There’s an impressive amount of risk-taking in these tracks, elevating the Alabama-rooted Christian quintet beyond easy categorization. Spiritual warfare in the cause of the Lord is the pervasive lyrical theme. “Adrenaline” and “Our Darkest Day” (featuring guest appearances by Thousand Foot Krutch’s Trevor McNevan and Demon Hunter’s Ryan Clark, respectively) are pain-wracked declarations of resistance against evil, delivered with fervor by singer Jeremy Dunn and hammered home by the blistering fretwork of Adam and Jonathan Jefferson. Adding variety are musical hybrid tracks such as “Write It Down” (matching a techno-beat pulse with walloping guitars), “Get Back” (propelled by a buoyant pop groove), and “Memo” (a simmering ballad boasting a sweet melodic line). Casting off its metallic armor, the band delivers the moodily compassionate “My Friend” as an acoustic number with soft string accents. No matter what the sonic setting, Nine Lashes never back down from their warrior stance, proclaiming their collective faith with urgency and defiance.