A Louisville, Kentucky based worship group, Iron Bell, began as a small weekly home gathering that quickly blossomed into nights of worship where hundreds gather at a local barn called the “Iron Bell.” God That Saves is their first recording and features many of the songs birthed during these nights of spirit-led worship. This collection of 11 new songs rests on the acoustic and intimate side with southern rock stylings and themes of adoration, God’s faithfulness, and victory over sin and death. Sounding like Zach Williams or a younger Mac Powell, frontman Stephen McWhirter’s throaty vocal tones, mixed with his obvious passion for worship, give the album strength and intensity
The title track is already gaining a ton of momentum in churches and airwaves around the globe, and rightly so. The song was written from an encounter that McWhirter had with God that changed his life while he was a drug addict. It begins with a deep B-3 organ and acoustic guitar as McWhirter declares how our God has rescued us from the ashes and that only He can save. The cello in the background adds warmth and depth in this anthemic southern rocker.
Another track that caught my heart was the flowing acoustic waltz, “Sons and Daughters.” Here God Himself cries out for His people to spend time with Him and that He desires a deep, meaningful relationship with those that He has created. The airy violins that float above the acoustic and rhythmic foundations give this song a shining brilliance that fits perfectly.
It would have been nice to hear a female take the lead on a few tracks, and most of the arrangements are a bit similar, but that being said, God That Saves is one of my favorite albums of the year. Each track is a robust declaration of faith, creatively written and performed with authenticity and unique style. I really appreciated how Iron Bell did not try to be someone else. Their website says that they…”are passionate about cultivating a heart of adoration of believers,” and it’s obvious that their ministry and music directly reflects this idea. Worship leaders, make sure you pick this one up!