Sound alternatives

Psalm 96 issues an invitation repeated throughout the Old Testament: “Sing to the Lord a new song.” Today’s Christian musicians follow that call into vistas that David could never have foreseen, from Celtic folk to speed metal to reggae. Yet it’s hard to imagine a foray as bold, brash and challenging as The Divine Liturgy of the Wretched Exiles, by the Psalters (it’s a self- released album: www.psalters.com).

If one could reduce sacred music to slideshow archetypes featuring a gospel choir, a praise band and a slick Christian music act, the Psalters might be depicted as a crude tribe of ragmen and women giving in to Walt Whitman’s “barbaric yawp” as they wrestle with brokenness, temptation and demons too frightening to name and with the shudder-surrender to Truth itself.

 

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