FOCUSED - Bow
FOCUSED
Bow
Tooth & Nail Records
1993

My brief stints at college was when I really started to get into different forms of music beyond just hard rock and metal. I met and hung out with people with different tastes and massive music collections, so I was exposed to a lot of the different genres that comprised this great musical spectrum within the Christian culture. It was at this time that I discovered the earlier releases from the young Tooth & Nail Records (mainly because, by the time I heard of ’em, it’s been only one year since their debut really). This thing called “hardcore” was relatively new to me, even though the “new school” was about to rear its ugly head. Anyhoo…

A college friend let me borrow his copy of Bow, the debut offering from hardcore band Focused. I popped it in my CD player in my dorm room, and was blown away by the introduction of the same name; it was a spoken-word piece that is probably the bestest introduction I’ve ever heard. Very stirring, very passionate. And that’s all before the music even started on the second track, “Forever”.

Bow is a very good, solid hardcore album, with a sound reminiscent of a more groove-oriented Crucified, or M. O. D. without the thrash elements. Very heavy, very aggressive, and very passionate. Unlike a lot of the hardcore that T&N put out in later years, the music on Bow has a bit more…um, focus than just pounding out power chords and random blast drumming, with some melody and even acoustic moments that add to the listen. Very good stuff. Lyrically, the band wears its faith on its collective sleeve, which makes for some very inspiring moments. Overall, a great album, and still gets some listens from time to time…

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