Soldier – Babylon – 1988

Soldier formed in 1986 in the Bay area of California. They very quickly went into the studio and recorded their first demo “Louder Than Hell”. This is their second demo recorded in 1988. Soldier was very well received in the California CCM Metal scene. They had a cult following that stuck with them for years though the band broke up in 1988. Copies of their demo’s were next to impossible to find but Millenium Eight Records stepped up in 2002 and released both demo’s together on one CD (These tracks are from this CD). The CD must have sold well as Roxx Records released an anthology from Soldier in 2018. It includes almost everything, if not everything the band ever recorded.

1 – Babylon
2 – Louder Than Hell
3 – Deadly Weapon
4 – One Of A Kind
5 – Priceless Heart
6 – Where Have All The Children Gone
7 – King Of The City
8 – Borderline
9 – Angel
10 – First Time
11 – Promises

Drums – Al Whalen
Bass – Marc Allen
Guitars – Rick Hunter Martinez
Vocals – Jimmy Arceneaux

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Mad at the World – Flowers In The Rain – 1988

Mike Pendleton joins the Rose brothers for the second album from Mad at the World. This album picks up where their first one left off. On this album their sound did evolve however and on some tracks we can here a tint of The Cult and/or The Cure. The Depeche Mode sound is still the mainstay of the album and you can’t help but hear it. The album reached number 38 on the Billboard Top Contemporary Christian Chart.

1 – Fearfully And Wonderfully – 3:50
2 – Flowers In The Rain – 4:15
3 – Why – 4:36
4 – Puppet Strings – 4:17
5 – No Mistakes – 3:18
6 – Wait – 3:29
7 – I Don’t Wanna Go There – 3:17
8 – Faith Is A Perfect Road – 3:36
9 – In My Dream – 3:51
10 – Lovelight In The Midnight – 5:08
11 – This Lie – 3:30
12 – Dancing On Your Grave – 5:58

Art Direction, Design – Ed McTaggart
Band [Mad At The World Is], Keyboards – Mike Pendleton
Band [Mad At The World Is], Vocals, Drum Programming – Randy Rose
Band [Mad At The World Is], Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar [Guitars], Drum Programming – Roger Rose
Design Concept [Cover Concept By] – Brian Kay, Ed McTaggart
Graphics [Logo Colorization By] – Brent Gordon
Illustration [Rose By] – Roger*
Photography By, Illustration [Cover Illustration By] – Bob Rowe
Producer [Produced By] – Roger Rose
Screen Printing [Litho-Prep By] – Orbis
Songwriter [All Songs Written By], Arranged By – Roger Rose

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Frontline Records
Copyright (c) – Frontline Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company
Recorded At – MATW Studios
Mixed At – MATW Studios
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus
Published By – Broken Songs

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Undercover – Undercover – 1982

This is the debut album from Undercover, one of the early and influential pop punk bands to come out of California in the early 80s. Incubating alongside Altar Boys and Lifesavors.

I consider Undercover to be the forerunner to MXPX, although not their sole influence. MXPX managed to merge Green Day, Ramones, Undercover and other ideas into a cohesive, long standing package.

The style of this album is now referred to as pop-punk, or even California-punk. In 1982 though, it seemed like the division of punk styles wasn’t so defined and it just was what it was.

This was a great alternative, or at least an addition to the musical diet for anyone addicted to The Ramones at the time.

Note the names. Joey Taylor on subsequent albums becomes Ojo Taylor, and Jim Nicholson becomes Gym Nicholson.

