Review by: Christian Molten Metal

Promise Land was formed by David Michael back in 1997 and hails from Pittsburgh, PA. The band delivers up some hard hitting Symphonic Metal with a slight Nu Metal feel to it. One thing that stands out with this Symphonic outfit is the fact that most Symphonic Metal bands are fronted by women vocalist. However, Promise Land has decided that it is time to mix things up in the traditional Symphonic Vocalist position as they are fronted by a male Vocalist.

Promise Land released a demo in 2005 that reflected a direction towards the Symphonic Metal genre and included four tracks 1. Shock & Awe, 2. Life?, 3. Christ in Us, and 4. Secret of Life . The band quickly grew a national and international fan-base while growing support locally by their live performances in gigs and festivals like Cornerstone. The band was even selected in the Top 10 International Kingdom Bound talent search.
In Late 2010/early 2011, Promise Land released a new single called “Hiding Place” reflecting their addition of a second vocalist. This song is based on the true story of Corrie tenBoom, a modern day hero of faith, based on her and her familie’s actions during WWII, specifically in hiding the Jews and as a result, facing imprisonment. The reviews on Hiding Place were overwhelmingly positive and ignited a lot of anticipation for the new album, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Three years in the making, Promise Land’s highly anticipated full-length album, Harmony In Ruins, was released on Aug 5, 2014 and has proven to be Promise Land’s best work to date. Promise Land’s Harmony In Ruins is a mix of cinematic-orchestral melodies multi-layered with heavy guitar grooves that immediately captures the listener’s attention. If you didn’t know that Harmony In Ruins was the bands first Full-length debut release, you would probably think that this was their second or third album due to crisp and clear production. Yes, Promise Land has made their presence known here with this fine debut release.

Promise Land has made their presence known here with this fine debut release


Rod Kozikowski is the lead vocalist for the band and I must say that his style of delivery is a little different than we are use to in the Metal realm with it being more of a crossover of Metal and Hard Rock. The best way to describe his voice is a cross between Eli Prinson(Sacred Warrior) and John Cooper(Skillet). However, on the tune “Her Name”, we find Rod sounding straight up like Eli Prinson. Rod Kozikowski seems to be more comfortable in the mid-range with his vocal register and does a good job for this Pittsburgh based band. Additional lead vocals are performed by David Michael who is our second lead Vocalist playing a more minor role in the lead Vocal duties but does a good job as the two Vocalists complement each other well.
Guitars are handled by both David Michael and Rod Kozikowski with David on lead Guitars and Rod on Rhythm Guitars. The Guitars are given equal respect as the symphonic Orchestral arrangements with all mixing well together. Some of the lead guitar work reminds me of bands from the 80’s like Guns N’ Roses with the riffs being very well executed.
David Michael is very busy in this band who also manages the Keyboards for PL and plays a large part in the bands Symphonic genre placement David has done a fine job composing his orchestral arrangements which sound as though there is an actual symphony orchestra behind the band.
Eric Bowser is our drum pounder and he does a nice job behind the kit keeping time for the band.
I was doing some glassing for new bands on the site for Metal Pulse Radio when I came across the interview with Promise Land and so I gave it a listen and for the first time I was able to hear the sold out lyrics in the band’s songs. To be honest, It wasn’t the cool Symphonic Metal sound that the band has or the over the top production that got my attention here because the christian Metal realm has plenty of bands with those attributes. No, it was the Christ centered lyrics that stood out to me making this band a true Molten Metal band. The following are some of their lyrics off this 2014 release:

“Holy”
Verse 1
Can a man claim presence at the earth’s formation when the cornerstone was laid?
Who commands the storms or the rage of the seas?
Who commands the sun’s light to turn to night?

Bridge
Oh what can compare to Your holiness, Oh Lord?
(I’m dying in this darkness! )
Please God deliver me.

Chorus
I am a broken man, Oh Lord.
I have fallen to my knees.
In Your holiness, I surrender it all to You, my King.

