I began writing this review listening to "Stick To Your Gunz" and The Coup's "Bullets and Love" and it reminded me of "Find A Way To Fight," one of the many highlights on musical artist Manafest's new Album, "Stones," which dropped on July 21.

So, I decided to skip over the potent punch of the first four songs and delve into the anthemic "Fight," seemingly destined for a single's release designation, but you never know in music. If your journey on "Stones" begins with this track then you've found yourself a great starting point (just remember to work backward).

"My friend Mark, from the band Redlight King, wrote it and I thought it needed to be heard," stated Manafest, a Canadian native and veteran of nine studio albums (the last two being independents), via email.

"That theme speaks of me being a fighter and finding a way to fight another day."

The music

What is Stones? Assured rapping and infectious heavy synth/keys with raging guitar riffs set against themes of leaning on the Son of Man during rough patches and persevering through the challenges of relationships. "I talk a lot about the struggle of being in a relationship and not bailing on it just because it gets hard," he explained. "My faith in trusting Jesus in hard times is always weaved throughout my music." That message hits home on the track "Won't Give Up." "You build me up when I break down...you heal the scars beneath my skin, you pull me out when I fall in."

And the blessed listeners of Manafest's music should be thankful that the Almighty is his torch in the dark.

It has allowed him to successfully navigate the unpredictable terrain of audio art and continue providing his fans with far-reaching compositions.

"God said, 'You're not done yet.' I've really given my music career to God," he wrote.

Manafest collaborated with Grammy Award-winning producers and mainstays, Adam Messinger and Seth Mosley, respectively, on this effort, while also obtaining the talents of multi-instrumentalist Lenny Skolnik, known for his work with Switchfoot, Simple Plan, and Billy Talent among others.

His signature

Through your Beats or whatever your choice in personal audio delivery is, "Stones" could sound like Linkin Park and P.O.D., with hints of Faith No More and Pet Shop Boys, but at the end of the album, it's strictly Manafest. Eleven tracks that hook you in, put you on the mind's dance floor, and serve up inspiration at the lyrical takeout.

According to NewreleaseToday, Manafest's jams have resulted in album sales of 300,000 plus and more than 1,000 performances on four continents -- including a recent tour supporting Scott Stapp of Creed fame and current vocalist for Art of Anarchy. In addition, he has received four Juno nominations (the Canadian Grammys) and has had songs featured on "CSI: Miami," "One Tree Hill," and "MTV Unplugged."