As soon as I asked the question, “what band deserves a mention and the appreciation of my fellow geeks?,” the answer hit me: Pas Neos. I first noticed their name (“all things new” in Greek) out of many others on Har Megiddo Remixed, and decided to listen to their albums on a whim… unaware of how quickly this underrated indie rock/electronic group would usurp my former favorite artists. Although the future of Pas Neos’ content is currently unclear, the creative excellence and Biblical storytelling of their work nonetheless contains enduring value worth giving a listen.
Pas Neos has one EP and two albums: The Wheat and the Tares (2011) and Who Do You Say I Am? (2012). Every one of their songs is directly based upon a scriptural passage. Starting at their latest release and working my way backwards was a seamless experience thanks to the consistency of their themes and standards, yet their growth as artists technically and lyrically is certain (even if it’s subtle).
Between their EP and The Wheat and the Tares, synthetic sounds are better balanced with an arrangement of authentic instruments. Whereas the tracks on the EP are written as if the Bible’s human authors are now set to music (which is already interesting), Pas Neos’ first album sets out to more imaginatively capture the perspective of God and the feelings of those characters involved. The unifying theme is introduced in the opening track about Nineveh’s repentance, then echoed again on the closing song of the prodigal son: God’s mercy is offered to the righteous and wicked alike.
Then in Who Do You Say I Am?, Pas Neos’ storytelling reaches an entirely new level of immersion. Every track is part of a musical narrative of the Gospel. The wonder and beauty of Jesus’ life is portrayed with fresh insight, seen through first-person views including Himself, the disciples, and the thief on the cross. There’s even a song for Satan tempting Judas… which while dark, is still a valuable glimpse of Christ’s selfless love. As for presentation, the sound of this sophomore release is refined accordingly for the subject: a dynamic blend between raw emotion, soft atmosphere, and sweeping crescendo.
When I heard Pas Neos for the first time, I was more expectant of fleeting entertainment with a familiar sermon mixed in, like the spiritual equivalent of last Thursday’s reheated leftovers. Instead, my understanding of the Bible as a story and Jesus as a real person were permanently nourished and newly enriched. I found the ending of Who Do You Say I Am? especially relatable, as it closes with Jesus abruptly ascending and the disciples wondering what to do next. Regardless of what’s ahead for Pas Neos, they have my thanks for holding such a high artistic standard and vividly reminding me of my place in God’s story.
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