The Glorious Unseen began with a Sunday night Bible study... Disillusioned by the local church scene, a few former youth leaders and friends gathered on a spring Sunday night outside Nashville, TN. What took place ignited their hearts together... They came together to express their desire for God. They came together because they desired community. Their style of ministry was different... Not ever knowing what was going to happen, they continued to meet every Sunday night to pursue God - and to have Him pursue them. The worship that emerged from this group was simple, introspective, and vulnerable.
When worship leader Ben Crist wrote his first song - he didn't consider it a worship song... "I just wrote this cool song, but never thought it would be something we would play in worship. I thought maybe I'd have a side project where I'd play some of my own songs from time to time." But when a few friends persuaded him to use the song during a worship set - the people were touched, and as he wrote more and more songs, the group gathered around them as Anchor Fellowship. The songs became their soundtrack. They became songs that brought them closer to God, and God closer to them...
In an supersaturated and jaded music industry, Ben Crist’s The Glorious Unseen embodies a refreshing take on the strength of song simplicity and heart felt authenticity. Somewhat akin to Whole era Pedro the Lion or The Violet Burning’s ’91 classic, Strength, The Glorious Unseen seamlessly embodies the aural equivalent of deep, worshipful longing. Stylistically, a slight, reverent nod to shoegaze-like white noise—similar to early Starflyer 59 or Slowdive—blankets the arrangements in a warm, droning undercurrent.
In 2005, The Glorious Unseen released its first worship CD, a project called Embracing the Call which featured five of his originals. The release caught the attention of Seattle's Tooth and Nail records, and The Glorious Unseen signed a deal with them in August 2006. That fall he entered the studio with Steve Hindalong and Marc Byrd (Leeland, Jeremy Camp) to record The Glorious Unseen debut album Tonight the Stars Speak, October 2007.
Produced by studio veterans Steve Hindalong and Marc Byrd (Leeland, Jeremy Camp) Tonight the Stars Speak captures a beautifully expansive, room-filling ambiance while maintaining the personal intimacy of Ben Crist’s vocal delivery. Rounding-out Crist’s arrangements are studio performances by Cool Hand Luke’s Mark Nicks and Sixpence None the Richer’s Matt Slocum.
Born out of a yearning for spiritual connectedness with other like-minded Christians, Tonight the Stars Speak’s unfolds as a continuous prayer-like confession in response to personally turbulent times. “Many of the songs are inspired from feeling disconnected or burdened with something” Crist recalls after facing the pain of a division within his home church, “Some songs are more intimate and personal. But all of them are written directly to God.”
The summer of 2008 took The Glorious Unseen all across the country and back. They played a wide range of events - including youth retreats, hardcore shows, churches, and fests. The Glorious Unseen gained main stage slots at both Cornerstone fest and Purple Door fests, while also appearing at Icthus fest, Soulfest, and TOM fest.
And while Crist shows respect for contemporary worship bands such as David Crowder and the like, “In my mind, the intended audience is kids that listen to Underoath and As Cities Burn and all those bands,” he exclaimed. “I want to see this group of ‘scene’ kids really captured into worship and the presence of God. But also - I think that it has a place in Christian music [in general] today as well”.
The new EP "Cries of the Broken" features acoustic versions of a few of the songs off of the "Tonight the Stars Speak" album. The record features the harp sounds of Timbre, and guest vocals by Janell Belcher of The Ember Days.
The Glorious Unseen has just completed recording their sophomore album on BEC Recordings aptly titled The Hope that Lies in You,a new collection of authentic reflections dealing with the ups and downs of Christian life which will release on August 25th. The Hope that Lies in You serves as a battle cry of optimism in our increasingly pessimistic world. The Glorious Unseen wants to encourage listeners to not live in fear and isolation--even when the media is saying everything is a disaster.
The Glorious Unseen is already making waves in the festival circuit and at home. Members of the Tooth and Nail / Solid State roster had this to say: The Glorious Unseen is "one of the only worship bands I actually like" claims Tim McTague of Underoath. “This sounds amazing,” says Joshua Scogin of The Chariot “I have always loved what Ben is doing.” Matt MacDonald of The Classic Crime says “I’m putting this on my Ipod.”
Listen to The Glorious Unseen Here
|Embracing The Call||2005||Independent|
|Tonight the Stars Speak||2007||BEC Recordings|
|The Cries Of The Broken EP||2008||BEC Recordings|
|How He Loves EP||2009||BEC Recordings|
|Hope That Lies in You||2009||BEC Recordings|
|Love Sick||2012||BEC Recordings|