no biographies, no stances, no webpage links, no personal thoughts included. No lyrics are included to guide the listener through the songs, so deciphering what each band is trying to say is nearly impossible; especially since they wont stop screaming. Which bands are Christian? Which bands aren’t? If any of these bands are making a statement like the setup suggests, it’s not making it through the noise.
Unfortunately, due to this huge mistake in the planning of this compilation (which according to the booklet, took three years), no dialogue can be started; which is sad. As for the music, although the album contains big names in the world of near-metal emotional music such as 7 Angels, 7 Plagues, Mara’ akate, Circle of Dead Children, and Zao, the record reeks of conformity. It is very clear which bands are trying to be which other bands; and frankly, they all mostly sound alike. Heavy jerky technical hardcore with screamed vocals in the vein of a goblin with a headache. Songwise, nothing really stands out, not even the big names.
This could have been so good. I might even have appreciated the music contained more had I been able to understand what was being expressed by the bands involved.