Deliverance formed as a speed/thrash metal band in 1985. It was not until 1989 that they put out their self-titled debut. The next year they released the highly lauded WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE. Over the years the band turned musically more towards progressive metal and heavy metal. When they released ASSIMILATION (2001, Indie Dream Records) it had been six long years since their last album! On this project Deliverance is Jimmy P. Brown II (all vocals, rhythm and lead guitar, keyboards), Manny Morales (the five string bass), and David Gilbreath (keyboards and programming). A couple additional musicians were also used. Of this album group leader Jimmy Brown looks back and says: “I think out of the nine or ten songs there were two good ones. I am really not sure since I haven’t heard this album since it was put out in 2001. I just really have no interest in listening to it. I don’t listen to too much of my own material to be honest, but out of all records, that one is in the ‘If I must’ category.” The album credits show that at the time Deliverance supported The Church of Yahweh, and dedicated the album to the late, great Gene Eugene.
‘The Limitless Light’ starts things off. It is one of seven songs penned solely by Brown. The words remind us that the Church is not the be all and end all: “YHWH’s truth again revealed to the poor/The air carries the mystery of You/The answers I didn’t find in the pews/Through Your Name I found redemptive plan/The holiness forms the body of man/Come take me to where You dwell/Even through the fires of hell/I know You will.” ‘From the Beginning’, co-written with Manny Morales, speaks of God’s powerful saving grace: “Beguiled by the snake, man lost his sight/There was no one left to blame/The veil was raised and the cord now severed/The beauty now became their shame…/The Ani looked and saw that it was good/Perfection embodied and His plan understood/Sacrifice to save mankind from themselves/Brought back to YHWH to rid them from this hell.” Please note that Ani is Hebrew for ‘I AM’.
The title cut ‘Assimilation’, penned with David Gilbreath, seems to speak of the dangers of our over-stimulated, technologically driven society: “Screaming in digital, the movement so vast/Feeding the night never meant to last/Writhing in ecstasy, sequential overload/Shuffle of darkness just outside the know/Mutation will finally take its course/When the drive’s path returns to its course/Blurred vision, correction of the filtered stream/The wiping of data by the program seen.” ‘The Circle’ references Judas Iscariot: “Living in the night, not wanting so the light of day/Only fooling yourself, ignoring the only way/How much does it take for a man to feel rich?/Is a bag of silver enough to betray me with a kiss?/The wandering fool searches for his pot of gold/He doesn’t know what is bid upon has already been sold.”
‘Sell Your Soul’, one of my favorites, offers hope to the abused and downtrodden: “You don’t have to sell your soul/And give up all that you are/Condemned to conform/The mind and the thoughts of this world have raped your heart/You don’t have to sell your soul/And give up all that you’ll be/Better to die awake than to live asleep/Take His hand and feel pain no more/Be who you will be, even living among the thorns.” ‘The Search’ gets scientific: “Far from this land of dismay/Is where I want to be/Take me to the reaches of the mind/Let my eyes again see…/Wise men still seek to find the truth in us/But they use the Hubble to discover/What their feet have already crushed.”
‘The Learned Man’ reminds us that if we seek God we will find Him and that He is true Knowledge: “Quiet now, a recluse who questions being/Why and where do we belong?/What aren’t my eyes seeing?../To catch a glimpse of the Saviour/Through this multi-coloured smear/Wipe away the tears/The learned man.” ‘Between 2 Worlds’ speaks of how God is the true driving force of life as we know it: “Split my brain, how could this be?/The central theme of life brought by this seed/Let me see cerulean skies chase the rain/The tale of sinful thought ride the course of the bane/Raise the bar once again, challenge my soul/The limitless light ignites the coals/Real, I ask for real/I heard one say/The hands of YHWH form the clay/Between two worlds.”
Brown wrote ‘Impressions’ with his beloved wife Helen. This song points to true religion as described in the Word, as something we should practice: “Can I love my neighbor as myself?/The cry to Adonai as always to change me/Don’t let my stare become a fearful glare/When I see their humanity, will it change the scenery?../Or does the prejudicial eye leave none to tell?../Can I love my neighbor?” A song of total surrender to Christ, ‘Save Me From…’, closes the album: “A searching soul in search for a sign/My journey began before I was born…/I hear the rainfall, see it through my eyes/Cleave to the truth, let go of the lies/My will to be, I will be, centered Messiah inside of me/To live to breathe, sacrifice myself/Save me from myself, touch me, make me, love me.”
ASSIMILATION is not the type of metal where the vocals are screamed and unintelligible. The vocals here are sometimes sung, and sometimes almost spoken. The lyrics are written in a way that will make you think. They aren’t right in your face. In his thanks Brown writes: “And to my truest of all my inspiration, nothing I can do or say can reflect or describe what You mean to me. You are the Breath I breathe, the Bread I eat, the Warmth I feel. In You I have found my healing, my mending, my restoration, my life. Let me flow from You to this world…YHWH and His Son YHSWH.” Fans of the musical stylings of David Bowie, Tourniquet, Passafist, Skillet, and latter-era Steve Taylor should buy this album. I’m rating it 84%. For more info visit www.deliverancerocks.com.