Barnabas – Approaching Light Speed – 1983

After two releases on Canada’s Tunesmith label that featured a very eclectic combination of punk, funk, metal and blues, Barnabas signed to Light Records (home of Sweet Comfort and Resurrection Band) and unleashed a fury of heavy metal onto the CCM world that was light years ahead of the industry. Young guitar virtuoso Brian Belew plays with a Van Halen flair and the music is pure heavy metal for fans of Triumph and Van Halen. Production was also superior for the time with real guitar mixes and a wall of sound type vocal production. This was very big sounding, especially for the day. Nancy Jo Mann’s vocal can be an acquired taste for some with a little Grace Slick with more passion and power, but on this album it works quite well. There are some very interesting musical interludes such in the case of “If Love Brings Love” that starts with just an acoustic piano and slowly builds into a huge wall of guitars and becomes a rock anthem in the truest sense of the term. The call of the Gosepl is proclaimed with brilliant clarity. Waiting for the Aliens is a 6-plus minute epic that, like many artists lyrics during the time, deals with a particular view of end times replete with Marks, Antichrists and a deception of the world that will cause everyone to believe aliens have taken over the world. This is borrowed from many popular prophecy prognosticators and was not a rare hypothesis. the song rocks though! The album ends with another epic that is more progressive rock in nature than the rest of the album with several musical and time signature changes. “Crucifixion” also features a bass solo, which is so “old school” that it’s almost shocking to hear now even though it was not the peculiar for the time. The songs is a wonderful, well arranged and powerful depiction of the passion in a borderline rock opera type setting. By the way…the album cover rocked!

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – No Freedom – 4:30
2 – Stormclouds – 4:39
3 – If Love Brings Love – 4:03
4 – Waiting For The Aliens – 6:10
5 – Warrior – 3:55
6 – Never Felt Better – 3:20
7 – Subterfuge – 5:47
8 – Crucifixion – 5:59

Bass, Keyboards – Gary Mann
Cover [Cover Art] – Kernie Erickson
Drums, Percussion – Kris Klingensmith
Engineer – Tom Tucker
Engineer [Additional Technical Assistance] – John Hurst
Guitar – Brian Belew
Photography By – Dennis Mabie
Producer – Barnabas, Tom Tucker
Vocals – Nancy Jo Mann

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Lexicon Music, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Lexicon Music, Inc.
Pressed By – Electrosound Group Midwest, Inc.
Published By – Lexicon Music, Inc.
Recorded At – Triad Studios, Des Moines
Mastered At – Future Disc

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Author: David Lowman

Owner and writer at CCM's 500 Best Albums Of All Time.

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