Marco Pera and Brian Boyd have been creating heavy music together since they first became friends in their youth in Florida. They played in several musical projects together before Amongst The Giants was born– a band combining elements of their musical influences with a message of inspiration and hope, resulting in an uplifting hard and heavy musical adventure. Joining Pera and Boyd to round out Amongst the Giants is drummer Blaise Rojas (of Seventh Day Slumber fame).
Their debut project, Obscene, is heavy music at its finest. The band balances the controlled screams of Brian Boyd perfectly with Marco Pera’s smooth vocals. Blaise Rojas is an absolute animal on drums, providing the backbone on which to build a hard rock outfit. Pera plants himself firmly in the discussion as one of the best in the business on guitar, running up and down the scales with technical ease.
Themes throughout Obscene are directly in line with Amongst the Giants’ mission to inspire and give hope, while connecting with people on deeply personal level along the way. There are lyrical moments that are not for the faint of heart, as the band is not afraid to tackle a problem head on.
The album starts off with driving rocker “Hollow,” a song about finding peace of mind from the circular motion of anxiety and depression. The theme of breaking chains of the past and moving toward healing continues with “Glimpse of Life.” This headbanger is a rallying cry for anyone who is struggling with depression, encouraging them not to give up hope. The chorus begins to move deeper into the experience of those who are facing mental health challenges: “And even I was barely getting by, holding out for just a glimpse of life / I can’t live like that, living by wits getting through by the skin of my teeth / There’s gotta be a better way to make it to the end.” Amongst The Giants proposes a solution in the second verse that by working together we can help each other get through dark times: “Let’s keep going, we’ll get through this together / I hope my words resonate with you and keeps you going.”
In addition to inspirational messages, these songs also contain stories of facing and overcoming a myriad of obstacles we might encounter throughout our life journey. “Lost in Translation” enters with a harmonious intro before hitting back hard. It is easy to get caught up in what others think, trying so hard to prove our worth to those that don’t want to believe who we are. After spending so much time to make someone see the truth, this song speaks about letting go: “You say that I’m fake and that’s alright / I can’t make you see inside / When you pretend to know who I am.”
Obscene continues to counter that it’s what’s on the inside that counts with fiery and fast paced “Loyalty Measures.”
One of my favorite moments takes place on the title track. “Obscene” is in your face both musically and lyrically. On this screamer of a track, the band tackles the deeply personal topic of pornography addiction. Featuring the vocals of fellow Rockfest Records artist Zahna, this tune takes a look at what it’s like to be addicted to porn: “Haunting my dreams at night and I can’t escape / What is the cure for this deadly disease / No matter how hard I try my eyes can’t unsee her beautifully disgusting face / What have I become.”
As with the other tracks on Obscene, Amongst The Giants doesn’t allow for unanswered questions. The cure for this addiction requires divine intervention: “O God, I’m broken and twisted and hideous / Restore my life, restore my innocence, this is not what I was created for / This ends now and you won’t hold me back / You will never hold me down / You will never have me.”
“Too Late,” which has seen success on the Billboard charts, is an anthem asking the question of whether our culture has become desensitized to repeated headline-grabbing tragedies. This hooky and melodic tune is followed by one of the most interesting songs on the record: “Ex Nihilo” is a Latin term meaning out of nothing. To connect this phrase to the lyrics, the image of a phoenix rising from the ashes is painted for listeners. The progression of being made new out of nothing is consistent throughout, proclaiming that we are created by God out of nothing, and because of Him, we have purpose.
Amongst the Giants saved the best for last on this album. “Tomorrow” is a hard-hitting song featuring slicing guitars and dissonant chords while presenting a dire warning to church leaders about not leading people astray from the truth. The lyric is taken straight from from the gospel of Matthew (18:6): “They say it’s better to tie a stone to your neck / and throw yourself down to Marinas trench / then to lead these innocent people astray / Here’s a rope for your troubles and a stone for your grave / Drown your empty heart, seek forgiveness for the lives you destroyed.”
Amongst The Giants announces their arrival– and staying power– on the hard rock scene with an intense and heavy debut. Obscene is a 45-minute hard rock experience that will leave you wanting more from this up-and-coming artist.
You can find Obscene on iTunes and Spotify.
Related Artists: The Protest, Zahna, Seventh Day Slumber, Convictions, Memphis May Fire, Spoken