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Label: Cross Rhythms Music
Length: 12 tracks/! 50:14 minutes


When a band receives as much critical acclaim for their debut as Eloi did, you know they have to be good. Eloi’s debut, Degrees of Freedom, landed them the title of "best Christian heavy groove band," as well as earning them a spot as HM magazine’s 1997 "favorite unsigned band." 

Mold begins with a slight distortion, then steady drumming and a thick guitar groove. Seth Poor’s rough yet melodic vocals complement the greasy guitars creating an appetizing variety in tone. A fundamental part of every song is the pounding, dark, and well-timed guitar groove, played extremely well by the two guitarists.

I remember reading in a review of Degrees of Freedom, that the reviewer couldn’t wait to see how Eloi would sound on a major label. The wait’s over and the reviewer should be pleased. The production is quite good, and the lyrics are laid out nicely. The inside artwork consists of photos of hands making pottery--a clever reflection of the idea that God is our potter, and we are his handiwork. It also fits aptly with the title of the album. To be picky, the pauses between songs are way too long, but that is only a minor flaw. 

While the majority of the album is heavy, it is interesting to note that the band has included one song that fits into the modern rock format, probably for commercial appeal. ‘Mold’ begins with acoustic guitars and timid, hushed vocals from Poor. It soon evolves into an eclectic and powerful rocker that calls the listener to let go of their lives, and let God change them. The lyrics are thought-provoking and well-written, in a poetic format. A few of the songs have similar themes: "Kindness," "Fallow Ground." and "Message" each speak of restoration before God. "Pharisaic" tells of a person’s struggle to forgive himself. "Fool’s Parade" is about the dilapidated state of America, while "Mexico" weaves a painful tale of the writer’s grief over the loss of his brother. One song that will raise many heads is "Looking Christian":

There’s Mr. Christian over there
There’s Mrs. Christian over there
With his three piece suit and her perfect hair 
Looking very Christian

There’s Mr. Long Hair with tattoo skin
You can tell he’s not quite fitting in 
You gotta clean up before you begin
Looking very Christian

Later on:
I still believe sin leads to death
And we’re all born into this mess
But I know Jesus takes me in
To him I’m looking Christian
Over all, there is little to complain about Mold. Eloi should appeal to fans of Metallica and Disciple, or anything falling within the boundaries of heavy groove rock. Eloi’s sophomore project should win them more much-deserved respect and attention.

Eric Daams 1/22/2000

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