Believer – Extraction From Mortality – 1989

This was the first studio album from Believer but they had released an impossible to find demo in 1987. In 1988 they had a track on the East Coast Metal sampler and though that sampler was released by Regency it was actually R.E.X. Music that stepped up to release this album. So here we have a rather good thrash album. The album utilizes sound sampling on several tracks which to the best of my knowledge was a first in Christian Metal. That said I’m not really an expert in the genre. I think I will actually have to make up a new classification for the album, Commercial Thrash. I think there might be some appeal here even if you don’t care for thrash. Personally I don’t care for thrash but there are a few tracks here that I found myself listening to. It didn’t leave me wanting to hear more thrash but it did leave me wanting to hear more from Believer.

1 – Unite – 6:42
2 – Vile Hypocrisy – 5:36
3 – D.O.S. (Desolation Of Sodom) – 4:22
4 – Tormented – 3:52
5 – Shadow Of Death – 4:21
6 – Blemished Sacrifices – 3:58
7 – Not Even One – 3:38
8 – Extraction From Mortality – 6:07
9 – Stress – 3:03

Bass, Written-By – Howe Kraft
Drums, Mixed By, Written-By – Joey Daub
Engineer, Mixed By – Paul Krueger
Guitar, Vocals, Mixed By, Written-By – Kurt Bachman
Guitar, Written-By – Dave Baddorf
Illustration, Layout, Design – Jeff Spencer
Producer, Mixed By – Doug Mann
Violin, Viola – Scott Laird

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Morningstar Studios
Distributed By – Word (U.K.) Ltd
Made By – Music Manufacturers

9th Street – The Prayer – 1989

9th Street were a UK band that initially signed a record deal with German label Bellaphon. They then were able to secure deals in Canada, Italy, and strangely, South Africa. I can not find any info that this album was released in the United States but it was probably available as an import. Other than that I am unable to find out anything else about this band. Their sound is excellent. It’s a new wave pop sound that I think would have done well in the United States. I really enjoyed listening to this album and the cover of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” is probably one of the best I’ve heard. If you missed this one in the 80’s, and you probably did, it’s well worth a listen.

1 – Feel It – 3:17
2 – Some Time – 5:31
3 – The Feeling’s Gone – 4:46
4 – The Prayer – 4:32
5 – Tonight – 4:44
6 – Nobody Knows – 3:52
7 – Confusion – 6:00
8 – Ordinary Man – 4:36
9 – Sabotage And Secrets – 4:20
10 – I Heard It Through The Grapevine – 3:28

Guitars – Keith Beauvais
Keyboards – Kevin Mason
Producer, Recorded By – Rod Gammons
Saxophone – Chris Margary
Vocals – Mark Applin

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Bellaphon
Copyright (c) – C-Side Records
Recorded At – Rod Gammons Soundstudio
Recorded At – Berwick Street Studios
Produced For – C-Side Records

Armageddon – The Money Mask – 1989

This is the Introductory album from Armageddon. The band actually started up in 1987 as Second Chance and had a couple of Demo’s using that name. There were a few lineup changes in this time but nothing unusual for a new band. It was strange however that they brought in several session musicians to help out with this album which is not something you usually see with a Metal band. Apparently the band went into the studio to release the album themselves but R.E.X. Music decided to take a chance on it and stick their name on it. Unfortunately very few copies were pressed so there wasn’t much distribution of the album. As for the album I think it’s pretty good, several tracks lean hard rock instead of metal and quite frankly I found several tracks to my liking and I don’t really care for Metal. Though this was the only album from the band in the 80’s/90’s but they soldiered on and continued recording and self releasing music in the 2000’s. They now refer to themselves as Armageddon USA. This album was re-released in 2007 by Retroactive Records with an additional disc of bonus material. If I get my hands on that bonus disc I’ll be sure to review it.

