The latest Christian metal outfit to emerge from the prolific Tooth & Nail stable, Alabama five-piece Nine Lashes' first studio effort, World We View, serves just as much as a showcase for the label's roster as it does a debut album. There are collaborations with Demon Hunter's Ryan Clark on the punishing screamcore-tinged "Our Darkest Day" and Thousand Foot Krutch's Trevor McNevan on the angst-ridden nu metal of "Adrenaline," while production duties fall to Poor Old Lu's Aaron Sprinkle, who has overseen albums by everyone from the Almost to Hawk Nelson. It's quite a feat, then, that such a fledgling band manages to avoid being overshadowed by such illustrious company. Emphatic opening track "Anthem of the Lonely" proves they're quite capable of making a racket on their own, with its gang mentality chants, crunching metal hooks, and empowering "stand up for yourself" lyrics, as do the helicopter-whirring riffs and impassioned emo-rock melodies of "The Intervention" and the anthemic "woah-oh" chorus of "The Void." But World We View impresses most when it drifts away from the genre's usual thunderous formula. "Get Back" is a surprisingly groove-laden stab at electro-rock featuring a propulsive David Guetta-esque hook, "Afterglow" is a heartbreaking stadium rock ballad that deals with the loneliness of grief, while there are convincing forays into post-grunge ("Believe Your Eyes"), early Red Hot Chili Peppers-inspired funk-rock ("Memo"), and techno-metal ("Write It Down"). The forgettable stripped-back acoustics of "My Friend" is a disappointingly flat way to end a record bursting with emotion and intensity, but if they can continue to pursue the record's more genre-hopping approach with future material, then Nine Lashes could well find themselves crossing over to a mainstream audience.
AllMusic Review by Jon O'Brien