Updated: Nov 16
When Benny DiChiara and his band Empowered released their new EP, Yahweh-Nissi, I can honestly say that I was a bit excited to say the least. We are pretty new to the Empowered Empire, but having a few of their tracks in our library, the anticipation was palpable. . With their previously released tracks, Empowered fast became a mainstay in the Jules Block on Radio13.FM. Not that they don’t have “rock chops”, but it is another band that both my wife Julie ( get it? Jules Block) and I can listen while we are cruising down the road.
Yahweh-Nissi, the EP starts out with the title track and sets the table nicely with what ends up being a beautiful four-course meal of praise to The One True King. Yahweh Nissi kicks the EP into gear with a solid rock song that would have David himself dancing before the Lord (2 Samuel 6:14). Ok, they don’t necessarily reference that verse, but being that this is based on the listener’s perspective (ok, just mine) that was the first thing that came to mind when I heard it. With a solid message of The Lord is My Banner, the song is truly anthem worthy that will have hands subconsciously raising in the air to anyone who hears it. Side note: if you are a band that drops the name Yahweh multiple times in a track, especially a rock track, you are deservedly so, gonna get some spins on Radio 13. Empowered asks the simple question “Who is going to rise?” Um, count me in!
As Shane Madere Jr. and Justin Burdette are laying down some seriously ridiculous riffs on the guitars, and Jeff Maddox is throwing down the nasty bass line, here comes Mic Capdeville and hits you with a glorious beat that will let you know you are indeed in the middle of a full-fledged praise anthem!
The EP continues with Jesus Can Heal the World, a song that is so needed in this broken and malevolent world. It is a song that gives us hope that through Christ, we will not only survive, but we will triumph! As Christians, it’s easy to become dismayed when we see the evil all around us that the populace tells us is “normal” and that we must accept it. Well, try this on for size: “All around the world He is making all things new so start the celebration we have been rescued”! That is a fistful of truth that so many people need right now.
Benny next comes at you with his silky smooth vocals on Soul Shaker that continues this journey of hope and joy that permeates throughout this entire EP. I predict that more than a few church worship leaders will be bringing this to a Thursday night practice as they prep for this Sunday’s Praise and Worship service. The EP continues with I Surrender All, which gives you all the qualities that a great rock track deserves and in all the right places. It serves as a road map for the listener to give up their troubles, their problems, and their fears to The One who is truly in control.
On the tail end of this EP (yes, we wanted more tracks) comes a familiar favorite, I’ll Meet You There (Daddy’s Song) which is one of the most beautiful tribute songs you will ever hear. Benny’s ode to his father will grab a hold of the most stringent heartstrings and catapult you directly into his love and passion he feels for his father.
Empowered’s unwavering and unfiltered love for the Kingdom is evident throughout the entire EP without exception or apology. To think that just a few years ago, Benny’s future in music, and his quality of life in general, were in jeopardy due to a serious and traumatic brain injury. Through his unwavering faith he turned what could have been a life changing tragedy into a powerful testimony of God’s love and grace.
You need to do yourself a favor and download Empowered’s EP Yahweh-Nissi and you will definitely be blessed. These guys will have you rocking out one minute and lifting your hands in praise the next… actually I have found myself lifting my hands in praise while rocking out which as many of you know, is my favorite type of Jesus Jams! Which is why Empowered is no longer included only in the Jules Block, but sprinkled throughout our rotation,
Again, I implore you.......go get it.. NOW!
Romans 1:16 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes
Benny DiChiara (lead vocals and songwriting)
Shane Madere Jr. (lead guitarist, background vocals)
Jeff Maddox (bass and background vocals)
Mic Capdeville (percussion and background vocals)
Justin Burdette (guitarist and background vocals)
God Bless and yes, Jesus is STILL on the throne!!