“Disease” is Blue Fire Horizon’s debut full-length album. Consisting of twelve songs, this album hits hard from start to finish.
The message of this album is an important one. Sin is a disease that is ravaging the world. It runs rampant both outside and within the walls of the Church. No matter how deep the disease goes, however, there is a cure: Jesus.
The track list starts off with Cannibals, a high-energy lament against Christians who seem to eat one another alive over trivial differences, thus wounding the body of Christ. The next few songs dig even deeper into the sins of the Church. Prosperity (a heavier reimagining of the song as previously heard on their “Down With Leviathan” EP) and “Progress” (feat Christian Roche of Diamonds to Dust and Chris Johnson of Hard Look) addresses the destructive ways in which some Christians twist scriptures. On My Own focuses on the struggle of Christians who feel alone as they wrestle with pornography addiction, a topic often avoided as taboo. Finally, this section culminates with Condemnation, which addresses the hypocrisy of Christians who look down on others struggling with the very same things they do.
The next three songs, “Crowns,” “Graveyard of Hope” (feat. Jacob Towns), and “Where Agony Ends,” will be familiar to fans who have already heard them as singles. Each of them, however, has been remastered for the album. “Graveyard of Hope” and “Where Agony Ends” both focus on the struggles of mental health and all the darkness that come with them. Each of them ends with the promise of healing from suffering. “Fading Memory” and “The Hollow” (also previously released as a single) address the pain of the human condition.
As the album begins coming to a close, “East to West” (a cover of Casting Crowns’ song) reminds the listener that no matter how deep or wide their pain and suffering with the disease of sin, Jesus has provided the cure. Finally, in the title track, “Disease,” the album culminates in its lament against this sickness before ending with the words from Luke 15, “There is more rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who repents….” Despite the undeniably heavy subject matter of Disease, it also carries a beautiful promise of the Gospel message that Christ’s love is greater than our sin.
Fans of BFH’s earlier work will be pleased to notice that their sound is becoming even heavier. They start right out the gate with “Cannibals,” followed by a heavier reimagining of “Prosperity.” Blue Fire Horizon builds on its existing style while adding new elements as well. In “The Hollow” and “Fading Memory,” Zechariah stretches his vocal range for an even heavier sound. The instruments dig even deeper throughout this album than their previous music. As well they even get softer in some spots. “Crowns” begins with melodic, clean vocals before shifting into a heavy, climactic final verse. “East to West” introduces perhaps the softest side of BFH we have seen so far before building back up to the epic sound they are known for. In “Condemnation,” we see perhaps the greatest mix of soft and heavy as Hunter, the band’s guitarist hops in with some clean vocals opposite Zachariah’s guttural screams.
There were a couple of low points for me. Though I appreciated the harsher, reimagined edition of Prosperity, it didn’t seem to me to have the same level of energy as the original. Also, some of the guitar work in “East To West” felt slightly off-kilter. Other than these minor issues, however, this album lives up to the hype. The years of hard work that went into this certainly shows in the final product. This is definitely a fantastic first album. Blue Fire Horizon delivers high-quality Deathcore that Christian metalheads are sure to love! Overall, I give this album 4/5 Hunters trying to play guitar in the mosh pit.
Favorite tracks: Crowns and Condemnation