Devin Williams is a Christian rocker out of Nashville, Tennessee. Previously he has released Where Do I Begin and his worship album Pour It Out. On his newest release,Overload, Williams gives us a full-blown six-track rock EP.
Musically, Devin Williams reminds me of any of the elite in the Christian rock world: Skillet, RED, Decyfer Down, etc. His sound is not just a mere rip-off of these bands either. There is some great rock n’ roll on this album that is done really well. The production is spot on; the sound is clean and polished but still has a raw element to it. The EP has a good mix of heavier rock tunes and some laid-back ballads (Start Over” and “Always There”). The album is predominantly guitar driven; there are some nice riffs that drive on the songs. But the guitars don’t drown out everything which is good. The drums provide a solid backbone to the songs while some keys and some strings are thrown in occasionally that mix in well with the guitar.
Vocally I was hugely impressed with what I heard. Devin Williams has a powerful voice that fits perfectly with his sound and that I enjoy immensely. He has a great voice for rock music and with his wide range he hits a lot of beautiful notes. This is a refreshing change because there are a lot of rock acts that I think have solid music but the vocals are lacking and don’t always go with their particular band’s heavy sound. So it’s nice to see the deep and gruff vocals on Overload;Devin’s vocals are definitely the strong suit of his music.
To back up the music and vocals is some solid songwriting. There are a lot of great messages loaded into this EP. Themes touch on anything from loss addictions forgiveness uncertainty and then encouragement in those uncertain or rough times in life. Devin Williams brings up many issues we all encounter in life and how a relationship with Jesus impacts each of these. I like how he uses experiences that we all encounter to show God’s love grace and mercy through those things.
Each of the tracks on this album are great and I think well organized to give a nice variety. Sometimes that is hard to do on an EP but the heavier and softer tracks are spaced well and keep the momentum throughout the album. But three of them stood out in particular to me.
The start-off track on the album is definitely a highlight of this album. “Overload” is a blistering rock track that holds nothing back. This song is a track that talks about the hatred of the many mistakes that someone can come in contact with in life and the price they pay because of those things. The unashamed honesty and heavy rock delivery put the message of this song into clear perspective and make an excellent pairing. The line“I can’t break these chains alone/With everything inside all the things I’ve tried to forget you. I’m praying for release” I found to be very true that however we try to run from our past mistakes we can’t be released from those problems without Christ breaking the chains.
My next favorite song is the track “Save Me ” which follows up “Overload.” I think it is a great follow-up track since this is a passionate prayer directly to Christ for Him to save us. This becomes a nice worship track that is also a beautiful guitar-driven rock ballad.
The next standout for me was the track “Eraser.” This song talks about how God comes into our lives and wipes away all our wrongdoing and pain. It is a standard rock track but it has some catchy riffs and a brief yet satisfying guitar solo. This song has a great chorus:
“You erase it all/Come and wash away the pain/ All the shame is gone/ Now I stand tall ’cause You erased it all”
As a whole there is not a lot to complain about with this album. There are some similarities to other rock acts but instead of Devin Williams being some knock off he pulls off a very solid rock album. I enjoy how Christ-centered his lyrics are with his heavier sound. While some other bands may play the same style as his they are not all as direct with their message. I love Christian rock and am happy to say that Devin Williams is one of my new favorite Christian rockers to listen to. I highly recommend everyone check out this album and his previous worship album Pour It Out. Devin is very talented not only as a great vocalist but also as a guitarist. If you like Christian rock and anything remotely like Skillet or RED I wouldn’t hesitate picking this up; I think you will thoroughly enjoy it.