Shining Force began in 1995 through a vision from God to Billy Vaughn to do outreaches primarily in parks in the poverty stricken wards of Houston, TX. In 1997 Billy connected with vocalist Randy Dickey through a peculiar and miraculous media source that shared the same Vision; “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16. The band has gone through serious illness and member changes through the years, which you can read in the ‘More About’ section, but they have nevertheless managed to release albums, and play through several hundred shows, reaching sizeable crowds in both Christian and secular events.
Currently Shining Force is completing work on their latest full-length album, “By The Blood”. We caught a preview of the first 5 tracks recently, where “Demon Fighter” sets the stage for this musical powerhouse of the genre. Shining Force’s musical complexity and genius shine through with full flare. The syncopations, the progressions, the beats, the rhythms…Shining Force just shouts undeniably back to the originality of early Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and the like!
The robust rock mix of chaos and Christian beauty, that vocally and musically, Shining Force presents, is just perfect. In “By The Blood” we are introduced to the compelling potential that this band has. Lyrically, Shining Force is thought-provoking and original in their Christian intent. Moreover, the band excels at their musical interpretations, with scorching lead solos, rumbling rhythm sections and soaring vocals. It’s definitely not “more of the same” but, rather, a different and dominant approach in an ever-expanding genre.
As soon as “Rapture” begins, you will be blown away by the monster riffs and intense, high-energy vocals. This track has good variety, good singing, good screaming, and great guitars and drums. Another great thing about the guys in this band is their faith in God, they love Christ and it comes blasting through! Heart-wrenching and uplifting, “Resist The Devil”, turns screams into soaring melodies effortlessly, and breakdowns switch to complex shredding and pile-driver riffs within moments. I would imagine this is almost better to see live than to hear on record!
Quite honestly, there’s not much to say that can really convey the emotion and musicianship found on “Resurrected”. Shining Force do not waste time by trying to court and seduce you. Their music pulls you in and enthralls you, right off the bat! You’ll feel the music down to the core of your body, drawing you into their world of emotive hard rock music. Shining Force also manages to steer clear of hackneyed expressions and fabricated love songs on the one hand, and incomprehensible, hopelessly vague lyrics on the other hand.
The Christian fan might be pleased to know that Shining Force is a very sincere band, proclaiming a love for Christ throughout their music. For the secularist, do not fear: they waste little precious in delivering over-elaborate sermons, rather they get on with the job leaving you to decide how much faith you’ll allow into your heart after the music has simmered down. Musically, Shining Force takes bold steps with this album, creating a heavy-rock atmosphere like nothing experienced in today’s feeble rock trends. The ripping guitars, the screaming vocals, all fused inside intricate metal progressions will keep you guessing from start to finish!
MORE ABOUT – Through one of the outreaches Shining Force met the Aguilar’s who paid for their first demo entitled “More Than Conquerors” in 1998. The band played several hundred events through the next three years reaching several thousand for the Kingdom of God. Shining Force’s follow up first full length album was “Holy Nation” financed again by the Aguilars produced through Dewlen Studios. After some changes in the line-up they signed up with “Bloodbought Records” out of New Jersey and recorded the self- titled “Shining Force”. The band then officially crossed over to playing religious and secular venues and drew sizable audiences.
Several thousand received the Word of God, hundreds were saved through Jesus Christ and many others set free from multiple sicknesses, possession and addictions. In addition, they opened up for several legendary rock artists and national recording artists on the secular and Christian scenes. They began work on the next full length album “By The Blood” their heaviest and most intricate work to date with Heald Studios. During the process of recording Billy was struck by a deadly illness and two key members decided to part ways after 8 years. Shining Force continued to do outreaches and shows until the illness turned for the worse. Billy went through a transplant procedure and has since been recovering. Billy is now getting better and back to playing shape and has potentially found the right replacement members. Soon the album will be completed.