1 – The Money Mask – 3:20
2 – Mercenaries Of Injustice – 4:08
3 – More Than Conquerors – 3:58
4 – Looking Out For You – 5:42
5 – The Ship Of Changes – 5:23
6 – (Liberation From) Blazing Wasteland – 3:45
7 – Nightlight – 5:44
8 – Giving It To You – 4:23
9 – The Judge – 4:50
10 – We’re Outa’ Here – 3:59

Backing Vocals – Charlie Phillips, Mike Vance, Paul Krueger (tracks: 9)
Bass – Dan Wilkinson
Design – Jeff Spencer
Drums – Joe Hasselvander (tracks: 2, 3, 4, 10), Mark Miley (tracks: 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Guitar – Charlie Phillips (tracks: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10), Phil Zeo (tracks: 5, 7, 8), Robby Lee (tracks: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10)
Keyboards – Janusz Smulski, Lamont Coward (tracks: 5)
Lead Vocals – Mike Vance
Mixed By – Paul Krueger
Producer – Paul Krueger
Twelve-String Guitar – Phil Zeo (tracks: 5)

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – R.E.X. Music
Manufactured By – American Helix Technology Corporation
Produced For – K Productions
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Talkingtown Records
Copyright (c) – Talkingtown Records
Pressed By – American Helix
Published By – Second Chance Music
Published By – Lamont Coward Publishing
Recorded At – Morning Star Communications

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Straightway – Black or White – 1989

Straightway were a Mid 80’s Metal band out of Houston, Texas who had a couple demo’s before releasing this EP in 1989. It has a very commercial Metal sound and is actually pretty well produced considering they produced it themselves. In reality this is a 4 song EP with a short instrumental and a novelty rap song. In my opinion they should have just left then off. The rap track is ridiculous and difficult to listen to but maybe my opinion would have been different in 1989. Actually I doubt it. So let’s remove those 2 tracks from the review and talk about the final 4. Like I said they have a pretty commercial sound and I’m a little surprised they didn’t have a follow up album but I honestly feel their Beastie Boys’ish rap track hurt them. Actually if someone had done a Beastie Boy’s type album it might have had some success but I wouldn’t have bought it. So if you like your metal with a commercial feel this is the EP for you.

1 – Black Or White – 4:32
2 – Come Back – 3:58
3 – Intro In C# Minor – 0:36
4 – Wounded Heart – 4:41
5 – Christ Is King – 5:05
6 – Don’t Even Swerve – 1:29

Artwork [Logo] – Juan Hidalgo
Bass, Vocals – Mark Walton
Drums, Vocals – Damon Tankersley
Engineer – Cary Wise
Lead Guitar – Doug Middleton
Lead Vocals, Keyboards – David Walton
Other [Hair & Makeup] – Renee Arrowood
Photography By – Jesslar Photography
Producer – Straightway
Rhythm Guitar, Vocals – Mike Locke

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Platinum Records International
Recorded At – Fourth Creation Studio, Conroe, Texas

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The Reach – Under The Same Sky – 1989

Before “In Reach” there was “The Reach”. They were essentially the same band with some slight personnel changes. Though they had 2 demo’s this is their first real album. The album was produced by David Zaffiro (Bloodgood). I don’t know if that’s why Image Records picked them up or if it was because Image picked them up. I really can’t find out too much information about the band so I guess I’ll talk about the album. I was really surprised at how good this album was considering it’s relatively unknown. It has a great 80’s pop sound though I have seen some writers refer to it as an AOR album but I actually beg to differ. The album if anything leans rock but is definitely a pop album. Maybe I’m splitting hairs here but the AOR title just doesn’t seem appropriate to this album for me. The lead track makes you want to listen to the whole album and I would have played it when I was a secular DJ. It definitely could have held it’s own on the Billboard charts. I’m not saying a top 10 but it could have made top 100 no problem. So if you missed this one in the 80’s you should give it a listen now and see what you missed, I think you’ll like it.

