|Ryan “The Archangel” Darnell: Bass Guitar/Rhythm Guitar/Lead Vocals
Ryan Mey: Drums
Josh Cirbo: Lead GuitarThis is the music the devil doesn’t want you to listen to…
True Strength was born in October of 2012 originally conceived as a one or two man band; studio project to release a single here and there for charity had quickly morphed into a full-fledged band. The band was formed by songwriter Ryan “The Archangel” Darnell (Rhythm guitar, bass) and Chris Clark (drums) who envisioned a Christian metal band that honored God spread the Word of Jesus Christ and dedicated 100% of their music sales to charity. The two hired Josh Cirbo to be the lead guitarist and producer of the project along with vocalist, Rus Gib. The debut album of True Strength called “The Cross Will Always Prevail” was released June 8th, 2014 on Pentecost. The album quickly gained notoriety on the Christian metal scene including acclaim from publications like Angelic Warlord in the United States and Metal District in Germany:
“Every once in a while, an independent band records an unexpected sleeper, an under-the-radar-album that exceeds all expectation and leaves the listener very pleasantly surprised in the process. The Cross Will Always Prevail, the True Strength spring of 2014 debut full-length, is one such album based upon how it emphasizes ‘power metal with variety- ranging from progressive influenced to melodic based to classic US flavorings to European aspects” – Andrew Rockwell from Angelic Warlord
In addition, the band was able to land a record distribution deal with German record label, Underground Power Records. In 2015 the band began to record their second album entitled “Steel Evangelist”. During the recording of the album, vocalist Rus Gib and drummer Chris Clark had left the project because of scheduling issues. As a result, guitarist, bassist and songwriter Ryan “The Archangel” Darnell elected to record the vocals on “Steel Evangelist” himself and for drums he hired Ryan Mey who served as the Mastering & Audio Engineer on the first album. In 2016, True Strength landed another distribution deal through Nordic Mission out of Norway which opened up CD sales in Scandinavia.
TRUE STRENGTH’s sophomore album “Steel Evangelist” was independently released digitally, May 15th, 2016, on Pentecost. Like its predecessor album, “The Cross Will Always Prevail”, the digital sales of the album were donated to the *International Christian Concern (http://www.persecution.org/), which assists persecuted Christians and their families around the world. The album featured 10 songs, with nearly 70 + minutes of music. Also like its predecessor, the independent release of “Steel Evangelist” enjoyed acclaim from several publications:
“When it comes to the guitar work on this 2016 release, one is immediately taken back by the level of shred presented here. Yes, it’s easy to tell that this isn’t Ryan & Josh’s first release. There were a few moments where I thought I smelled smoke ascending from the fret boards as my speakers began to melt down. Josh and Ryan deliver up a molten metal buffet of hard, galloping, driving, Power Metal to sink ones teeth into.” – Jacob Folk from Christian Molten Metal Bands
“Lyrics are full-on for Christ showing both a love for the lost and for Christians as one can see here.” – Jacob Folk from Christian Molten Metal Bands
“Steel Evangelist is a classic example of a traditional-power-epic-Gothic-doom metal hybrid album. It presents with some fantastic material accordingly, with “Don’t Take the Mark of the Beast”, “The War We Fight”, “The Fall of the Ripest Apple” and “Woe To The Sons Of Ishmael” standing out among my favorites. Sound performances in the areas of guitar and vocals add to the value at hand. Yes, the group could have potentially cut a song or two to reduced playing time below 70 minutes and production would benefit from some tightening, but Steel Evangelist otherwise proves solid for an independent release. In the end, due to its ability to not only incorporate various forms of metal but the specific styles they incorporate, True Strength ranks among the many bands in which I am waiting with baited breath for a follow up release.” – Andrew Rockwell from Angelic Warlord
Despite the notoriety of the two albums, like most independent releases, “Steel Evangelist” suffered from production quality issues due to budgetary restrictions. However, all of this changed when the band was signed by Roxx Records in late 2016-early 2017. Bill Roxx put the band in touch with engineer Cliffy Walker (Guitarist of the renowned Christian punk band “The Huntingtons”) to remaster the “Steel Evangelist” release. Roxx Records will be re-releasing the “Steel Evangelist” album in CD format with new cover artwork featuring renowned metal artist Scott Waters. The updated mastered version will also be released digitally with the new cover and will be called “Steel Evangelist – Roxx Records Edition” (to differentiate between the independent version). Both versions of the remastered “Steel Evangelist” album will be released in February 2017.
In 2017, True Strength entered the studio to record their third album. The band thanks their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Bill Roxx who has taken a chance on True Strength and of course, their fans and supporters around the world, who by their charity and patronage have helped True Strength to get to the point it is today. God willing, True Strength hopes to continue spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ and grow its heavy metal ministry.
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