Nathan Gray wants you to live your life to the fullest. The 44-year-old singer, best known for his work with the bands Boysetsfire and I Am Heresy, is also a reverend and active member in The Church of Satan. One of the main, underlying philosophies of the church is that all we have is the here and now. There is no afterlife, so it is the duty of each each individual to make the most of their time in this world. That means indulging in as many self-gratifying “sins” as one wishes so long as you are not causing harm to other innocent parties. Life and pleasure are to be celebrated, not squandered or stifled. Death and creation are the great motivators.
“So here I stand / Here I believe
That I am free / Because I chose to be
Stronger than death / Louder than shame
Let it all burn away and rise from the remains”
-Nathan Gary Collective “Remains”
In that spirit, the Delaware native delivers his rapturous, debut full-length solo album Until The Darkness Takes Us this Friday, March 3, 2017. Now working under the Nathan Gray Collective moniker, Gray has partnered with like-minded musician and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Smith. The duo made their collaborative recording debut with 2015’s spectacular (and highly underrated) EP titled simply Nthn Gry.
Until The Darkness Takes Us builds and elaborates upon the musical and thematic foundations that Gray and Smith laid with the EP. Musically speaking, the album is quite eclectic, spanning the neo-folk of tracks like “Lusus Naturae” and “Damascus” to the dark wave vibe of “Desire” and “Memento Mori,” the anthemic pop sensibilities of “Remains,” “Jettison,” and “Dark Fire” right up to the bombastic pseudo-metal of the album opening first single “Heathen Blood” and the industrial pop (yep… that’s a thing and did these guys just invent it?) of my personal favorite “At War.”
Such a wide-ranging palate might be a recipe for disaster in less skilled hands, but the abundance of hooks and the laser sharp focus of Gray’s lyrical message pull it all together. The result is one of the most inspired and inspiring works of art to be released in recent memory. Until The Darkness Takes Us is a triumphant celebration of life, music and personal freedom that burrows it’s way into your subconscious and will have you humming it’s infectious melodies to yourself all day long. Even the bizarre dance track “Skin,” which is the sort of thing I would normally hate (in and of itself, a sure fire sign that it will become a massive hit) has it’s hooks in my head.
This album is a must listen for free-thinkers and the musically adventurous. And, if you like what you’re hearing thematically, also be sure to pick up a copy of Reverend Gray’s autobiography, which is also entitled “Until The Darkness Takes Us.” The book is available through darkgospeltransmissions.com. You can also learn more about Nathan’s philosophy and keep up to date with all of his artistic and philosophical endeavors at that location.