1 – Vogue – 3:15
2 – Rightful One – 3:27
3 – Big Time – 2:40
4 – 1 Lufthgir – 0:22
5 – Under The Same Sky – 4:05
6 – Tonight – 4:01
7 – B-4-I-Go – 4:14
8 – You Are The Light – 3:02
9 – 1000 Candles – 3:00

Arranged By – The Reach
Backing Vocals – Dave Schuller, Paula Meserole
Bass – Scott Burell
Consultant [Mixing Consultant] – Terry Shelton
Design [Album Design], Art Direction – James Jacobson
Drums, Percussion, Sound Designer [Sounds Effective], Text By [Sleeve Text Layout Assistant] – Vince Grant
Engineer, Mixed By, Edited By, Guitar [Additional] – Charles Meserole
Executive-Producer – Dorn Reppert
Guitar – Ken Mesford
Keyboards – Brooke Lizotte, David Hubbard
Producer, Arranged By, Engineer, Mixed By, Edited By, Backing Vocals, Sound Designer [Sounds Effective] – David Zaffiro
Vocals, Guitar, Backing Vocals – Brett Williams

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Image Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Image Records
Recorded At – Extra Sensory Productions
Mastered At – Motown/Hitsville U.S.A. Recording Studios

Jacob’s Trouble – Door Into Summer – 1989

This was the introductory album from Jacob’s Trouble. I can’t find any info on the band before they hit the studio to record this album. The album was produced by Terry Taylor (Daniel Amos) and Gene Eugene helped out on keyboards. The album features both a Monkees cover “Door Into Summer”, and a Beatles cover “Tell Me What You See”, The rest of the album has a Beatles / Monkees feel and sound too. Their future albums were better received than this one and I can understand why. This album seemed kind of dull to me. I just can’t get excited about it. It’s not a bad album just kind of dull. That said this is an important milestone in CCM music for who the band was and what they would become.

1 – Wind And Wave – 5:14
2 – Tell Me What You See – 3:20
3 – She Smiles At The Future – 3:59
4 – Church Of Do What You Want To – 4:45
5 – Awfully Familiar – 4:58
6 – Waiting For The Son – 4:15
7 – Door Into Summer – 3:07
8 – If You Believe – 4:22
9 – Million Miles – 3:28
10 – All For You – 3:38
11 – Psalm 151 – 3:51

Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals – Terry Taylor
Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Backing Vocals – Jerry Chamberlain, Ric Alba, The Troubling Jacobury’s
Bass [Rickenbacker], Vocals, Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Steve Atwell
Drums, Vocals, Tambourine, Backing Vocals – Jerry Davison
Engineer – Gene Eugene
Guitar, Twelve-String Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Backing Vocals – Mark Blackburn
Guitar, Keyboards, E-Bow – Greg Flesch
Photography By – Michael Seeley
Piano, Keyboards – Gene Eugene
Producer – Terry Taylor
Tambourine, Maracas, Percussion [Etc.] – Alex MacDougall
Written-By – Jerry Davison, Mark Blackburn, Steve Atwell, Terry Taylor

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Broken Songs
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.

D.O.X. – Through The Fire – 1989

This is the second and last album from D.O.X. For this album they moved over to Nikolai Pankratz’s Pan-Trax Records. This also marked the departure of the involvement of Rob Watson, Terry Taylor, and Tim Chandler. I have no idea what the story behind the first album was but it appears the band were doing their own thing for this album. They also changed drummers with Dave Fiorazo replacing Robert Foster. This album was produced by Bill Baumgart who I usually really like but I don’t think he did a great job with this album. It’s not the quality of the music that I have an issue with as the album is very well done. My small criticism is the varying styles on the album. There’s Pop, Rock, and even a metal tune (R U Runnin’). The album just doesn’t flow but it is a great album. The songs are great and the band is defiantly good. Too bad they came to an end after this album, there was a lot of talent here.

