A breakdown of “Zeal” by Kings Kaleidoscope (part 1)

Before we get into the breakdown, I’m extremely proud to announce that my good friend and brother in Christ, Ian is now officially a part of the page, he will be helping with editing mainly (one of my weaker points I think) he’s written a number of excellent guest posts for Life After Darkness, so it was a great honour to have him become a part of the page! And I honestly can’t wait to see where God decides to lead this blog.

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you’ll know how much of an impact Kings Kaleidoscope has made upon me and my faith. I mean, the name of this blog was inspired by one of their songs, and ever since the release of “Zeal” I knew I had to do a breakdown of the album. The issue for me was timing; I wanted to write this at the right time. A lot has gone on in my life in the past few weeks, not all of it good, but all of it necessary. Considering the themes of this incredible album, I think this is the perfect time.

Now, considering this album has 11 full songs (there’s 13 tracks in general however one is the intro, and the other an interlude taken from a phone call), this is going to be a two-part post. I’ll be breaking down what I think the theme of each song is, along with picking out some lyrics that stick out to me. It goes without saying that you should listen to this wonderful piece of art yourself, and if you haven’t yet, you’re really missing out! There will be a link to it at the end of each part. Anyway, let’s get into the album.

“The Coma/Hero over my head”

Theme:

I’ve decided to piece these two together, considering “The Coma” is the intro to the album. The theme of this section is intertwined with the idea of needing to fall in order to truly find Jesus again, it’s about the doubt we might sometimes feel, wondering whether He’s even listening to us when we cry out in anguish. About how we fall time and again in our walk, yet we’re made worthy by the grace of God. It’s such a powerful start to an album ironically called “zeal” (although we’ll get to that). The only other thing I can say is that I love the sound of this section, and I personally think it’s the perfect start to this journey. On a little side-note, I love how the instrumental of “Hero Over My Head” is reused for “A Little Bit of Faith” at the end, it really brings a sense of continuity to the album in my opinion.

Stand out lyrics:
“Turn back time and make a way out,
living water shower my drought”

 

Naked feet and holy fire

Theme:

Something I’ve found out while doing some research into this song is that the title is a reference to Exodus 3:3-5; Moses seeing the burning bush. The naked feet part being in reference to God telling Moses to take off his sandals as he is standing on holy ground. Just something I found pretty interesting. Anyway, after reading the lyrics again, it really seems like this song is about over-zealousness to the point where we get burnt out before we’ve even began, and how when we’re in this mindset we can have truly the best intentions but it becomes so easy to be disheartened when we feel like we’re not getting anywhere with it. Whether that’s due to others criticisms or that voice of doubt in the back of our heads, and how that can spiral into complete despair if we don’t direct ourselves properly, this theme is fully realised in “aimless knight.” Perhaps you could call this false zeal.

When the song gets to its namesake, “Naked feet and holy fire (there You are, there You are), it’s as if we see a disheartened saint come to the revelation that they can simply rest in God’s presence; that true maturity is found in the peaceful joy of knowing Christ’s all-sufficiency. This transition in the song talks about how all of the time that seemed to be wasted in folly is redeemed and used to our good (Genesis 50:20):

“Pieces of my mess unwind (There you are, there you are)
Heaven hold me in the vine (There you are, there you are)
Bending colors in my eyes (There you are, there you are)
Tears of glory mending time (There you are, there you are)”

The end then moves to this place of rest in God where we find true, God-centric zeal;

“Take my life and let it be, for my King, for my King
Take my moments and my days, ceaseless praise, ceaseless praise
Take my heart it is your own royal throne, royal throne”

The gradual shift from the chaotic beat of false zeal, into this quiet and meditative state of true zeal at the end of the song is an incredible portrayal of a maturing faith that comes to find its rest in God’s promises.

Stand out lyrics:
“You took a fall, now you’re frustrated
You got it all, but you can’t take it
You hit a wall, so jaded
Who is the God that you’ve been chasing?”

