Recruited at just 20-years-old to oversee the worship ministry at Grand Rapids mega-church Resurrection Life, Michael is also an accomplished songwriter, co-penning the popular worship song “Friend Of God” with acclaimed artist and worship leader Israel Houghton. After a six-year tenure at Resurrection Life and two solo projects with Vertical Records, Michael is now fronting a band of friends and family who share a unified mission.
Rooted in the progressive worship vein of David Crowder*Band or Hillsong United, the Michael Gungor Band’s unique musical identity is further shaped by such diverse influences as Pete Yorn, Sigur Ros, and Chris Thile, among others..
“Most of these songs were written for my congregation, but they are not all strictly congregational songs. All of them, however, are aimed at inspiring us to bring the Kingdom of God to earth by revealing who He is and who we are in Him,” Michael says of the album. “His influence, His peace and His justice should begin to come to the earth as we begin to be restored personally. We are just the beginnings of the new creation, and if we let this restoration go in the directions God desires, the world around us will be changed."
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LABEL DEBUT CONFIRMS BRILLIANT TALENT OF GUNGOR & CO| Posted September 29, 2008
The move was inevitable. In fact, it’s surprising it took this long for Michael Gungor and his band to find a label home. The group’s independent disc wowed with its expansive worship songs and strong musicianship, placing Gungor on the fast track to Christian radio and church worship sets everywhere. Now, Brash Music (home to Aaron Shust) stands ready to introduce the Colorado band to the masses.
Ancient Skies kick starts with “Say So,” one of the newer tracks by Gungor not previously released. It’s an attempt at a rousing number that falls short with an overly churchy anthem of “let the redeemed of the Lord say so,” a King James sort of statement that fails to connect in the way it was intended to. This is unfortunate because impatient listeners will miss the beauty and brilliance offered here on occasion.
“Be Praised” should be the opening act, as the triumphant, epic anthem builds and breaks perfectly alongside its vertical statements. “Giving It All” relies on strong pop sensibilities to convey a message of abandonment to God. The title track stuns with its creation-puts-us-in-awe balladry and is a sure-fire AC hit (think a stronger “God of Wonders”).
Gungor & Co. also stretch their wings throughout the album, never more so than on “White Man.” The surprisingly titled song treads into Derek Webb territory, although it lightly and playfully guides the listener through statements of “Atheists and charlatans/Communists and lesbians/And even ole’ Pat Robertson/O God, He loves us all/Catholics or Protestant/Terrorist or president/Everybody… He loves us all.” It’s a fantastic, simple song of love, of hate and of holding a proper perspective.
The independent release made it clear, and this studio effort only bolsters the main idea: Michael Gungor stands as a brilliant talent. Ancient Skies showcases both God’s glory and this band’s expertise. –Matt Conner
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from CMCentral.com. Click here to visit CMCentral.com today!
Never Stop| Posted August 27, 2009
Michael Gungor is pretty good. My absolute favorite song on this record is Never stop, next would probably be Ancient skies. I loved his work with Aquire the Fire too. He is an amazing musician! Hope to hear more from him soon!