Vengeance Rising – Once Dead – 1990

This is the second studio album by Vengeance Rising. It follows the same path of thrash metal as their first album. It is often considered their best album and I’ve read a few reviews that said it was the best Christian thrash album ever. Apparently it’s good enough that it crossed over into secular fans. As I’ve said before when It comes to this style I have no idea if it’s good or not as it’s all I can do to listen to it’s once. The lyrics are very biblical based (when I could understand them) which I found surprising but their is one exception track and that’s a rather odd cover of Deep Purples’ Space Truckin’. I’m not criticizing I just struggle to figure out the reason for this track. Anyway here it is, apparently the best Christian Thrash Metal album their is.

1 – Warfare – 4:50
2 – Can’t Get Out – 3:50
3 – Cut Into Pieces – 3:15
4 – Frontal Lobotomy – 4:05
5 – Herod’s Violent Death – 3:07
6 – The Whipping Post – 8:40
7 – Arise – 4:50
8 – Space Truck’In – 5:00
9 – Out Of The Will – 2:04
10 – The Wrath To Come – 2:43
11 – Into The Abyss – 8:18
12 – Among The Dead – 3:03
13 – Interruption – 0:50

Arranged By – Vengeance Rising
Bass – Roger Dale Martin
Drums – Glenn Mancaruso
Engineer, Mixed By – Dave Jahnsen
Guitar – Doug Thieme, Larry Farkas
Mastered By – Eddie Schreyer
Producer, Mixed By – Ron Goudie
Vocals – Roger Martinez

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Intense Records
Copyright (c) – Intense Records
Recorded At – The Mixing Lab
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia

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Halo – Halo – 1990

Halo, which apparently stands for “Heavenly Angelic Light Orchestra”, were a great hard rock/metal band out of Alabama. They formed in 1980 and strangely had a non Christian drummer, Mike Graham, who was also only 14 years old while the rest of the band was in the area of 21 years old. He did come to Christ in a couple years but I find it odd someone would ask a 14 year old non Christian drummer to join their adult Christian band. But whatever, it all seemed to work out. The band played for the next 9 years without a record deal. A demo tape got to Bob Hartman (Petra) and he started to mentor the band. Bob finally got them a record deal in 1989 with the Elefante brothers over at Pakaderm Records. This album was then recorded with much involvement of the Elefante’s and released in 1990. Best description of the sound would be a power Rock & Roll band which some (including me) might consider to be light metal. This is one that definitely deserves a listen.

1 – Jesus Music – 4:20
2 – Lord Of All – 4:39
3 – Good Feeling – 4:13
4 – Soul Searcher – 4:35
5 – Skyrocket – 3:45
6 – Lose To Live – 4:33
7 – Sing (Of His Glory) – 4:21
8 – Language Barrier – 5:09
9 – Time To Run – 4:01
10 – Timeless – 1:07

Arranged By [Additional] – Bob Hartman (tracks: 3, 4, 8)
Backing Vocals – John Elefante
Band [Halo], Drums, Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Mike Graham
Band [Halo], Guitar, Backing Vocals – Keith Mims
Band [Halo], Lead Vocals, Bass Guitar – Scott Springer
Cover, Illustration, Layout – Robert Fischer
Drums – David Raven (tracks: 5)
Engineer, Mixed By – Dino Elefante, John Elefante, Mike Mierau
Guitar – Dino Elefante, Glen Pierce, Tony Palacios (tracks: 5)
Keyboards – John Elefante
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Piano – John Schreiner (tracks: 4, 8)
Producer – Dino Elefante, John Elefante
Vocals [Duet] – John Elefante (tracks: 5), Scott Springer (tracks: 5)

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Pakaderm Records
Copyright (c) – Pakaderm Records
Published By – Benefante Music
Recorded At – Pakaderm Studios
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab

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Jet Circus – Step On It – 1990

