It’s a well established stereotype that the Irish know how to party. Yet what the enemy uses for evil can also be applied to the good. A prime example of this principle in action is Rend Collective, which is a Northern Ireland worship group. The act’s latest album, The Art of Celebration, turns enthusiastic spiritual partying into a true art form.
At a time when far too much Christian worship music comes off like bad U2 imitations, Rend Collective incorporates mostly acoustic instrumentation to create an obviously Celtic influenced sound, which somehow still feels unique. The momentum created by “Burn like a Star,” for example, is as breathtaking as a downhill roller coaster ride, while “All That I Am” is a deep, slow breath, which leads directly into quiet contemplation.
The ability to present upbeat worship music is a tightrope walk because one wrong step can lead to mindless cheerleading, rather than sincere congregational passion. Rend Collective is like The Flying Walendas of upbeat praise music, however, and they go the distance with The Art of Celebration without even one wrong move.