Southern rocker turned worship leader, Zach Williams is no stranger to the storms that life can sometimes throw at us. Although he is a new comer to the CCM worship scene, his deep-seated sense of spiritual and personal songwriting has already earned him a Grammy nomination for the title track of his quickly rising debut album, Chain Breaker.
The ten songs included in his introductory offering are a testament to the spiritual awakening that Williams has experienced over the past few years after living as a secular rock star (and the poor choices that often accompanied that lifestyle) with his band, Zach Williams and the Revival. This background sets the foundation for most of the tracks on Chain Breaker as Williams shares his story and how Christ’s redemptive power brought him out of darkness.
The title track drives the entire album and will most certainly be a flagship anthem for Christian groups that deal with addiction (Celebrate Recovery or NA) as this southern style rocker boldly announces how the love of Christ can overcome every tragedy or sinful decision we make in our lives. Zach’s raspy vocal mixed with the bluesy, southern gospel groove gives the song authenticity and a blue-collar vibe that will connect with most people.
Songs like “My Liberty”, “Everything Changed”, and “Old Church Choir” follow along in the same musical vein, centering on themes of redemption and renewal sounding similar to Third Day, yet are more personal in nature.
Williams’ softer side comes through on tracks like “To The Table,” which is an acoustic driven song about how God invites us despite our sinfulness, and “Fear Is A Liar,” which explores how fear drives many people’s poor self-image while contrasting how God’s view of us is completely different.
The album wraps up with the powerful, yet simple vertical worship song, “So Good To Me”. This song explores how God’s love covers us from morning to evening, and that His promises are true. I could see Zach sitting out on his porch at the end of the day sipping on some sweet tea, playing guitar, and worshipping the Lord.
This album is full of southern gospel/country influence and the instrumental work throughout was very good. Zach’s life story obviously was the backbone for writing most of the songs, and he does a nice job of delivering them with authenticity. That being said, this was one of those rare times where there might have been too much of a good thing. Almost every song starts and ends the same way, and while it was inspiring to hear his story the first few times, after a while it just gets kind of redundant. I would’ve appreciated a little bit more lyrical creativity when it came to the themes of the songs because I think Zach Williams is a great songwriter and performer, but that being said there are still some very nice moments here and songs that you could use for your worship gatherings.