Review Summary: Nothing more than a sloppy mess of abysmal lyrics, and boring vocals.
Unfortunately, this is a rough one, for Rock Engrafted is a Christian Rock/Alternative rock band founded in 2009 by Oba Sola-Ojo, as the Lead Vocalist. They have recorded studio songs already released before ‘Ends of the Earth’.
Rock Engrafted released a single titled ‘Ends of the Earth’. Click on the and go listen to it if you haven’t yet and then come back to this review. I’ll wait. Done? OK.
It was widely received by the Nigerian Rock community. The song sounds like a hardcore rock song, with the use of both clean and harsh vocals, and electrical percussion instruments. I must say, I envy the courage of Rock Engrafted to take on this kind of rock song in a country like Nigeria, where Rock Music is not well accepted, talk less of Christian Rock. So their effort is a giant step in the right direction. I also credit the lead vocalist Oba, for trying to use ‘growling’ on this song. However, it is not what you might think it is. It’s more technical and harsh than the normal ‘screaming’. You don’t growl when you know your voice does not allow you to growl so well. Employ other vocal skills that suit your vocal chords and will make you sound more natural than artificial.
The band’s songwriting suffers not because of terrible lyrics, but from Oba frequently repeating the same choruses over and over again in a single track. It certainly doesn’t help that the lyrics sound equally lifeless and redundant. Simply prepare to hear the phrase “To reach the ends of the earth” an alarming number of times and less than insightful phrases like “oh oh oh oh oh”.
Over the course of ‘Ends of the Earth’, the listener will encounter literally nothing of substance or worthwhile when it comes to the vocal department. The opening piano play was a good opening for the song and the introduction of the guitar riff added flavour to that intro, but Oba had to interrupt the already good opening with his supposed growl, that can’t even be called growling. The dynamic duo of undeniably mundane vocals and juvenile instrumentation wreaks havoc in a destructive fashion here. It’s a sorry experience of a hard rock song, filled with uninteresting guitar riffs and an over emphasis on Oba’s vocals. We know growling is not an easy task. However, simply growling on a song does not make it hardcore or Metal. It does not work that way. Oba could have tried screaming, I bet he would’ve done it better and would have made the song more interesting to the ears of the consumers.
One commendation goes to the use of real instruments; guitars, bass guitar, drums and not some Fruity Loop production. That’s what characterizes a rock song, the use of actual instruments. I believe Rock Engrafted can quickly find their footing and go on to prove themselves as one of Nigeria’s great rock bands that future rock bands would be making reference to. But they have a lot of work to do in the vocal and lyrical department. With the right guidance, their instrumentation can be very good. The fact is, this track seriously could have been much worse. Despite this realization, that’s also like saying that a nuclear holocaust could be worse than mass genocide. With the release of ‘Ends of the Earth’ Rock Engrafted basically opened Pandora’s Box, releasing an unstoppable tide of harsh comments from fans and newcomers alike.