What I find interesting about all of this is how the album is being reviewed. Virtually every review I've read makes an almost apologetic defense of the album, despite its religious overtones. Here's a fairly typical example:
Overall, however, “The Life of the World to Come” avoids this trap. Darnielle’s use of the Bible to highlight his characters’ conflicts paints an intricate portrait on the neutral sonic canvas; the album’s slips into repetition are overshadowed by the power of this human struggle.And my personal favourite:
Is it surprising Darnielle was able to transform the contents of a book that generates so much conflict into simply beautiful music with a passionate message? No, not really. If they can be counted on for anything, the Mountain Goats can be counted on for great lyrical composition. The Life of the World to Come doesn’t require its listener to be someone familiar with religion, a follower of Christianity or even a person whose only religious experience boils down to CCD classes. Although it might sound fairly cheesy, the Mountain Goats’ album is able to transcend religion and get straight to the message, whatever one believes that message to be. The Life of the World to Come is simple, magnificent music with an immense amount of depth.This appeal to a higher, supposedly more inclusive, category - something "neutral" like Human Experience - is amusingly evasive and a rather thin attempt to accomodate a loaded work of art into the public sphere. Religion is now something to be "transcended." Ha!