Risen: Songs that celebrate the epic film – Review

Photo: Hallels

Music review by Luchae Williams

As we near Easter I am pleased to find an array of Christian-themed films being released internationally. One, in particular, titled ‘Risen‘, caught my attention and I made sure I was in the ticket line on the day of it’s SA release, March 18th 2016.  The movie, which is focused around the 3 days after Jesus was crucified, is told through the eyes of a non-believing Roman Military Tribune who is ordered (by his very resolute boss, Pontius Pilate) to locate the body of Yeshua, after it had disappeared from the tomb. Concerned with the possible uprising that would occur in Jerusalem at the proof of a risen Messiah, the pair pull out all the stops in order to disprove that Yeshua had in fact risen from the grave.

The film has a brilliant music score, which I really enjoyed, but was I pleasantly surprised to find that Word Entertainment had decided to release another album in celebration of the movie. The album ‘Risen: Songs that celebrate the epic film‘ features some of the biggest names in Christian music such as Paul Baloche, Meredith Andrews and Big Daddy Weave.

The album is opened with Love and The Outcome’s 2013 hit ‘He is with us‘. Taken from the bands self-titled, debut album, this catchy track reminds us of the full extent of God’s love and faithfulness in our lives, with a chorus that says: “We can trust our God,/He knows what He’s doing/…and He’s never gonna leave…”

Headed by ex-Newsboys, Phil Joel, Zealand Worship adds a fitting modern worship track to the collection with their offering, “Savior.” This song has an anthemic, electric guitar feel and laudes Jesus Christ as our savior – “You are now and forever!”

Big Daddy Weave adds a moving ballad with track ‘Save my life‘, a piano-driven piece featuring really beautiful vocals and a message that speaks about needing the Lord desperately. I was also thoroughly impressed with For King and Country’s powerful track ‘It matters‘. The chorus especially stood out for me, sung as a declaration, really driving the message home.

Other songs on the album that moved me include Francesca Battistelli’s ‘Tonight‘ which is a prayer to God for direction and peace and Meredith Andrew’s newest song, ‘Impossible‘. The track speaks about a God that never fails us. 

Newbie rock band, Veridia, brings something different to the album with their offer ‘Mystery of the invisible.’ The lead singer’s compelling vocals comes across as, both seasoned, and fresh somehow, adding layer upon layer to the thought provoking lyric that speaks about God’s presence being everywhere. This is definitely one to listen out for!

My favorite moment on this EP has to be the poetic ‘Find rest‘ so beautifully delivered by singer, Dara Mclean. With lyric that is best described as vulnerable and vocal that is filled with emotion and passion, I found this ballade to be the pick of the bunch.

This is the perfect compilation to have in your earphones this Easter — whether you’re a fan of the movie or not. I loved the fresh mix of singers and song genres and have discovered artists that I wouldn’t ordinarily be listening to. All in all a great album!

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