Fury. Aggression. Sadness. Some of the many attributes you would normally associate with one’s losing faith in their religion. One could only assume that would typically be a harrowing experience. Something that would send the individual (or group) reeling in a whirlwind of loss and confusion, and possibly not knowing where to turn next. Luckily for them (and the listening public) the exact happened to Gideon when they begun to question which path they should be following. Between wondering why friends around them would, according to their religion, burn in the fiery pits regardless of being a great and kind people simply due to not having the same faith, and seeing corruption in their hometown churches they started to wonder if their faith was possibly unfounded. This questioning and thought process resulted in Out of Control. Twelve ballistic, rage fueled anthems all aimed at those who have turned their backs on the group, songs meant to answer the questions of why they left a part of their faith behind, and points of aggression on the view of the world today. A good example of the group themselves singing to these points comes on “SLEEP”. This all resulted in a heavy directional change of their overall sound. They haven’t denied their metallic hardcore roots. They just tossed a few more musical grenades into the mix to stir things up a bit.
I won’t lie or mince words. The flow of the album is slightly confusing. On one side it was interesting to hear some of the stylistic choices the group had made to vary up their overall sound. There are elements of nu metal (case in point “2 CLOSE (feat. Drew York)”, and “LIFE WITHOUT, SLEEP”), trashy metalcore (out of control), beatdown (“BITE DOWN”…fitting, no?), and of course their hardened roots of hardcore (“TAKE ME”, “SOUTHWIND”), etc. All songs have their merits, but the album does become slightly hard to follow straight through due to being a touch all over the map genre wise. The album is best listened to on shuffle, because the chances then are it might line up in a way that makes a bit more sense. When taking the time to honestly hear each song on its own, its actually easy listening…in a sense. There wasn’t a song that I didn’t enjoy in some way or another. Any listener could tell that Gideon created each and every element on purpose and they truly do work in that light, which aids to each song’s individual flow.
Longevity is another slightly funny thing to think about when it comes to Out of Control. In my opinion it will be solely based on the reaction of the fans. The fact that the group has chosen to set aside their faith has already created quite the uproar with the Christian community. This can be plainly seen by anyone who simply looks at the comment section on any Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter post from Gideon. But it’s safe to say that many from that same community choose to not let that dictate what they feel is good and interesting music. This change of heart from the southern boys will also receive notice from many of those who are against religion…perhaps fans for the wrong reasons, but fans, nonetheless. Then of course there are those who will either like, love, or hate simply based on the music alone. Which brings me back to my original point. The possibility of longevity will be according to what fans think overall upon release day. Songs like the initial single “Take Me”, should help to placate this album in your library for years to come though. This brings elements from both their original hardcore sound with even touches of progressive in the choruses. This is the type of music that Gideon excels at and as a whole there’s no shortage of that on Out of Control.
Sadly when it comes to originality I do have my personal opinion, and it isn’t an entirely favorable one. I wouldn’t call too much of what Gideon has done on Out of Control entirely unique. I mean sure, they’ve definitely stepped out of their own realm to a degree, but unfortunately it almost seemed as if they were following a trend that has seemed to resurface over the past couple of years; nu metal. While they do manage to pull it off in their own manner, it just feels like way too many groups are churning out this resurgence as of late and it is becoming slightly stale overall. If you take it at face value though when it comes to Gideon, then luckily it is something different for them and I believe that’s what helps it to not feel too rehashed.
“TAKE ME” is from Gideon’s upcoming album Out of Control, out October 11th, 2019.
VOCALS / INSTRUMENTATION
One thing I’ve always personally liked about Gideon is Daniel McWhorter’s vocals. They’re raw and intense and fit the aggressive nature of their music regardless of the subject matter, but on Out of Control they sound more furious than ever. The fact that the group has had to deal with so much inner turmoil shows through the vehement strain you can clearly hear in McWhorter’s vocals. Rarely has he ever sounded so intensely ready to rip someone’s head off than on “DENIAL”. Although his range hasn’t changed too much, it does clearly sound as if he’s found a way to harness all of his anger and release it in a way that sounds as if he could rip your speakers to shreds.
Instrumentally the group has definitely attempted new grounds on Out of Control. With the interlude “STYLE”, they’ve created a mixture of ominous sounds and a bassline which sounds as if it could be an intro to a Korn song. In the very first few moments of “2 CLOSE (feat. Drew York)” it sounds as if they’re using the strings of the guitar to mimic the sound of the scratching on a turntable. And much like McWhorter’s vocals, the band has managed to find a way to make the overall sound as dangerously angry as they possibly could. It may not be the most technical, but damn if it ain’t heavy and groovy all at once.
“SLEEP” is from Gideon’s upcoming album Out of Control, out October 11th, 2019.
COMPOSITION / PRODUCTION
With Out of Control, Gideon has definitely taken new routes in their writing style. Both lyrically and instrumentally. This sounds almost like an entirely new group without losing the elements that made them who they were to begin with. The new tactics would have absolutely taken new approaches and that has not gone unnoticed. Songs like “BITE DOWN” have shown us that Gideon definitively have an aggressive side we haven’t heard from them before. “LOW LIFE” gives us a track that has an almost hip-hop like beat and flow to it that brings a whole new groove to the band’s repertoire. And it couldn’t have been easy for McWhorter to find new ways in which to clearly express himself on his new views and issues. If nothing else that’s definitely something the fans should appreciate about Out of Control; this is new territory for the group, and they pulled it off spectacularly.
The production luckily matches the writing. It’s crisp yet it adds a touch of sludge and helps to hit that heavy bottom that only adds to the overall enraged sound I’m sure they were going for.
Gideon has done a fantastic job in recreating themselves to fit their newfound direction and beliefs. While Out of Control may not be anything that we haven’t heard in some shape or form before, it is definitely a new chapter for Gideon. The sad fact is that so many will base their opinion solely on the case that the members have found new thoughts and beliefs, which in reality should have no dictation of whether a listener can enjoy the music or not. It IS totally understandable that you may not agree with some of the subject matter or word choice, but to shoot the group down entirely is slightly childish and ignorant. Our faith, beliefs, and thoughts should all be our own because that’s exactly what every human-being should be entitled to, and that’s exactly one of the many things Gideon hopes to express with Out of Control. They may be angry, and it may bleed through the music, but they’ve also found new resolve, and that’s to be respected. As I said before, this begins an entirely new chapter for the group and musically I think it holds an extremely bright future.