Christian Metal is a marginalised genre at the best of times. Is it all a marketing ploy? Hardcore is a good medium for faith-based metal. It’s easy to convey the passion you have, and they have that in spades, but recent claims from As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis that “maybe one in ten Christian bands” are genuine have not done the scene any favours. Sleeping Giant seem to mean it though. Finished People (Century Media) is the fourth album from the trio (Tom Green – Vocals, Geoff Brouillette – Guitar, Matt Weir – Drums).
Opener ‘Clutches’ builds from a slow start to a high octane crusher; Green doesn’t take long to start singing about spreading Christian love, but his vocal range is impressive nonetheless and he maintains a positive vibe throughout. Repeated breakdowns are to be expected and are delivered on a regular basis and as is often the case, their constant appearances can become fatiguing. But there are also melodic passages on the likes of ‘Overthrow’ or ‘Finished People’ reminiscent of Jamey Jasta’s solo album as well as thrashy elements on ‘Death Knell’ and ‘Brother’s Keeper.’
Overall there’s a good balance between the usual hardcore genre expectations and melody, but there’s plenty of bite in their sound. ‘Son of God, Son of Man’ is a highlight, as are ‘Christus Victor’ and ‘Victory.’ However there are plenty of overly generic, anonymous moments where it’s mostly shouting and breakdowns. The only outright bad song is ‘Violence’; an overblown and pretentious spoken word passage.
Whether they “mean it” or not, Sleeping Giant have made a respectable album full of energy and zeal with a positive message. They’ve also made an album lacking any new ideas and occasionally straying into pretentiousness or generic breakdowns. There a lot worse albums out there, but it’s a decent effort.