ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 22
TV Times

‘Sword Of The Spirit’: Sounds of gospel rock

By Sanath Weerasuriya

It's not always that one would come across a group of youngsters who are very much into music that is totally different to their scene.

‘Sword Of The Spirit’ is a group of seven young guys who are putting across a kind of music that is not only electrifying but inspirational as well. What they dish out to the public they classify as ‘worship-oriented kind of music’. In simpler terms, it's GOSPEL ROCK.

The boys of the ‘Spirit’

‘Sword Of The Spirit’ first came into the spotlight in 2005 when they were placed second at the prestigious TNL Onstage 2005 competition. It was indeed a remarkable achievement for a band which was formed just months preceding the Onstage competition.

Although new to the scene at that point in time, the members were all versatile musicians. They just needed to be forged into the right mix to produce pure metal magic, and it was certainly pure metal magic that they projected at the Onstage competition, which brought them success and fame.

‘Sword Of The Spirit’ has now refashioned themselves into a phenomenal seven-piece outfit with an ever-widening audience and regular performance schedules due to their highly-charged playlist of gospel rock music.

‘We have slashed through numerous challenges to become one of Sri Lanka's leading gospel rock bands’ said a member of the group. And they now plan to branch out into reggae and funk, but retaining the worship-oriented flavour.

‘Sword Of The Spirit’ now comprises Hasyth Abeyaratne (vocals), James Mather (lead guitar), Nirantha Atapattu (rhythm guitar), Viran Perera (acoustic guitar), Akila Peiris (bass guitar), Indunil Ushantha (keyboards) and Johann Wijesinghe (drums).

The new-look outfit was launched on September 16 at Cate d' Artiste. It was a very special night for the members and they worked hard towards it and it paid off.

The crowd was ecstatic. They couldn't wait to see the new line up of Sword Of The Spirit on stage for the first time. Their repertoire for the night included four of their own creations.

The three original members of the band, Nirantha, Haysth and Johann, say they knew that the 16th night was going to bring forth a new era of gospel rock music in Sri Lanka.

‘We plan to have another electrifying night in December and it will be called ‘SOS Night’, a member told TV Times.

He also went on to say that the 16th night couldn't have been a success without the help of their parents.

‘I want to thank all the band members' parents for believing in us and staying calm despite the countless number of practices we had’.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.