Through Hymn – “On Word & Sacraments”
Reviewed by: Neil Christian
Rating: 7.6 (Out of 10)
“History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity.” Go ahead and read it again, I’ll wait. That famous line was penned by none other than the famous Roman philosopher, Cicero. History is not just boring facts resigned to museums and filed away in our brains under the “useless but need to know” cabinet.
With the rise of Pay TV that runs 24hr history channels, free history books readily available at a finger’s touch on our ipads and meteoric rise of Wikipedia, we are, as a generation quite ignorant of our history. As the famous poet and philosopher, George Santayana, so succinctly stated, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Why such a strange introduction? Simple, as Christians we have forgotten our history. Start discussing church history in regular church and chances are you will be asked if you doing studies at seminary or something akin. As a result of forgetting our roots and the battles that many of our forefathers fought against heresies and became martyrs protecting the Truth that we now hold in our hands, we have become complacent in our Christian life which has led to innumerable sins and faulty attitudes. However this is not a commentary on the decline of Church History in Western civilization. This is an album review.
Through Hymn (I will be referring to him as TH now) has done the impossible. I have never heard an album on Church History. If that sounds boring to you, then prepare to be proven quite wrong. This album is a musical journey that traverses the significant 15th century period of history of the reformation, the outcomes, the errors and many other such things. And he does this is in true hip-hop fashion that will keep hip-hop heads, seminary students and fresh Christians entertained.
But this is a hip-hop album and you better believe that TH brings his A game. Any rapper can rhyme from a history book. But it takes a lyricist to make the words come alive. If I could compare him to anyone, it would be Raekwon. TH is so consistent in his lyrics that after a while, you just take him for granted. Of course, covering such a unique theme does also require some serious skill.
The album covers a lot of ground, starting with the German Reformation and the story of Luther and his 95 theses, moving on to the Roman Catholic view of Justification and briefly comes up to the 21st century for a gasp of air while describing Justification through the NPP movement, before submerging right back into a very different topic block of Communion. The biggest strength of the album is not just that it gives history but also provides a bridge into our realm and delves into many issues that we are having within the church, all the while providing a solution. If I may be permitted to say this, TH seems to be the “sweet dropper” of the contemporary Christianity. (If you get the reference then hit me in the comments below!)
Sonically, the album is fresh. If you are looking for something to break ya neck to than this is not it.
In fact, the album is a perfect companion to the lyrics. Anybody can make a painting, only an Artist can make a painting come to life. The musical tapestry fits the theme and flow of the album perfectly and the mixing and mastering is top notch. Subtlety is the art of true artistry.
So as I pull all this to a close, I urge everyone reading this to jump on ibooks, Wikipedia and other sources and start investing your time reading up on your church history. Use this album as a companion to your study and you will be blessed as you understand the foundation that the Church is built upon and walk upon the road that the great cloud of Witnesses have paved before us. However at the end of the day, it is a pure hip-hop album that any hip-hop nerd, like me, will enjoy.
1. Music – 8
2. Flow – 7
3. Creativity / Originality – 10
4. Relevancy – 8
5. Content & Character – 7
6. Credibility & Confidence – 7
7. Personality – 7
8. Presentation Quality – 8
9. Overall Production Quality – 7
10. Potential Impact – 7