Finally Awake, the third project from ministry-oriented rockers Seventh Day Slumber continues their expected sound while showing the expected maturation as a band. Newest band member Ray Fryoux on drums joins Joshua Schwartz on bass to lay down strong rhythms throughout the project. While lead vocalist Joseph Rojas carries the songs with his ideal rock voice, Jeremy Holderfield supplements his lead guitar duties with some Underoath-style growling on "Last Regret."
Veteran producer Paul Ebersold (Skillet, Third Day, Saliva) crafted an energetic disc that includes thoughtful mellow moments like "Breaking Away" and "Missing Pages" for a change of pace. The latter is the first single, reminiscent of prior ballads from SDS, conveying an unmistakeable message:
Your addiction is the symptom of a lost and dying soul / Without Jesus there's no hope at all
Seventh Day Slumber doesn't pull punches. After living his own life of addiction, despair and prison, Rojas constantly returns to the themes of fall and restoration. The first two albums are fittingly called Picking Up The Pieces and Once Upon a Shattered Life. That motif continues with songs like "Broken Buildings":
What did You see in me? You found beauty in these broken buildings
The most moving song concludes the album as Rojas laments in "Every Saturday":
I'm barely hanging on with all these empty feelings / I'm hurting in so many ways / Though I can't begin to understand the reason / I still believe that You're God
Seventh Day Slumber's Finally Awake is for fans of bands like Kutless, Creed and Day of Fire. If you get the chance to see them on tour, you'll be impressed by the music and blessed by the ministry.