Review Rating: Add It To My Playlist! [4.5 / 5]
This Friday, Kutless, a band well-known for their signature rock and worship music blend, is set to release their latest album, ALPHA / OMEGA. This Portland, Oregon-based group has previously released nine studio records, featuring twelve No. 1 radio singles, such as “Strong Tower” and “What Faith Can Do.” With ALPHA / OMEGA, Kutless provides a mix of both original and cover tracks, staying true to their core mission and sound, which has clearly resonated with fans since the group’s start. In the early 2000’s, the band’s self-titled album went on to become the fastest-selling debut in their label's history, while their album in 2012 found its place at No. 1 on both the Billboard Christian and Gospel Chart, as well as on the iTunes Christian Albums chart.
“We know that Kutless has a powerful platform that can be used to share the Gospel and impact peoples' lives,” explains band frontman Jon Micah Sumrall. “While we want everyone to hear and respond to the Gospel, we have been focusing our efforts on reaching the Millennial generation, which statistically has become one of the most secularized and difficult generations to reach in recent history. Over the past few years we have been hosting free, large scale outreach events where we have seen thousands of young people make decisions for Christ.”
Millennial or not, all generations of believers have related to the sounds and messages of Kutless, and that precedent holds true with ALPHA / OMEGA. The album opens with “Your Great Name,” a classic worship song that is well-known to many for instilling an attitude of praise, strength, and comfort. The band transforms this song with a surge of passion, power, and confident praise. While it has the band’s signature rock sound, it is also inviting and easily received by those who may not usually seek out rock music. Similarly, Kutless brings their rock twist to a few other classic worship songs, such as “Cornerstone” and “Great Are You Lord.” In the former, Kutless puts a spin on the rhythmic background heard during the chorus, and in the latter, we hear that rock influence with the guitar accompaniment that underscores the verse.
In contrast, “Strong Tower” is a Kutless original, known for being a strong, powerful anthem. The version featured on this album still conveys this power but in a more contemporary, refined way. While the chorus holds some of the exclamation and instrumentation we associate with the original recording, this track strips down and simplifies the verses, relaying a more raw interpretation of the song and showcasing the lead vocals.
Kutless brings forth a new, original song with “Shepherd Of My Soul.” The Biblical inspiration for this track is apparent, as it evokes the teaching that God is the shepherd, we are the sheep, and he will keep us safe in the valley and lead us home. This track has an inviting, contemporary sound laced together with moments of rock feel and instrumentation as well as times of simpler, vocal-driven worship.
ALPHA / OMEGA is a versatile album in that it is able to present classic and meaningful worship in catchy, accessible ways to new or non-believers, while also providing great new interpretations and experiences for those who know these anthems by heart. Kutless also continues to achieve their mission of blending worship music and rock music into a cohesive experience. All of the tracks incorporate their signature rock feel, seamlessly blended together with worship. Whether you’re new or old to the Christian music scene, you’ll want to enjoy what Kutless has put together in ALPHA / OMEGA.