Creative Christian Moments
“Reviews of up and coming Christians in the arts community.”
Blog Article 24: Eowyn and her CD “Beautiful Ashes”
If I had a musical blender and added the voice talents of Shakira and Evanscence, riveting rock ballads from Korn, Static X, and Skillet, a hint of cello and violin, and all mixed together with the Holy Spirit, I would produce Eowyn’s music. I discovered Eowyn’s music through ChristianRock.net and was instantly captivated by the balance of metal music chaos with enchanting vocals proclaiming the Gospel message. Eowyn, whose real name is Rebecca Eowyn Riggins, is a Christian metal diva originally from Tennessee and has produced four studio albums: Shattered Illusions (2003), Identity (2006), Silent Screams (2008), and Beautiful Ashes (2011).
Riggins sees divine purpose in her music by focusing on encouraging listeners suffering from depression, loneliness, and despair. Riggins, too, suffered from periods of depression in her life and feels that she can bring hope to these individuals through her encouraging lyrics. In her own words she states, “It breaks my heart to see people hurting. I can’t help but cry, because I understand what they’re going through, and I truly know how they can be whole again” (Eowyn, 2014, para. 2). How can one be whole again when suffering from depression? It is the healing power of Jesus Christ and Riggins does a wonderful job at proclaiming this truth throughout all of her music. Riggins has also written a book entitled For the Life of Me: Conquering Insecurities and Depression discussing her battles with depression and how one can overcome these pits.
The album I have most listened to by Riggins is Burning Ashes (2011). Burning Ashes (2011) is her first independent CD since she left the music industry in 2008 due to financial hardship. In her own statement about the album Riggins says, “I think people will see the same but also a new artist with this album. I feel being out of the industry for two years really brought me back to the true meaning of why I do what I do” (Eowyn, 2014, para. 5). I found Burning Ashes (2011) to be a phenomenal album and am privileged to have been given this CD by a friend. It is a harmonious balance of gritty rock music to choir like melodies. The lyrics are challenging and parallel common Scripture themes in the Old and New Testaments. My favorite songs on the album are “Fail-safe”, “Dream”, “Cliché”, “Burning Pages”, and “Alive.” “Fail-safe”, “Dream”, and “Burning Pages” should have been on the Divergent movie soundtrack; they were that good!
Two of the three songs I will be reviewing have music videos and I specifically chose them for the purpose of inspiring the readers by what an independent Christian musician can accomplish with the right equipment, software, and an incredibly low budget.
Out of all the songs on this CD, “Dream” is by far one of my favorites. This song resonated with me personally because it currently describes the present spiritual state I am in with my walk with Christ. “Dream” captivates listeners because it discusses the concept of delayed dreams and personal struggles one goes through during the time until they are completed. Like the lyrics of the chorus declare, “dream, just dream. Though your world’s turned to gray and your answers delayed and you don’t want to hear the same excuse again. Don’t you throw it all away. Just dream. Till you do what you say and you live what you mean cause I don’t want to hear the same excuse again. Don’t look back, don’t stop, just dream” (Eowyn, 2011, n.p.).
“Beautiful Ashes” is a song about redemption. The first time I saw this video, I was speechless. Not only were the lyrics incredibly uplifting while being paired with hard alternative rock music, the fact that this video was made by an independent musician inspired me. “Beautiful Ashes” is inspirational in that Eowyn once proves again that the independent Christian artist can make something of their calling by traveling the lessor of two paths.
Riggins inspiration for the song “Cliché” came from her own personal self-examination of her faith experience and how Christians fall into patterns of religious behavior. She also encourages others to not just love individuals in a cliché manner but to actually share Christ. The analogous imagery of the mimes echoes this point like a resounding drum for the Christian to examine their own walk. I know I did. I love the eerie and guttural guitar sounds of the music as well as the set design. It truly reminded me of bands from my metal days but is most inspiring that Riggins is using this imagery to reach out to subculture of the metal music crowd.
Since Riggins is now an independent Christian artist, I highly encourage you to share the links with your friends and family. You can support Riggins through prayer, purchasing her music and merchandise, connecting with her on social media, and hosting her for a concert event. Below is a video summary of her devotional series and I encourage those of you suffering from depression to reach out for help. Riggins also converses with her fan base on social media regularly, so reach out and glean the wisdom of her many years as a successful musician. I look forward to the future fruitful providence that will be produced in her life.
Official Website: http://www.eowynmusic.com
Eowyn. About. Official Website. http://www.eowynmusic.com/about/ (accessed May 27, 2014)
Eowyn. Profile Picture. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/138192782876312/photos/a.155175541178036.37486.138192782876312/241673512528238/?type=3&theater (accessed May 27, 2014)
Eowyn, Beautiful Ashes, CD Baby, 2011, compact disc.
Eowyn Beautiful Ashes Official Music Video, YouTube, 4:02, posted by TheEowynmusic, April 25, 2011, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9SEAPXezG8 (accessed May 22, 2014)
Eowyn – Cliche Music Video (Official) – HD Capable, YouTube, 3:29, posted by TheEowynmusic, September 21, 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcYq33nym2A (accessed May 22, 2014)
Eowyn – For the Life of Me – Bible Study Trailer, YouTube, 4:02, posted by TheEowynmusic, February 26, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQAHJsb9Zl4 (accessed May 27, 2014)