1 – Cutting Edge – 3:34
2 – I See A Day – 3:34
3 – Through The Fire – 4:36
4 – Don’t Look Back – 4:45
5 – Can’t You See – 3:50
6 – R U Runnin’ – 3:16
7 – Hearts On Fire – 3:16
8 – The Love That I Needed – 3:11
9 – Faces In The Wall – 3:40

Art Direction, Illustration [Cover Illustration & Logo] – Jeff Foster
Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Allison Beech, Bill Baumgart, Bob Carlisle
Bass Guitar, Chapman Stick – Jeff Foster
Booking – Frontrunner Agency, Stan Gill
Drums, Percussion – Dave Fiorazo
Engineer – Dan Abernathy, Dave Jahnsen
Engineer [Mastering Engineer] – John Matousek
Keyboards – Tim Heintz
Lead Guitar – Dennis Verner, Rick Lane
Lead Vocals, Words By – Mark de la Bretonne
Music By – Mark de la Bretonne, Rick Lane
Photography By – Bridgewater Photography
Producer – Bill Baumgart
Rhythm Guitar – Rick Lane
Saxophone – Eric Marienthal
Sound Designer [Live Sound], Tour Manager [Road Support] – Dave Wagner

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Pan-Trax Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Pan-Trax Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Pan-Trax Records
Copyright (c) – Pan-Trax Records, Inc.
Manufactured By – Pan-Trax Records, Inc.
Pressed By – Discovery Systems
Recorded At – Asylomar Studios
Recorded At – Studio West, San Diego
Mastered At – Hitsville

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Kellye Huff – In A Special Way – 1989

I think the entire Huff family came together to help Kellye get her first album out. The album was released on the Huff families record label “Giant Records” and Kellye had just debuted the year earlier on the David and the Giants album “Strangers To The Night”. It only had one charting single with “In A Special Way” just making it onto the charts at #40. What we have here is a slightly poppier version of David and the Giants with Kellye doing lead vocals. I am actually pretty impressed with her vocal skills, she obviously inherited the family music gift. That said the vocals are a little thin in places but it is her first album and there was much to be learnt yet. I’m looking forward to hearing her second album and hopefully hearing that development.

1 – Anticipation – 3:07
2 – Who In The World – 3:32
3 – All My Days – 3:46
4 – Tailor Me – 3:34
5 – In A Special Way – 3:38
6 – Sing His Song – 3:19
7 – I Cherish Thee – 3:37
8 – Glory Hallelujah – 3:23
9 – All I Need – 3:56
10 – Little Lamb – 4:49

Kellye Huff – Lead and Background Vocals
Lloyd Bustard – Songwriter
Rick Cooper – Songwriter
Karen Harding – Background Vocals
Clayborn Huff – Engineer, Songwriter, Bass
David W. Huff – Producer, Engineer, Mixed, Songwriter, Guitars, Mandolin, Background Vocals
Lance Huff – Drums, Percussion
Rayborn Huff – Engineer, Songwriter, Programming, Keyboards, Background Vocals
Anthony Neal – Saxophone
Terry Ostovich – Mixed
Tim Pedigo – Background Vocals
Larry Rust – Keyboards
Donnie Sanders – Saxophone
Tommy Sims – Songwriter, Keyboards
Hank Williams – Mastered

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Giant Records
Copyright (c) – Giant Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Distributed By – Mitchell Family Books, Inc.
Pressed By – Nimbus

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Greg X Volz – No Room in the Middle – 1989

This was Greg’s 3rd solo album and his first on what I suspect is his own label “River Records”. I am actually quite impressed how well he did with a new label release. You can’t argue with an album with 4 top 20 CCM chart hits with “Waitin’ On Someday” doing the best making it to #5. Now we know that CCM chart hits do not translate into sales so I would love to hear some sales numbers for this album as it did struggle with distribution. Anyway let’s get to the album itself. Greg’s excellent vocals dominate as usual. CCM chart numbers mean nothing to me so I think the best track is “Gethsemane”. Unfortunately because it is 7:40 long it will not end up in my regular rotation as quite frankly I get bored with it at about the 5 minute mark. I feel I need to address the “Feelings” track as I can’t decide if it was intentionally quirky or just a bad musical decision. But that’s the end of my criticisms because this is a great album and is a must listen to.

