June 5, 2013 1 Comment
The Kingdom Heirs have released numerous strong albums over their long career, especially since Arthur Rice joined up with the group in the mid to late 90s. Albums like Anchored, The Journey Home, and True To The Call have found their place in the genre. Forever Gold, however, seems to be largely forgotten. It’s a shame, as this is a great album. It was the first mainline album to feature David Sutton as tenor, and the only mainline release to feature former Gold City member Steve Lacey as lead. Baritone Steve French and bass Eric Bennett round out the vocal lineup on the album.
The album starts of with a jazzy tinged song called “Makin’ A New Start”, that is a decidedly Gold City-esque tune that lets Steve Lacey and David Sutton step out a bit. I’ve always been a huge Lacey fan, both with Gold City and the Kingdom Heirs. He had an incredibly smooth voice that I miss hearing in SG. There’s a very solid rendition of “Lord Do It Again” that again begs a GC comparison, as both quartets recorded this song at about the same time. David Sutton does a great job on the lead on the chorus, and Eric Bennett, who had only been with the Kingdom Heirs for a couple years, was already displaying his adeptness at bass leads. Lacey shines on a big ballad called “Let Freedom Ring.” “Supernatural Man Who Can” is a bit of a gimmicky type lyric, but it’s solid enough. One of the big highlights is the shimmering acappella “When Jesus Breaks The Morning.” The harmonies are fantastic, as is the arrangement. This was probably the smoothest blend the Kingdom Heirs have ever had.
The huge hit on this album was the Squire Parsons penned “I Go To The Rock Of Ages”. The Hoppers also recorded a popular version of this song, but this one is my favorite. It’s become a bit of a minor classic as many regional groups started singing the song. In fact, a certain blogger may have played and sung this with his family a time or two, you never can tell. “He Had To Hold To Calvary” is another highlight of the recording, thought it is a bit long at 6:01, David Sutton’s vocal holds you captive the entire time. Sutton has always been fantastic at tenor ballads, and this is one of the earliest examples. It’s a terrific song, and a riveting performance by the group. There’s a laid back version of “Love Will Roll The Clouds Away”, or at least it’s laid back compared to the Kingsmen’s versions of the song. The recording ends with an acoustic flavored version of the CCM hit by Phillips, Craig, and Dean “I Want To Be Just Like You.” Steve French does a great job with a touching lyric. This song has much more meaning to me since I became a father, and with Father’s Day approaching, it would be a good song to listen to again.
This particular lineup of the Kingdom Heirs was fairly short lived, lasting about a year or so. Arthur Rice succeeded Steve Lacey as the lead singer for the group, and the rest, as they say, is history. BUT, to this blogger anyways, this recording still stands up as one of the best albums in the group’s catalog. Pull it out and listen again, and prepare to be impressed. This is another album that will make you say “I forgot how good this album is!”