This is not going to be a review in the typical sense. I am not going to go over every one of their albums with a comb. No. I am going to tell you a story. The story of Sleeping Giant and me. And if you’re lucky, there might be a link to an Apple Music playlist of my favorite songs of theirs. But we’ll see.
I first heard of Sleeping Giant when Lynt showed me a YouTube video of one of their ‘concerts’. It was filmed with a handheld camera in what looked like a church’s youth room. And in black and white, to give it some sort of production value. But it was not the song that stuck with me. What I remember the most, what made me pick up their first album, was that before the song, Tommy Green – the lead singer – prayed over and with the audience. After the song, he started talking about his testimony. Never before have I seen any member of a band be so open and truthful about themselves.
Kingdom Over Everything
After 12 years and 5 albums, Sleeping Giant’s message has never faltered. Kingdom Over Everything permeates from the first song on the first album to their very last song on their last ever album. You see, after 12 years, they have decided to end it. Not on a bad note. In fact, Tommy has even said:
“For me personally this band has been such an important and special gift in my life that I needed to know that I was actually at a point where I could let go and move on. I didn’t want to feel grief like there was something unexpressed, unsaid, or undone in me; I didn’t want to feel like I was selling myself out. This band has become the private journal made public of the story of my life. It is one of the most important things I have ever done.”
I got to see Sleeping Giant live, twice on one weekend, when they played at Parachute here in New Zealand. I remember after the show, Tommy would always offer to pray for anyone who needs or wants it. I got to meet him and tell him what an impact he and his band have had in my life. As someone who is a complete metal head, having a full on Christian hardcore (in all sense of the word) band, that is open with their lyrics to the point of feeling like they’re straight out of Tommy’s diary, well, I cant even describe what that means to me. I was a new Christian when I got introduced to them, I have grown with this band, and not just in age. I have no words now, just as I had no words then, standing next to Tommy, and all I can think of is that this band saved my life. I would like to think my words were words of encouragement, but I fear they probably came across as simple fanboying.
For the last song of their last show on that weekend at Parachute, they got all the band members of the other rock/metal bands playing that weekend and did the most beautiful rendition of Oh Praise Him. Every drummer had a snare, every vocalist a mic, guitarists and bass players and violinists and tambourine players, all on one stage. It was big. They all came on, one-by-one, to the marching drums from the intro to this song. Once the stage was full, Tommy began to sing. Sure, we were all there, but he wasn’t singing to or even for us. As the song wound down, each band member left the stage until it was just Tommy, on his knees, in the center of the stage, singing “Oh Praise Him”. And honestly, it’s the best moment of any concert I have ever been to. Tommy wasn’t the frontman of Sleeping Giant at that time. He was a worshiper. He was just a guy, kneeling before his King.
Now, after 12 years of putting out music, they are done. They leave behind the big empty shoes of a hardcore ministry band.
Sleeping Giant – a band that has been with me for almost as long as I have been a Christian. And will be with me forever more.