Dustin Kensrue traded in his heavy rock chords and vocals as the frontman of Thrice for stripped down emotive and powerful church music as the Worship Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Bellevue, Wash. He released his first album worship album, The Water & Blood, today.
"At Mars Hill music we are really trying to write music for the local churches to sing," Kensrue told the Christian Post. "We want to proclaim and celebrate the gospel in the sense of what God has done through Jesus Christ. We are here because of what Jesus has done. He's called the church into being. There's freedom in that and there's a lot to be celebrated."
The opening track, "Rejoice," is an upbeat intro song that explains the power of God and why He should be exalted.
"Rock of Ages" is a slower song, sang in an almost hymn-like fashion, but has a bit of musical flare with a big band sound. This is where the albums namesake comes from as Kensrue sings about the water and blood flowing from Jesus' wounds.
"Suffering Servant" is a beautiful piano driven track featuring a female vocalist singing in harmony with Kensrue. This song speaks of the torment Jesus went through during the crucifixion. "The Lord has laid our wickedness on Him / His punishment has brought us peace / And crushed for our iniquities / He died to save His people from their sins" are an example of powerful lyrics on the album.
Later is the highlight of the album, and perhaps the most Thrice-like song of the mix. "It's Not Enough" is a song that is lyrically and emotionally electrifying. The music, message and the emotion in the delivery is strikingly wonderful. "It's not enough, it's not enough / I could walk the world forever / Till my shoes were filled with blood / It's not enough, it's not enough / I could right all wrongs, or ravage / Everything beneath the Sun."
Overall, The Water & Blood could help usher in a change for worship music. Using thoughtful and intelligently written lyrics straight from the Bible and mixing it with masterfully composed music, Kensrue's mission for powerful "corporate worship" may be able to draw in the people who need it the most-- unbelievers. He was able to create music that was both artful and focused on Jesus without any watering down on either end.
"I don't want them to just be tools for other worship leaders. I want them to be amazing worship art so that people will want to listen to them, therefore have spiritual transformation," he said.
Kensrue once again was able to bare his soul on a record, and this time, his soul revealed what was at its core, Jesus.