Review Rating: Must Listen (4.5 / 5)
It all started as a quaint worship gathering in a small house, but over the years, Iron Bell Music has developed into a warm and welcoming worship experience. Now hosting gatherings in the Iron Bell barn in Louisville, the Kentucky-based band is set to release their Essential Worship debut record, God That Saves. It's a worship experience that stands out amongst the rest, a small and open collection voices loudly and joyfully worshipping the savior. God That Saves takes the best parts of that experience and beautifully presents them in an encouraging and sincere album that's well worth listening.
The collection opens with the title track. Opening with acoustic guitar, slight percussion, and the sounds of hundreds of voices, Iron Bell sets a tone of closeness and sincerity. As the song develops, its lyrics sing of the rescue and freedom given by Jesus Christ. This track is a beautiful opener to the album and, in many ways, sets itself apart from many live worship recordings with refreshing originality and openness.
Further along in the album is the calm "Fall Away." The song serves as a sort of worship invitation, with a focus on letting go of the world. Piano notes mask guitar chords, supplying a foundation for the countless voices singing along. Its lyrics convey a desire for God's presence, so much so that everything else contrary would fall away. The sound builds to the chorus with a simple yet gratifying crescendo, flowing beautifully with lyrics of surrender.
Many of the album's songs are gentler and more contemplative, such as "Belong To You" and "Faithfulness." However, Iron Bell leads an energetic and joyful celebration with "Free In You," towards the close of the album. The upbeat western tone is set as the guitar and drums are accompanied by banjo, some cowbell, and, naturally, an entire chorus of celebrating believers. Considering the entire album was recorded live in the Iron Bell barn, their main worship center, the atmosphere feels inviting and fitting. As per the title, the song celebrates the freedom Christ has given - even in a recording, that joy and excitement feel just as strong as the live experience.
God That Saves is, quite frankly, a unique worship album. The listening experience feels more tangible, more analog, than many worship albums which simply record catchy sounds and comfortable lyrics in a stadium. If anything, it is very easy for listeners to imagine themselves in the very barn where Iron Bell Music leads - the album emphasizes intimacy and sincerity. The voices of worshipping believers, perfectly accompanying every lyric, help describe a moment where being still and knowing God fully hits home. Quite simply, Iron Bell Music's newest album is fantastic. It's a unique and refreshing worship experience, artistically recorded and arranged. Each song brings beautiful melodies and sincere lyrics to the table, with a sense of genuine sincerity and honesty weaved through and through.