Verse 2
Who can change God’s will or condemn Almighty to justify their ways?
Whose voice can thunder or tread down the wicked?
Who can clothe in glory and save their soul?

(Bridge)

(Chorus)

Ending
You are Holy, Holy, Holy. (My Lord, My God!)
We lift Your name on high.
We praise Your holiness.
Majestic and Glorious!
Let everything the breathes on earth exalt the great ‘I AM’.
For He is worthy of our praise!

You are Holy, Holy (Holy!) – Holy, Holy (You are!)
Holy (My Lord, my God!)
You are Holy (Holy!) – Holy (Holy!) – Holy
(He is worthy of our praise!)
You are Holy, Holy (Holy!) – Holy Holy (You are!)
Holy (My Lord, my God!)
You are Holy (Holy) – Holy (Holy) – Holy

“C.I.U.”
Intro:
In this room – The flag within my hand.
All that is has been taken from this man. (Oh Lord) Could he know the truth? (Did he know?) Is there a way?
(Did he see?) Did Your light come through? (From my life untold)
(All these years) So many years the truth I have known.
Yet I never shared and now he’s gone.

Verse 1
There we are as if it was yesterday.
Side by side, honors bestowed, for serving the, “Thin Blue Line”.
Through all this time and protected lives, we come to appreciate (oh) —
What life could give each day we live.
But I never would have thought it would come down to this – And Now!

Chorus:
I should share Your light in my life.
Who Was, Who Is and Who is yet to come.
Your Truth – Your Love – Let it shine through me.
I’ll share the hope, Oh Jesus, that’s found in You.

Verse 2:
That day so clear – They were pulled to the side for their crime.
Two in the ‘Focus’ while approaching the door,
I could sense there’s been alcohol.
Back of the car, judging one’s balance, I didn’t see the gun drawn.
Oh I’m pushed to the ground, my partner’s been taken down!
I just can’t believe he took the bullet for me! And Now!

(Chorus)

Ending/Vocal Counterpart:
(Vocal 1)
Take every chance – To share Jesus Christ, God’s only Son.
(Vocal 2)

In an age with morals forsaken, do we hide and let Christ be taken, from the world that we see? Can we measure the time life ends here?
Holy Salvation or Damnation? Share the Truth that sets us free.
(Vocal 3)

Testify of Jesus to everyone.
Christ In Us is all that they’ll see. (Christ in Us – Christ in Us)
(Vocals 4)

Testify!

There are some very diverse tunes with interesting themes that cause them to stand out on this album like the tune “Before The Dawn”which speaks against suicide. Then there’s the tune “C.I.U.” which means “Christ In Us” and places an importance on reaching out to others and sharing the truth of Christ with all. Then there’s the tune “The Piper Illusion” being an illusion to Satan(Piper) who is a lion that is seeking whom he might kill and destroy by his deceptive lies. And there’s the tune “Her Name” which draws awareness to the problem of sex trafficking. We also have the track “Holy” which is a great Metal Praise and Worship song. Finally, there’s the track “Hiding Place” which tells the story of Corrie ten Boom who was a Dutch Christian and her and her families bravery in hiding other Jews and helping them to escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II.

I believe you will love Promise Land so do yourself a favor and pick up this debut release


On future releases I would like to suggest to the band to refrain from putting any talked out actor parts or police dispatch radios on the album because it takes away from the music and adds an element of ” Pop culture cheese” to the overall listening experience. I believe that the songs are strong enough to stand on their own without the actor parts.
Promise Land has offered up a strong debut release so if you love Symphonic Metal with its epic sound and orchestrations then I believe you will love Promise Land so do yourself a favor and pick up this debut release.

Musicians:
Rod Kozikowski-Lead Vocals and Rhythm Guitar
David Michael-Lead Guitar,Bass, Keyboards,Vocals
Eric Bowser-Drums

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