Band/Artist: XIII Minutes
Release House: Rottweiler Records
One Sentence Synopsis: The long-awaited debut album.
Release Date: 4-5-2019
Running Time: 47 Min
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Reviewed by: Reverend Leviathan
Final Score: 4.0 Moons (Out of 5.0)
The number thirteen conjures up several images depending on who is observing it. Every thirteen minutes, one American will take their own life. Every thirteen minutes, someone in America dies in a motor vehicle accident. Every thirteen minutes, a woman dies of breast cancer and thirteen minutes is the time the warning sirens give before a tornado hits.
Forming in 2016 and hailing from Tulsa, OK, XIII Minutes takes on the significance of thirteen in the spiritual realm. XIII Minutes is the time it takes every day to be spiritually fit. Thirteen is the number of great blessing. The number thirteen is the number of new life. God’s number (seven) together with man’s number (six) = Thirteen. The number thirteen is the difference of what man can do and what God can do. Their debut album Obsessed tackles the dark images and the light.
My attention was caught with the first track, “Sibling Rivalry.” The brutality and harmony both hit really hard with the emotional turmoil, in a song about the most famous sibling rivalry in history; that of Cain and Abel. Musically I can hear what sounds like a very strong Demon Hunter influence throughout the album, but especially in the opener.
The brutal nature runs through the album, stronger in some songs than others. And it’s as if all the aggression has been released by the end of the album with the final song, “Reckless Love.” Nothing but harmony and beauty expressed in this song where Michael Rowley sings his heart out about the overwhelming love of God upon man despite his sinful nature.
I honestly didn’t think I was going to like this album, as I’m extremely picky when it comes to metal, let alone metal with Christian overtones. So I went into this with a lot of reservations and I was blown away. “Sibling Rivalry” was a great song to open the album with, as it gives their listeners a taste of everything they’re gonna get: brutality, harmony, and good solid riffs. “Fragile” is probably my favorite song. I really like the way the guitar sounds in that song, and the breakdown has an awesome groove to it. The bass in “Self-Portrait” really sticks out to me as a good driving force in the song. There’s a lot of really good vocal harmonization throughout, especially in “Blue Flame.” And then probably one of the more tame songs, “Out of Time” gives the listener some beautiful female vocals, piano, and a nice electronic melody. The mixing and mastering on this was done very well.
This album didn’t really appeal to my Gothic nature, although some of the lyrics are pretty Goth appropriate (“Left alone in the darkness,” “My passion for the grave is endless”). The cover art also has a very Gothic feel to it. However, this appealed more to the metal and spiritual side of me than anything else.
XIII Minutes has made it into my list of Actually Good Christian-based Metal Bands, and Obsessed is an amazing, emotionally-driven mix of brutality, harmony and spirituality that will please metal fans everywhere.
Theme: 4.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Presentation: 5.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Gothic Fit: 2.5 Moons (out of 5.0)
Final Score (not an average): 4.0 Moons (out of 5.0)