I get the feeling you either love or hate this album. I’m going to be honest on first listen I didn’t like it but I didn’t hate it either. Keep in mind I listen to a new album every day so so often I forget about them 20 minutes after listening to it. I listened to this album yesterday but today felt I had to listen to it again. Then it hooked me. Ez Gomér and Terry Haw from Leviticus decided to try something new and this is it. This is the only album we got from them in the 90’s though they did record a second one but apparently there was a record label problem and it has never been released. Can you even believe Word Records released this one? If I had to describe the sound I guess I would pick “Fusion Metal” but even that’s not fair because this album is it’s own dog. Don’t give up after the opening track as the rest of the album does not incorporate rap again. Personally however “Victory Dance” works for me and I HATE rap in any form so that’s saying something. If you really only have time for one track at least make it their cover of the Gene Vincent song “Be Bop A Lula”.

1 – Victory Dance – 3:30
2 – Rockin’ Horse – 3:43
3 – Jet Blue – 3:18
4 – Step On It – 5:15
5 – Ghost Town – 4:09
6 – Break This Jail – 5:40
7 – Be Bop A Lula – 2:44
8 – Train – 4:07
9 – Run – 4:39
10 – Dress In White – 4:14

Bass, Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Ez Gomér
Design – Ez Gomér
Engineer [Engineered By] – Janne Mattsson, Martin Cervall
Guest [Special Thanks To], Choir – Lotta Gustavsson (tracks: 1)
Guest [Special Thanks To], Drum Programming – Jörgen Tjusling
Guest [Special Thanks To], Harmonica – Göran Norin
Lead Vocals, Guitar – Terry Haw
Photography By – Lennart Sjöberg
Producer [Produced By] – Ez Gomér, Terry Haw
Written-By [All Titles By] – Ez Gomér (tracks: 1 to 6, 8 to 10), Terry Haw (tracks: 1 to 6, 8 to 10)

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Wonderland
Copyright (c) – Wonderland
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word Records Limited
Copyright (c) – Word Records Limited
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Copyright (c) – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Studio Jam (3)
Published By – Big Rage! Productions

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Haven – Your Dying Day – 1990

This was the introductory album from New Jersey metal band Haven. Released in 1990 you might have missed it in the flood of Metal albums coming out at this time but this one did have some differences. It is more of a white metal album with no keyboards confusing the sound. You certainly won’t mistake this for the glam style metal albums of the time. This is in fact a straight up metal band that relies on great guitar riffs and solid time keeping drums. The vocals are not that high pitch screaming but instead a more middle of the range quality feel. Again this is not my style of music but I can hear the quality here. These guys definitely knew what they were doing. My only complaint is the mix, it just really could have used some more range but instead feels compressed at times. That said you should definitely give this album listen if you missed it at the time. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

1 – On Judgement Day – 5:22
2 – Deliver Me – 4:47
3 – Murder – 4:48
4 – Below The Grave – 2:49
5 – The Calling – 5:36
6 – America – 4:38
7 – Escape – 4:34
8 – Help Me Follow – 3:23
9 – I Found Love – 5:35
10 – Your Dying Day – 5:37

Acoustic Guitar – Andrew Bruner
Artwork – Sudden Images
Backing Vocals – Kevin Ayers
Drums – Tim Benton
Electric Bass – Ed Bruner
Electric Guitar – Andrew Bruner
Electric Guitar, Rhythm Guitar – Kevin Ayers
Lead Vocals – Kevin Ayers
Photography By – Mike Ayers
Producer – Doug Mann, Paul Krueger
Songwriter – Haven

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Morningstar Studios
Distributed By – Spectra Distribution, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – R.E.X. Music Inc.
Copyright (c) – R.E.X. Music Inc.
Glass Mastered At – DADC – DIDX-008265

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Toni Rossi – Love In The City – 1990

After the dissolution of Daniel Band Guitarist/Vocalist Toni Rossi did a couple of solo projects. This is the first of those 2 projects. If you like Daniel Band you should like this album. It has a Hard Rock sound and is not that far a departure from Daniel Band. It does have a blues feel in places which Rossi does extremely well. It appears that Rossi put together an entirely new band for this project as no members of Daniel Band are credited as contributing to the album. The album was partly produced by Wolf Hassel who Canadians might be familiar with as he was in Sheriff and Frozen Ghost. I can’t find any other connection of him to Christian music so this was probably more of a professional arrangement. Toni did do one more album after this one using the moniker “TRB” (Toni Rossi Band).