From the 1988 CD release “Volume 1” we receive this explanation in the liner notes:

Once upon a time, a long time ago in the 1970’s, there were two bands aimlessly wandering around a small town in Southern California called Yorba Linda. The name of one of those groups was J.C. Rose and the name of the other, Boaz. Jim Nicholson and myself, best friends since high school, were members of J. C. Rose along with Dave Hackbarth, who has been a priceless catalyst to a great many records and Artists since. The members of Boaz were Chris Winber, Danny Pavlis, Ray Hersom and Rick Alba among a few others. After a year or two of fruitless effots, the two groups disbanded, to form two new groups. Jim and I sayted together and added Danny Pavlis on Drums and Rick Alba on bass and started Undercover. Chris Winber and Ray Hersom went on to form Lifesavors. Undercover started rehearsing in a greenhouse owned by Danny’s parents and after a couple of months, had our first concert along with The Lifesavors (also their first concert) and another group, The Chosen Ones, consisting of Chris Pavlis (Danny’s brother) and Brian Doidge (who would later join The Lifesavors).

(the story is continued in the liner notes…)

The 1988 CD release “Volume 1” includes the two first albums from Undercover, plus an additional bonus track written by Taylor, and attributed to the debut album, “Dying In Love.”

Track Listing:
A1 Excuse Us Written-By – Walden, Alba 2:45
A2 Heal Me Written-By – Taylor 2:15
A3 I’ll Be A Fool Written-By – Taylor 1:15
A4 Francine Written-By – Alba 2:45
A5 It’s Official Written-By – Taylor 2:20
A6 Turn Your Head Written-By – Nicholson 2:45
A7 Look It Up Written-By – Taylor 2:40
B1 Read It In A Letter Written-By – Nicholson 2:05
B2 Daddy-O Written-By – Walden, Taylor 1:15
B3 Tonight Written-By – Nicholson 1:47
B4 Stop Written-By – Nicholson, Taylor 2:50
B5 He’s In Love With You Written-By – Alba 2:45
B6 I.C.U. Written-By – Taylor 2:40
B7 He Gives We Have Written-By – Taylor 2:25
Arranged By – Undercover
Artwork [Cover And Sleeve] – Milton R. Sue
Bass Guitar, Vocals – Rick Alba
Drums, Performer [Kindling], Vocals – Danny Pavlis
Engineer – Dan Willard, Thom Roy (tracks: A7), Tim Pinch (tracks: A1 to A6, B1 to B7)
Guitar [All Guitars], Vocals – Jim “Nuclear” Nicholson
Lead Vocals, Alto Saxophone – Bill Walden
Musician [Additional] – Giggles – Benjamin Taylor, Chris Pavlis, Dave Hackbarth Organ, Piano, Synthesizer, Vocals – Joey Taylor
Photography By [Cover] – George Zaferes
Producer – Dan Willard, Joey Taylor
Rhythm Guitar [After Tracks] – Ray Hersom

1 – Excuse Us – 2:45
2 – Heal Me – 2:15
3 – I’ll Be A Fool – 1:15
4 – Francine – 2:45
5 – It’s Official – 2:20
6 – Turn Your Head – 2:45
7 – Look It Up – 2:40
8 – Read It In A Letter – 2:05
9 – Daddy-O – 1:15
10 – Tonight – 1:47
11 – Stop – 2:50
12 – He’s In Love With You – 2:45
13 – I.C.U. – 2:40
14 – He Gives We Have – 2:25
Bonus Track
15 – Dying In Love – 4:29

Arranged By – Undercover
Artwork [Cover And Sleeve] – Milton R. Sue
Bass Guitar, Vocals – Rick Alba
Drums, Performer [Kindling], Vocals – Danny Pavlis
Engineer – Dan Willard, Thom Roy (tracks: A7), Tim Pinch (tracks: A1 to A6, B1 to B7)
Guitar [All Guitars], Vocals – Jim “Nuclear” Nicholson
Lead Vocals, Alto Saxophone – Bill Walden
Mastered By – KPG
Musician [Additional] – Giggles – Benjamin Taylor, Chris Pavlis, Dave Hackbarth
Organ, Piano, Synthesizer, Vocals – Joey Taylor
Photography By [Cover] – George Zaferes
Producer – Dan Willard, Joey Taylor
Rhythm Guitar [After Tracks] – Ray Hersom

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Ministry Resource Center
Copyright (c) – Ministry Resource Center
Copyright (c) – B-1 Music
Mastered At – The Cutting System, Inc.
Recorded at Rapture Repertory Theatre’s Warehouse and C.C.C.M. on Tim Pinch’s Mobile Recording Studio except for A7, recorded at Whitefield Studio

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Various – California Metal Volume II – 1988

This 1988 Regency Records sampler featured some of the best California Metal bands of the time and some very exclusive tunes. I have listed below where you can find the albums with the songs. Note that the CD and the cassette have one more track than the vinyl version.