1 – Walk Toward The Light – 4:51
2 – No Room In The Middle – 3:48
3 – Love Moves In A Different Circle – 4:13
4 – The Carpenter – 4:05
5 – I’m Yours – 5:58
6 – Servants And Witnesses – 5:05
7 – Feelings – 5:18
8 – Frontline – 4:19
9 – Gethsemane – 7:38
10 – Waitin’ On Someday – 5:46

Arranged By – George Atwell, Michael Atwell
Bass – Gary Lunn, Matt Pierson
Co-producer – Greg X. Volz
Design – Camille Engel
Drums – Marvin Steinberg
Guitar – Kirk Henderson, Paul Brannon, Tom Hemby
Keyboards [Additional] – Jonathan David Brown
Keyboards, Arranged By – Carl Marsh
Mastered By – Ken Love
Mixed By, Producer, Recorded By – Jonathan David Brown
Photography By – Russ Harrington
Saxophone – Mark Douthit
Synthesizer – Joe Hogue
Vocals – Greg X. Volz

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – GMI Records
Recorded At – Johnny dB’s Basement
Mixed At – Johnny dB’s Basement
Mastered At – Mastermix
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – River Records
Copyright © – River Records

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White Heart – Freedom – 1989

Freedom is the sixth studio album by White Heart and their last with Sparrow Records though Sparrow would continue distribution under an arrangement between the Sparrow Records and Star Song labels. This was also the last album for Tommy Sims, Gordon Kennedy and Chris McHugh. I guess you could say this album marked a end of a chapter for the band. I read a few reviews of this album and some reviewers thought this was one of their best if not their best album. I don’t really fall in that camp of reviewers. It’s a pretty good album and there’s a track or two that will make it into my rotation but their best? Not really. The album is a nice mix of CCM singles with 3 making it to the charts and “The River Will Flow” doing the best at #13 There’s also a couple power tracks that are more my style. So my final rating is pretty darn good and has enough different style to satisfy most listeners.

1 – Bye Bye Babylon – 4:06
2 – Sing Your Freedom – 4:59
3 – Let the Kingdom Come – 5:04
4 – Over Me – 5:19
5 – Eighth Wonder – 4:25
6 – Power Tools – 4:20
7 – Invitation – 4:53
8 – The River Will Flow – 6:55
9 – Set the Bridge on Fire – 4:31
10 – Let It Go – 4:15
11 – I’ll Meet You There – 4:22

Art Direction – Barbara Catanzaro-Hearn, Larry Vigon
Backing Vocals – White Heart
Band [White Heart Is] – Billy Smiley, Chris McHugh, Gordon Kennedy, Mark Gersmehl, Rikk Florian, Tommy Sims
Design – Larry Vigon Studio
Engineer [Additional Engineer] – Byron House
Engineer [Assistant Engineers] – Carry Summers, Kevin Twit, Mark Nevers, Paula Montondo, Shawn McLean, Steve Bishir, Todd Moore
Executive-Producer – Peter York
Lead Vocals – Rikk Florian (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 6, 9 to 11)
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Producer [Produced By] – Brown Bannister
Recorded By, Mixed By – Jeff Balding

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright © – The Sparrow Corporation
Recorded At – The Bennett House
Recorded At – The Castle Recording Studios
Recorded At – Digital Recorders
Recorded At – OmniSound Studios
Mastered At – Masterdisk
Manufactured By – EMI Jax
Published By – Songs Of PolyGram International, Inc.
Published By – Yellow Jacket Music, Inc.
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Birdwing Music
Published By – Kid And The Squid Music

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