Rock On Purpose contributors Jessica Walker and Matt Durlin discuss their thoughts on the latest project by faith based rock band DAV (Delivered Adored Victorious).
Jessica: I am so excited for the debut release of DAV’s album War Zone! DAV has been on the music scene for over a year now, and I really enjoyed “Scratching the Surface” and “All it Takes,” two singles they released last year that are featured on this album.
It is great to see that the band also has some guest performers on this album: rapper Jon the Revalaytor and drummer Lori Peters-George, formerly of Skillet.
With a range of songs that are heavy rock, rock-rap combo, and more stripped down and worshipful, this album provides fans an eclectic listening experience from start to finish, and shows off Dave Hanson’s wide-ranging talent as both a songwriter and performer.
What were some of the things that stood out to you about this album?
Matt: There is a lot to like about this album. Not to sound cliche, but as you mentioned, there is something for everyone. The way DAV blends hard rock elements and sprinkles in vertical lyrics is a refreshing way to examine often dark and challenging subjects.
The album flows so well and keeps my attention throughout. Just when it seems like the album is slowing down, songs like the title track kick it up with full-on metal and unclean vocals.
Jessica: The album starts off with a song titled “Crazy,” which has a lengthy and intriguing music introduction with a little bit of an old-school Skillet vibe (think Alien Youth). This also happens to be one of the five songs that features Lori on drums!
Matt: I can definitely hear the Skillet influences throughout the album. It’s probably unfair to compare anyone to John Cooper as a vocalist, but Dave Hanson has a really solid rock voice in the same vocal same range as Cooper.
Jessica: I can’t talk about this album and not call attention to how unique “All It Takes” is. It’s not every day that we get to hear the collaboration of rock and rap! Dave shared that in the midst of struggling with writers block on parts of this song, he felt the Holy Spirit leading him to reach out to his friend/rapper Jon the Revalaytor, who joined the project without hesitation. They hit a home run with this one– musically and lyrically, this song is so strong and catchy.
Matt: “All It Takes” is a fantastic track! I am all in on rock joining forces with its musical cousin. Rock and rap should be intertwined more often, and this song pulls that off so well.
Jessica: The title track “War Zone” is a heavy song that encompasses the idea that God is ready and waiting to free us from sin and addiction, but we have to want it and ask for it. God will not force a change of heart in us, but waits until we are willing.
After listening to the album, did you have a favorite song?
Matt: There are a number of tracks that jump out as favorites for me, not just one. “War Zone” is among my favorites, along with “The Abyss.” I am always in awe of a sweet guitar riff or two in a song. Zachary Gallipeau throws down on these songs with great skill and technical aptitude.
“Happiness” is a banger with a bit more grit and edge to it than others. The message in the lyrics is about finding and holding onto happiness and not allowing anyone or any situation to steal away our joy. The song, like the others on the project, concludes with a message of higher thoughts, that we need to focus on living for God and not for others.
I also love a good rock ballad, something that gives me reason to pause and reflect on eternal thoughts. “What I Can’t See” is a breath of fresh air in the middle of an otherwise heavy album.
Jessica: I agree! “What I Can’t See” has such a beautiful and honest chorus.
I believe in You
I believe in You, Jesus
Even when all I see are questions
Even though I’m not given the answers
It is simple yet profound.
The other ballad, “Fly Away,” is a song about surrendering to God and giving Him everything. The bridge builds to the prayerful lyrics “I trust You / Take all of, take all of me.” Both of these songs show off more of Dave Hanson’s range as a singer and serve as a great contrast to the heavier songs on the album.
Matt: The more I listen to all the various flavors of rock and roll, there are two things that prove the vocal chops of a singer for me. First is how well they control unclean vocals, which Hanson does at times on this project. The second is the vocals on a ballad. As you mentioned above, his power and range is on full display on the ballads on War Zone.
DAV left it all on the field with their closer on this project. “Addiction” is a hooky tune with catchy lyrics that takes an unexpected but pleasing turn to frenetic as the album closes with straight fire: a true mic drop as they walk off stage left.
What song do you think is can’t miss on the album?
Jessica: “Your Name” is an anthem we need right now. It poses the question “Who will rise up to make the change?” In a world that is so desperately in need of change and a message of hope, the lyrics of the chorus encapsulate the truth that runs throughout the entire album: “Jesus You are the one / The one who saves,” while acknowledging that we are not simply bystanders, but active participants in sharing this message with the world.
I will stand
I will fight for Love
Fight for Love
I will go
I will tell Your Name
Tell Your Name
You are the reason
You are the season
You are the one
Who breaks every chain
Jesus You are the one
The one who saves
One who saves
Matt: This is an excellent album and carries with it messages of encouragement on topics of loneliness, addiction and other battles so many are fighting in 2020. The faith-based messages of love and hope, meditated and played on loop, have power to help people stand victorious.
Find War Zone on Spotify and Apple Music.
Related Artists: Skillet, RELENT, Seventh Day Slumber