1 – Vision – Runaway – Unreleased
2 – Emerald – Traitor – Unreleased until 2001 then bonus track on Armed For Battle re-release CD
3 – Recon – Light The Fire – Only released on a 1989 Demo
4 – Soldier – Borderline – On 1988 album Babylon
5 – Judea – Heart Of Stone – Unreleased Band
6 – Mastedon – Get Up – On 1989 album It’s A Jungle Out There
7 – Ransom – Sin Killer – Unreleased
8 – Emerald – Born To Die – Unreleased until 2001 then bonus track on Armed For Battle re-release CD
9 – Judea – Knock – Unreleased Band
10 – Soldier – Tears – Unreleased until 2002 then bonus track on The Definitive Collection 1985-1989 CD
11 – Recon – Dreams – On 1990 album Behind Enemy Lines

1 – Vision – Runaway – 4:56
2 – Emerald – Traitor – 2:39
3 – Recon – Light The Fire – 3:25
4 – Soldier – Borderline – 3:33
5 – Judea – Heart Of Stone – 4:32
6 – Mastedon – Get Up – 3:58
7 – Ransom – Sin Killer – 4:34
8 – Emerald – Born To Die – 4:17
9 – Judea – Knock – 4:24
10 – Soldier – Tears – 3:57
11 – Recon – Dreams – 4:59

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Ruscha – Come Alive – 1988

The Pankratz brothers changed the name of the band to Ruscha for this album. They had two previous albums as “The Russians”. If you don’t know the brothers are/were Siberian emigrants who defected from Russia in the early 80’s. It was really this album that broke the brothers into the main stream. They were featured on many newscasts and did a speaking tour in connection with the album tour. The Pop album had a mainstream feel and in fact they were negotiating with several major labels but alas as happened so often none of them took up the band and they stayed on Pan-Trax Records. This was it from the brothers but the rest of the band went on to become Legend Seven and released an album in 1993.

1 – Come Alive – 4:49
2 – Someone Listening – 3:38
3 – Broken Heart – 4:06
4 – Holy And True – 3:38
5 – Come Home – 4:21
6 – The Word Stands Forever – 4:42
7 – Burning Bridges – 4:20
8 – Exalt The Name – 3:41
9 – Do You Care? – 3:49
10 – Lord Of The Impossible – 3:15

Nikolai Pankratz – rhythm guitar, keyboard programming, bgvs
Peter Pankratz – bass guitar, bgvs, lead vocals
Andy Denton – lead vocals, bgvs
Billy Williams – drums, percussion programming
Lance Batchelder – keyboard
Michael Jackson – keyboards, bgvs, vocoder vocal, keyboard programming, string programming
Michael Jacobs – lead guitar, background vocals

Studio Credits
Produced by: Nikolai R. Pankratz & Bubba Smith
Executive Producer: Nikolai R. Pankratz
Mike Radovsky – drums
Duncan Mullins – bass, drum programming
Tom Hemby – guitar
Phil Naish – keyboards, bass programming
Tim Akers – keyboards
George Cocchini – guitar
Mark Douthit – sax
Jeff Teague – drums
Bubba Smith – cymbals
Recorded at: Gold Mine, Omni, Bullet, & Stage III studios
Mixed at: Woodland Studio

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Saint – Too Late For Living – 1988

This is the third studio album from Saint. The style is a continuation of their previous two albums although a little more matured. There is nothing of particular note on the album which is not to say it’s not a good album, it’s just that it is more of what Saint fans loved. There are a couple notable personnel situations on the album however. Dee Harrington took over guitar work on this album taking over from John Mahan. Strangely John was credited on the album but apparently did not actually do any work on the album. Personally after listening to albums from bot John and Dee I believe Dee is a better guitarist. Just my opinion. John Perrine took over drumming duties from Brian Willis and I believe this was just a trade off as neither drummer stood out to me. I’m not saying that either isn’t a good drummer just that I didn’t find anything on either album that allowed them to show their skills.