Backwards

Theme:

Considering I’ve already written a piece on this song, picking it apart lyric by lyric, there’s not really much I can say about this one that I haven’t said already except, it’s a perfect follow up on to the previous song, expanding on the feeling of being disheartened and burnt out, and how everything in us that isn’t Christ centred will just lead us, well, backwards. In case you want a more comprehensive look at this particular song, here’s a link to my full break down. “Backwards” by Kings Kaleidoscope: a call to the disenchanted

Stand out lyrics:

“I’m sick and tired of church and chess
I take the wine and leave the bread
I’m jaded in the wilderness
And trying tricks to not confess”

Flat on the inside (a word)

Rather than give you the theme of this, I’m just going to give you the quote word for word, because this is something that needs to be read. Also, a little thing to note, I love how the instrumental for “same blood” is snuck in there.

“Hey man. Nobody– dude, nobody just picks a topic like “zeal” because they’re actually experiencing zeal for the Lord. You picked a topic like that ’cause you were eaten up with conviction and boredom and apathy and passion and all of those things were just like– they were– they were all swirling around in you. Like “Sh**! I gotta do something!” Like– and the word “zeal” pops in. That’s my guess. But “Flat on the Inside” … God! *laughs* Uh, we get there…”

About to break

Theme:

You’d think from the title, that this one would be pretty straight forward, but there’s actually quite a bit of hidden depth to this one. at face value, it could quite easily be seen as just a song about the weight of trying to keep up the pretense of perfect faith, but it is so much more than that. It’s a song about having to finally break in order to become whole, we need to be a people of truth, which includes how we pray. All fall short of the glory of God, and the sooner we realise this fact, and stop wearing this mask of perfection, the better of a witness we can be, I think this is summed up pretty well in the line “Won’t hold the line ’cause hope will reign” we’re not called to keep up a front of perfection, because Jesus is our hope in the brokenness of life.

Stand out lyrics:

“Clouded mind, proud in pain
Loud and blind and taking aim
Shameless acts, a spade’s a spade
Fade to black then back to grey
Jaded wrath, clashing praise
Vain attack, blades ablaze
Won’t hold the line ’cause hope will reign
And breach the walls about to break”

Aimless knight

Theme:

This is probably my favourite song from “zeal” because it’s an anthem to the lost. this song could easily a post dedicated to it with the amount of content in it, but here are some of the things I’ve picked out. The theme of Aimless knight is when we’re lost in the wilderness, and it seems like we have no direction, we have passion for the Lord, but where do we put that? We have a love for doing God’s will on earth, but what if we’re so lost at the time we don’t know what that actually looks like? It can feel like a spiral of despair when all we want is to live for the Lord but we’re so lost in our own shortcomings and sin that we develop what this song refers to as “tunnel zeal” but it’s also about how we can become a people fixated on works. It’s a song about being honest with ourselves, about where we’re really at, and how that before we can truly find purpose in our lives, we need to come back to Jesus, as we really are and find our hope and our purpose in him. No pretense, no more delusion, just honest Christianity.

Stand out lyrics: “I didn’t see you, I didn’t care
Looking for lightning under the stairs
Hunting for feeling, firing a flare
Chasing the purpose out of despair
You were the one truth I wouldn’t dare
Give me your blessing
Teach me your prayer
For beauty in stillness
Rest in the snare
Settle my spirit
Spirit, abide in me”

I think that’s going to do it for this part, but honestly, this is one of my favourite albums ever now, and I pray that if you haven’t given this wonderful band a chance, that you would today. They’re incredibly talented, not just in sound but in lyrical content, and I hope I’ve helped highlight that today. You can find a link to “Zeal” on Spotify here: Zeal and please consider joining me for part two of this breakdown, it’s been a privilege to get the chance to write about my favourite band, and the second half of this album is just as good as the first.
Feel free to join our facebook page by clicking this link (Life after darkness group) it’s also the best way to contact me if you have any questions! But as always
Thank you for reading and May God Bless you.

2 thoughts on “A breakdown of “Zeal” by Kings Kaleidoscope (part 1)

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