For the Love of the Game

For the Love of the Game

Thematically, Pillar’s For the Love of the Game stands somewhere between the church alter and the locker room. The songs on this Christian foursome’s new album invoke the imagery of body-contact sports as they strive to rouse the faithful. Playing down their rapcore origins and past forays into melodic pop, Pillar goes for an ‘80s-style hard rock sound this time out. “Reckless Youth,” “Forever Starts Now,” and the title track give Noah Henson room to unleash ear-mauling lead guitar bursts, backed up by Kalel’s whipsaw bass lines and Lester Estelle’s staccato drumming. Singer Rob Beckley’s raw yelp of a voice fills rockers like “The Runaway” and “State of Emergency” with a palpable urgency. The strutting rhythms of “Throwdown” and the ZZ Top-like blues riffage of “Get Back” add some variety to the metallic mix. Pillar has always treated Christian themes with a sense of drama, but these tunes are aggressive even by the band’s standards. “I Fade Away” (featuring vocals by Breaking the Silence’s Sarah Anthony) offers some contrast but for the most part this album is a no-holds-barred exercise in militant faith, demanding a raised fist and a reverent heart.


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