JoeyNiles – “Death Has No Friends” – Music Video Release/Review
Well now…this is exciting!
Longstanding readers of our pages know that even though I’m not a religious dude myself, religion & music are still one of my favorite topics and I’m always interested in exploring what this genre has to offer through via the perspective of the independent music-scene, in any style it happens to come in. Just so happens today, we’ve got some serious metal coming through the screen & speakers from Joey Niles, who…well if you look at his online description & influences etc., seems to eat, sleep, & breathe Metal in every form you can serve it up to him in. Which yes, includes Christian Metal apparently!
For those of you that don’t realize that this is a possibility…the combination of Christ and Metal…snap out of it. This ain’t the 50’s or even the 80’s anymore – Metal is NOT the devil’s music – it’s another genre, it’s another style, it’s another sound – but as for being commissioned by whatever lord of the underworld, I don’t believe that’s actually a thing. Joey Niles will prove that Metal has broken new ground in faith-based music in multiple ways through his new single/video for “Death Has No Friends” – but just by the sheer fact that he’s making Metal music and proud to proclaim his faith at the same time should be enough to convince you that these two elements can indeed, exist & thrive together.
Here’s where things get even more interesting though. To me, there are certain ‘tells’ you can read about through profiles online that actually tell you quite a bit. And then of course, there are videos like “Death Has No Friends” that also play a role in what we can/can’t assume about the music of Joey Niles. What caught my eye right after seeing ‘Christian Rock’ listed as one of the styles of music he plays, was the list of influences. Alterbridge…sure – I mean, that’s almost one we’d have to expect and kind of the point I’ve been making multiple times throughout the reviews of faith-based music here at the page – when it comes to the mainstream, there’s really very little to choose from. That’s why I’m arguing for you to find what you need through the independent music-scene…not only is it all more real and relevant like “Death Has No Friends” – there’s more sincerity and more selection to choose from, bar none. But anyhow…it wasn’t Alterbridge that caught my eye, like I said, I was expecting that somewhat – it was how the list also included artists & bands like Stone Temple Pilots and Slash – acts that you wouldn’t typically associate with anything inside of the realm of the faith-based world, you feel me?
And to me, that tells me something. That tells me that Joey Niles has an open mind. It’s because of things like this that I try to keep one as well…because it’s always awesome to see the world from another perspective if you can…music is one of the best ways I know of when it comes to how to do that.
He went on to include Yngwie Malmsteen too, so clearly Joey knows what’s up with guitar, just sayin.’
It also says this in the official press release regarding “Death Has No Friends”: “…it is about a message of love, reaching out and a warning to those who oppress and abuse others. A reach out to those who are contemplating suicide, murder, and an atrocity. There is a higher power, and He is reaching out to all who would listen through this single.” Again…a lot to unpack there – but of course, notice above all things, that JoeyNiles is using his powers & talents for a good purpose with good intentions, trying to make the world a better place through music – you can’t argue with that, the world would be a much better place with a few more Joeys running around, know what I mean? But go deeper than that and examine the content and themes – and recognize that JoeyNiles is unafraid to go to places and concepts that other faith-based artists wouldn’t dare to tread, lest they be cast out of the congregation or be seen as too edgy or too controversial. And THAT my friends…is probably what I loved most about “Death Has No Friends” – the fact that Joey has the courage to get gritty with his imagery onscreen in the video, the fact that he’s willing to take on such powerful content without compromise; he has a genuine point of view and he’s certainly willing to make it known. You NEED that as an artist in any genre – and you can hear that Joey has that all important ability to express himself in full – you can hear the level of satisfaction you’d get as an artist by creating a song as epic, complex, and skilled as “Death Has No Friends.” Joey’s got plenty of skills when it comes to the axe, he sings balls-out and puts it all on the line in his performance; genuinely one of those artists where you listen and appreciate that how real the moment ends up sounding to us is the result of the fact that this is truly real life to him – that authentic connection between the artist, concept, music, and finished recording – video too in this case – is there.
What I really love is that JoeyNiles clearly has the courage to question, but unshakeable conviction. I think there are about a million interpretations for what you’ll see onscreen in the video…I’ve got theories, you’ll have theories of your own and we’ll all meet in the middle of this Metal mayhem for tea to discuss’em all some time. Or maybe I’ll let you in on more of what I think when we spin the video on the next episode of SBS Live This Week coming out sometime over this weekend…you should tune in for that & find out more about JoeyNiles. But to go back to the original point – when you consider how grim, raw, and real the imagery onscreen can often be – it’s also remarkable to realize that JoeyNiles’ faith has never once wavered…there are reasons he’s showing you what you see, reasons you hear the words you hear – everything is as carefully placed as the intricate notes in the musicianship are. So pay attention! “Death Has No Friends” is presented through a couple chapters of defined storyline onscreen to support the words – and I’ve gotta say, the editing on this cut is seriously killer stuff. Love the effects that are used, loved the imagery, loved the storyline scenes and how they’re shot – it really looks fantastic and it’s entirely engaging. Whether or not we’ll all come to the same intended conclusions that “Death Has No Friends” offers or fully understand its ambitions – I think that interpretive factor in this single/video combination also creates a gateway into Joey’s music that might not exist otherwise. Because we’ve heard DC Talk, Jars Of Clay, and Relient K…it’s time for Christianity to realize it can rock just as hard as any other genre – and JoeyNiles seems determined enough to prove that all on his own.
Bottom line is this is really smart. “Death Has No Friends” is thought-provoking in all the right ways – and at its core, the sentiment is completely on all of our sides…a true ‘message of love and warning,’ just like the press release on the song had promised. It sounds badass, it rocks hard, it flashes intense skills and also makes time for memorable melodic moments along the way as well. JoeyNiles takes his new single to the extremes in both sight & sound, resulting in a seriously gripping experience that makes a massive impact; wild sound, focused concepts, tight execution – I’m tellin’ ya, he’s singlehandedly ready to prove that faith-based tunes can roar & soar as strongly as any other genre. By approaching it all from such a genuine place and expressing his own bold perspective through music, the messages he’s looking to send are bound to resonate and connect with tons of people out there, just as intended.
Salute to this man! Joey’s got the hamster running the wheel in my head working overtime – and I always appreciate that. Tune into the new episode of SBS Live This Week here at the homepage this weekend and hear a few more facts & thoughts about JoeyNiles and the new single/video for “Death Has No Friends.” Until then – find out more about JoeyNiles through the official pages below!
Official Website: http://www.joeynilesmetal.com
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