1 – Too Late For Living – 3:57
2 – Star Pilot – 3:29
3 – Accuser – 2:00
4 – The Rock – 2:50
5 – On The Street – 3:38
6 – Returning – 4:48
7 – The Path – 3:48
8 – Through The Sky – 3:49
9 – The War Is Over – 3:16

Bass – Richard Lynch
Drums – John Perrine
Executive-Producer – Gavin Morkel
Guitar – Dee Harrington, John Mahan
Producer – David Lohr, Richard Lynch
Vocals – Josh Kramer

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Lexicon/Spectra, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Pure Metal Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Pure Metal Records
Published By – Refuge Music Group

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Rez Band (Resurrection Band) – Silence Screams – 1988

Resurrection Band billed themselves as “Rez” during this phase of their highly influential career in Christian Rock. They were one of the first out of the gate to define the hard rock genre within CCM.

1988’s Silence Screams introduces a new band member, Roy Montroy on bass, replacing original member Jim Denton. Roy gets writing credits for the music on six of the ten tracks on the album, paired with Glenn’s lyrics. He obviously fit right in, easily making this band his home.

One of the things that always set Rez Band apart was the lyrical depth. Eight of the ten songs on this album were written by an Glenn Kaiser, an ordained minister with a heart for social issues. Lyrics and messages were never an afterthought for this band, and they never skimped on the content there.

This record started a new tradition that carried on for the next three studio albums. Namely, they started doing mainstream cover songs. Eric Clapton’s “Presence of the Lord” gets the Rez treatment here, which is their typical hard edged Chicago blues rock. This is probably my favourite version of this song.


1 – Silence Screams – 4:11
2 – You Got Me Rockin’ – 3:13
3 – Someone Sleeps – 5:18
4 – Waitin’ On Sundown – 4:04
5 – Presence Of The Lord – 4:33
6 – Light / Light – 3:43
7 – Rain Dance – 5:03
8 – Every Waking Hour – 4:05
9 – Three Seconds – 4:36
10 – You Get What You Choose – 4:30

Artwork [Cover Art By] – Dick Randall
Band [REZ Is], Bass, Keyboards – Roy Montroy
Band [REZ Is], Drums – John Herrin
Band [REZ Is], Guitar, Vocals – Glenn Kaiser
Band [REZ Is], Lead Guitar, Keyboards – Stu Heiss
Band [REZ Is], Vocals – Wendi Kaiser
Design [Cover Design], Photography By – Cornerstone Graphics
Engineer [Engineered By] – Ed Bialach, Roger Heiss, Roy Montroy
Guest, Keyboards – Percy Bady (tracks: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6)
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Producer [Produced By] – REZ*, Tom Cameron

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Grrr Records
Copyright (c) – Grrr Records
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Engineered At – Tone Zone Recording
Mastered At – Future Disc
Published By – Rez Band Music
Published By – Unichappell Music, Inc.

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Axia – Axia – 1988

Axia was another great Swedish Metal/Hard Rock Christian Band. Their music however was geared at a secular audience their core audience was Christian. This was their only full length album in the 80’s. They also released an EP and a single in the 80’s. There is a 2000 album but I don’t know if it was old or new material. The only noteworthy member of the band was Peo Pettersson who went on to record with Leviticus. That is not to diminish the other members as I believe this was a good tight band who deserve recognition. The album was essentially a self release on Pettersson’s label “Pop Productions”. The album was re-released in 2004 on a German label (MTM Music) with 4 bonus tracks. That is the version we have uploaded here.

