Astringent and uncompromising, Take It Back rips into the sins of the world on its 2009 sophomore album Atrocities. These Christian punk provocateurs don’t sugarcoat their urgent message of salvation; they prefer to wrap their sonic sermons in barbed wire. Lead vocalist Nick Thomas shreds his larynx righteously as he bellows out such scathing numbers as “Lost Generation,” “The Skies Are Empty,” and “The Prodigal Soldier.” His bandmates generate as much heat with as few chords as possible, matching thick guitar barrages with skittering, sharp-cut drum work. Take It Back churns with menace on “New Empire,” then bursts into heroic fervor on the (almost) poppy “What We’re Fighting For” before scourging the listener with the frenetic “Minneapolis.” Thomas seethes with outrage at mankind’s blindness, yet still manages to offer hope for salvation in galvanizing tracks like “The End of Apathy.” “A Reason to Scream” sums up this album’s appeal, harnessing desperate rage and spiritual hunger in equal measure. Atrocities is a bracing expression of belief that grapples with darkness and wins.

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