Vessels (Deluxe Album Edition)
With soaring harmonies that border on the falsetto range, Tyler, Texas’ Ivoryline could be the most melodic of the post-hardcore Christian-rock set — but that doesn’t mean their music isn’t tough. Where 2008’s There Came A Lion leaned harder on pop-punk influences, their third full-length album (and second for Tooth & Nail) balances much harder-rocking songs with ascending melodies that latch onto propulsive guitar leads. Opening cut “The Healing” gets things going, especially in the chorus where singer Jeremy Gray lets loose on grappling song-hooks that have the power to stay lodged in your head for days on end. “Instincts” is even more infectious, while Gray’s lyrics take the form of a prayer where he admits that his gut feelings have led him astray. The band infuses a dance beat on the title-track without compromising their vision for continuously escalating euphony. “Walking Dead” rails against adolescent apathy without getting too preachy, while “Made from Dust” proves that the quartet (second guitarist Scott Socia is no longer with the band, and was not replaced) can ballad with the best of ‘em.