Rival Choir – I Believe, Help My Unbelief

This is the only way I know how to feel, so I stay put to keep these stories real.
I know there’s been truth in the things I’ve sought. And I’ve screamed transparency, but I’m all talk.

2. 5. 16

Rival Choir is a melodic post-hardcore band created out of the band Mouth of the South. Mouth of the South’s was considered more progressive metalcore, which is a far cry from their current sound. Rival Choir is upbeat and melodic, straying from the prominent chugging and breakdowns of Mouth of the South’s. Although this is Rival Choir’s (Mouth of the South’s) third full-length release, I will be considering it a debut with the view of Rival Choir as a new band with their new sound. I Believe, Help My Unbelief is around 95% screaming and 5% singing. Excluding the majority of the song Sojourn, the first half of Quiet Life, and parts of Help My Unbelief, the album is fast paced with scattered breaths. The first track, Poured Out, is a great example of the intense sprint the record is running while the lyric content of album parallels the tempo of the music. The majority of lyrics are filled with self-doubt, shame, and anxiety, as vocalist Josiah Lyle’s mind seems to be running, chasing answers and peace before it is too late. For instance, when Quiet Life transitions midway through from peace into chaos, he screams, I am the barricade standing in my own way. I am the end of the path getting caught in my trap. I am the fake. I am the fiend. I am the king of false humility. Have I been cut off? Is this all undone? Have I gone too far to find my way back home? Are the lights turned off? Would guide me back? And if I make it alive will there be anything left? 

Lyrics are a main focus of this album, and I would argue that all of the instruments play a back seat to Lyle’s voice and the words he belts. This is not to diminish the band musically, as this is an amazing instrumental work of art. But I believe a large aspect of the band’s purpose is to stretch past the music and have an impact which reaches further than the notes they play. In the closing track, Help My Belief, Lyle fittingly closes out the record screaming, I can see I will fall on my own. I believe, I will follow you home. Lead me into the waves so I can see you standing over them. I want to feel the oceans tremble. I want to fall in love again. I Believe, Help My Unbelief is honest, raw, and vulnerable, filled with fear but also overflowing with hope that overcomes the guilt and shame of failure and feelings of inadequacy. And inadequate is one thing this album is not. 

5-stars

For Fans Of: Underoath, Silent Planet, Beartooth
Favorite Songs: Empty Words, Reveal Renew, Poured Out, Help My Unbelief
Top 10 Potential: Yes
Album Cover: 9/10

Click Here to Give Rival Choir a Listen

What are your thoughts on the album? Love it? Hate it? Indifferent? I’d love to hear what you are thinking. Was there another album released this Friday or just in general you want to recommend to myself and others to listen to? Feel free to post any thoughts or recommendations below!

Other Notable Releases
Anchor & Braille – Songs for the Late Night Drive Home
Porches – Pool
DIIV – Is The Is Are
Hey Marseilles – Hey Marseilles

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