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Artist: Big Dismal
Label: Wind-up Records
Length: 10 tracks/35:41 minutes

On May 6th, 2003, Wind-up Records (home to bands like 12 Stones, Creed, and Evanescence) released the debut album Believe from Florida-based Big Dismal. Now, before you think this is yet another depressing rock band, the name of the band is actually based off of a geological landmark of the same name in Tallahassee, Florida that the lead singer/songwriter Eric Durrance grew up near. But while that is one influence, the name now stands mostly for what we are living in, and how the band wants to bring their positive music and lyrics into such a dismal time. And they are doing it quite well so far, with their major record label deal and gearing up for a summer full of touring.

One thing that someone will most likely think of right away is how similar Durrance's vocals are to label-mate Creed's vocalist. While that is true, once you take a closer listen you will notice that the rich vocals in Big Dismal can also be more diverse at times (and on the higher side as well for that matter) than those of Scott Stapp. Which is a good thing as we've had quite a number of Creed sound-alikes in the past couple of years, so at least there is something a bit different here.

Believe showcases ten explosive, aggressive rock tracks, with every one being enjoyable due to the addicting (and heavy) guitar riffs, rich vocals, and lyrical content. Which brings me to my next point…

Because of their Christian beliefs, the band brings positive lyrics to the stage including a touching song dedicated to the lead singer's grandmother as he spent a lot of his childhood with her so she taught him a lot about “life and religion.” That song is “Remember (I.O.U.)” and is the band's first single and music video. How cool.

In short, Big Dismal's Believe is a very solid album, and should be a welcomed addition to any rock fan's music collection. As I just said, it's got great music, awesome (and rich) vocals, and more. There are also a couple of guest appearances on the album, like Amy Lee (lead singer of Evanescence) guest vocaling on “Missing You” or veteran percussionist Lenny Castro playing some drums on “Remember (I.O.U.).”

If you are a fan of bands like Creed and Kutless, I especially recommend this album to you as it's right up your alley. But any rock fan should check these guys out, you will probably find something that you'll love about the album.

Josh McConnell  05/26/03


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