- Creativity/Originality = 8.5
- Lyrical Content = 9
- Production = 9
- Song Selection = 8.5
- My Recommendation = 8.091 (11 song average)
This is a busy time as new recordings are coming out faster than can be kept up with. This marks the third post in a row that covers a new album release. Treasures Unseen by Beyond The Ashes hits retail outlets on Tuesday (04/19/11). This is the group’s first recording to be released on Vine Records and produced by Wayne Haun.
Anthony Facello (Tenor) is no stranger to Southern Gospel music. He began his career in 1993 when he joined Heaven Bound. Anthony has also spent time with the Journeymen Quartet and most notably Mercy’s Mark Quartet before forming Beyond The Ashes. Rounding out this vocal trio is Casey Rivers (Lead) and newest member Kellan Monroe (Baritone).
Treasures Unseen is a treasure chest full of varying styles, superior production, more than capable vocalists and a song selection that would please even the harshest of critics. Do you like ‘straight ahead’ Southern Gospel three-part harmony? How about ‘hard-driving’ country melodies? What about those over orchestrated Southern Gospel power ballads? You will get all that and more on Treasures Unseen.
Sitting a top of this 11 song list is the title track. “Treasures Unseen” (Ann Ballard) scales back on the over orchestration and allows Anthony’s vocal to bring this song to life. Piano and voices is all you’ll hear and the harmony on the chorus adds that special touch that makes this the best song on the recording. This song needs to be sent to radio.
Don’t think that is the only treasure you’ll find on this new album. The group also recorded the best version of “We’ll Soon Be Done With Troubles And Trials” (Cleavant Derricks) I have heard. As a listener, as many times as this song has been recorded, you are waiting to hear some quartet bass singing. The arrangement of Beyond The Ashes version truly sounds like a new song. I applaud that. I tire of hearing the same weary arrangement of quartet standards time and again.
“Test Of Time” starts with a ‘hard driving’ country melody that immediately caught my attention. ‘I’ve Walked On Water, I’ve Been Through The Fire, I Have Battle Scars, But I Have Come So Far With Conviction And Desire, There Have Been Mountains, I Have Endured Every Climb, Don’t Count Me Out, Because Without A Doubt I Will Stand The Test Of Time’ is the chorus to this tune that found the repeat button several times.
“When I Look Upon My Savior’s Face” (Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey) is another ballad that scales back on the over orchestration. The songwriting duo of Haun and Lindsey continue to churn out some strong lyrical material. “Whenever We Pray” (Sarah McCutcheon) and “God Sees The Heart” (Gaither, Haase, Sue Smith) are also worth a mention.
Treasures Unseen has some of the best song selection of any album reviewed thus far this year, less one song. “I Can’t Even Walk” (Colbert/Joyce Croft) seems as if it has been recorded quite a bit in the last few years. While a great song and the group’s arrangement is different from most, fatigue has still crept in.
Even though varying styles are found on this new recording, any fan of Southern Gospel music will find something they like about this recording. The group has not been around that long and only have one album release prior to this effort. This will be a measuring stick for the group’s future releases. One of the best albums released so far this year.
SONG LIST: 1. “The Coming Of The King” 2. “What I Have I Give” 3. “Treasures Unseen” 4. “Whenever We Pray” 5. “Guilty Of Love” 6. “Test Of Time” 7. “Tough As Nails” 8. “We’ll Soon Be Done With Troubles And Trials” 9. “I Can’t Even Walk” 10. “When I Look Upon My Savior’s Face” 11. “God Sees The Heart”