1 – Intro (Instrumental) – 1:10
2 – It Ain’t Love – 3:34
3 – Loser – 5:17
4 – In For Rock ‘N Roll – 3:27
5 – Falling Apart – 4:55
6 – On My Way – 2:33
7 – Angela – 3:13
8 – Get Down – 3:49
9 – Confession Of Love – 3:57
10 – Fire – 3:15
Bonus Tracks
11 – Increasing Action – 2:29
12 – Forced Into Darkness – 4:38
13 – Never Ending Love – 3:12
14 – The Savage Ramblers – 3:32

Artwork, Design [Logo] – Ulrika.A.
Bass, Backing Vocals – Peter Andersson (30)
Crew – Björn Andersson (9), Patrik Süttenbach, Peter Pettersson (3), Stefan Bister
Drums, Backing Vocals – Michael Pethrus
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Morgan Blomquist
Lacquer Cut By – HCB*
Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals – Robert Jacobsson
Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Peo Pettersson
Producer, Arranged By, Engineer – Axia (2)

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Studio Vanäs
Lacquer Cut At – Holland Cutting Room

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Limit – When The Clock Strikes – 1988

Limit was another excellent band out of Sweden. This was their only release though apparently they did release a single in 1983 using the name Reflex. A few of the tracks have a Hard Rock sound but mostly the album has a Pop sound. It is very well produced which is surprising as it was producer Mårten Eriksson first album. There was such a great sound coming out of Sweden in the 80’s and this album is example of it.

1 – When The Clock Strikes
2 – Lifeforce
3 – Honestly
4 – There Is Power
5 – Over And Under
6 – King Of Love
7 – You Are Called
8 – Come
9 – Marching Out
10 – Passion Sea
11 – Divine Wind

Backing Vocals – Helena Sehlberg, Urban Johansson
Drums, Backing Vocals – Peter Olsson
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Trazan Nordström
Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Anders Svedberg
Photography – Leif Wikberg
Producer, Engineer, Bass, Vocals – Mårten Eriksson

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Samsound Musikstudio
Mixed At – Samsound Musikstudio
Printed By – SIB-Tryck AB, Norsborg

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Bloodgood – Rock In A Hard Place – 1988

This was the third release from Bloodgood. Many consider this to be their most “commercial” sounding album. It is easily my preferred album by them probably because there are tracks that lean more Hard Rock than Heavy Metal. The original recording had poor low end leading to complaints about the production quality. The 2015 re-release on CD was remastered to solve this problem. All in all I like this album which is saying a lot as I really don’t like Heavy Metal.

1 – Shakin’ It – 2:52
2 – Never Be The Same – 3:59
3 – The Presence – 3:29
4 – What Have I Done? – 3:41
5 – Heaven On Earth – 3:43
6 – Do Or Die – 2:21
7 – She’s Gone – 4:29
8 – The World (Keeps Movin’ Around) – 4:09
9 – Seven – 4:47

Arranged By [All Songs] – Bloodgood, Terry B. Shelton
Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Band [Bloodgood], Bass, Vocals – Michael Phillip Bloodgood
Band [Bloodgood], Drums – Mark Howard Welling
Band [Bloodgood], Guitar, Vocals – David Vincent Zaffiro
Band [Bloodgood], Vocals – Claude Leslie Carlsen
Design Concept [Cover Concept] – Sherri Jongeward
Engineer [Assistant] – Dave Dysart
Engineer [Engineered By], Mixed By – Terry B. Shelton
Graphics [Air Brushing] – Jeff Foster
Orchestrated By – Brook Lazotte, Terry B. Shelton
Photography By – Lynn DeBon
Producer [Produced By] – Terry B. Shelton

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Frontline Records
Copyright (c) – Frontline Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Produced For – Black Coat Productions
Recorded At – Bear Creek Studios
Published By – Broken Songs
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia

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