hird Day is back with their best album yet. Revelation is a triumphant return to form for the band while also blazing a brand new trail creatively. In so many ways, this album marks a new beginning for Third Day. Beginning with their 10th studio effort, we find the band recording [for the first time] outside of Atlanta, working with new producer Howard Benson (Daughtry, Flyleaf, Hoobastank), down one band member, and partnering with a new management firm that has myriad inroads into the mainstream market in such ways that won’t alienate Third Day’s fan base.

Three years have passed since Third Day’s Wherever You Are hit the shelves and airwaves. While it took a while for that particular album to grow on me, with Revelation I was riveted from the get-go. This is everything that listeners have come to expect from Third Day over the years. The southern, rootsy rock sound is there. Mac Powell’s vocals are as potent as ever. The lyrics are God glorifying yet connect with culture. The instruments are forceful yet not overpowering, even with the absence of Brad Avery’s signature guitars.

Third Day ignites things with “This Is Who I Am” a go-ahead track that let’s you know they’re back with a new bag of tricks. Secure in where they’ve been as a band and how they’ve been received, Powell croons I’m a saint and a sinner/I’m a lover and a fighter/I’m a true believer with great desire/I’m a preacher of grace, prophet of love, teacher of truth/I’ve fallen down so many times/But here I stand in front of you…“Slow Down” is a great rocker that boasts tight harmonies and a guest spot from American Idol finalist, Daughtry. “Call My Name” is the current single that is sitting atop the AC charts and with the release of this album is poised to be there for quite a bit longer. “Run To You” is the best song on the album. One of Third Day’s mid-tempo signature ballads, Flyleaf frontwoman Lacey Moseley guests on the track with her haunting vocals, eclipsing Mac Powell—a feat in itself. In fact, this track is worth the price of the album alone. Never did I think I’d see the day where I would use one album to promote another artist’s, but this song will have you running to the nearest music store or digital media store to download Flyleaf’s album as well. It’s that good. Title track “Revelation” is another shining example of Mac Powell’s role as a modern day psalmist. The lyrics capture the words that so many of us emotionally and spiritually find ourselves at a loss for, but cry “Yes! That’s what I feel!” when Powell belts it out. And that’s just the first 5 songs! Lest you think the album is front heavy with hits and the back end sucks, let me assure you…the “back nine” are just as strong, especially “Otherside,” “I Will Always Be True,” and “Born Again.”

Normally, as a critic I feel a need to give some form of a critique. But, I’ve listened to this album several times now, thought on the music, thought on the words, thought on the changes, thought on the consistencies and I…just…can’t…find…a…flaw.

Revelation is an absolutely stellar album. May I humbly suggest that it might just be the definitive album of the summer and the magnum opus of Third Day’s career? Taking the best of such albums as Time, Conspiracy #5, Wire, and Wherever You Are, fans are in for a real treat with this new offering from a band that has stood the test of time and stands poised to continue that trend for a long time to come.