1 – Down Where The Love Grows – 3:55
2 – Sooner Or Later – 5:03
3 – Ain’t Nobody Gonna – 4:00
4 – Not What It Seems – 3:24
5 – Love In The City – 5:37
6 – Candles – 0:48
7 – Higher – 4:53
8 – I.C.Y. – 4:38
9 – Love Followed Me Home – 4:23
10 – One Way Inn – 4:11
11 – Dry The Tears – 4:38

Toni Rossi – Vocals, Guitars, Backing vocals
Frank Catrambone – Drums
Lynn Fuhr – Backing Vocals
David Graham – Keyboards, Backing vocals
John Hughes – Drums
Wayne Morgan – Bass, Backing vocals
Sam Sundarsingh – Backing vocals
Steven Jones – Cover Design, Illustrations
Michael Sarracini – Engineer, Producer
Wolf D. Hassel – Producer

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Spectra Distribution
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Refuge Records
Copyright (c) – Refuge Records

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Crossection – Breaking Ground – 1990

The Rawling brothers are back with their second and last album as “Crossection”. It’s even better than their first album and I think if this album had been published closer to 1985 these guys would have been known to everyone who listened to CCM music. Unfortunately they were just a little late and as such they never received the credit they should have. This is a fantastic Pop Rock album with hints of Nightranger and Bon Jovi. It is not metal though you will read that in a few spots on the internet. I have no idea what album those people were listening to but it’s not any of the 3 Crossection albums I have listened to. The brothers did go on to do one more CCM album after this one using the moniker “Doug Rawling And The Fourth Watch”. Of course if your Canadian you’re probably well aware of their country music work up until this day. So if you missed this one in 1990 take a bit of time and give it a listen, you will not be disappointed.

1 – River’s Edge – 4:13
2 – Give It A Rest – 4:13
3 – Too Much Sadness – 4:28
4 – Touch The Sky – 4:30
5 – Fork In The Road – 5:08
6 – Where You Go – 5:14
7 – High And Dry – 3:12
8 – Tears For The Taking – 4:42
9 – I’m Missing You – 4:12
10 – Against The Grain – 6:11

Dale Johnson – Keyboards, Vocals
Nevin Eggum – lead & rhythm guitar, lead vocals
Douglas Rawling – rhythm guitar, lead vocals
Bruce Rawling – bass, acoustic guitar, lead vocals
Martin Zinger – drums, vocals

Companies, etc.
Manufactured For – Image 7 Music, Vancouver
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Image 7 Music Inc.
Copyright (c) – Image 7 Music Inc.

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Guardian – Fire And Love – 1990

This is the second album from Guardian. There were a few personnel changes with Jamie Rowe coming in on vocals and Karl Ney on drums. Jamie Rowe had been with Tempest and was a great fit with Guardian. Though this album is often called a metal album I disagree. To me it’s more Hard Rock but I admit does have a few metal “moments”. Often it’s compared to Bon Jovi but again I don’t really agree. It really does have it’s own sound but I more often hear Def Leopard than Bon Jovi. Further enhancing this album is the fact that John & Dino Elefante were involved in the project with John helping with Songwriting and Keyboards. Both brothers engineered and produced the album. There was a music video produced for “Power Of Love” but no one seems to know if MTV ever played it. Guardian definitely turned it up a notch for this album and it definitely deserves a listen.

1 – Power Of Love – 4:33
2 – Send A Message – 4:00
3 – Time Stands Still – 4:26
4 – Forever And A Day – 5:11
5 – Takin’ On The World – 3:52
6 – Fire And Love – 3:25
7 – Turnaround – 4:18
8 – Time And Time Again – 4:52
9 – The Rain – 5:31
10 – Never Say Goodbye – 5:06

Accordion – Glen Hirami
Art Direction, Design – Terry DeGraff
Backing Vocals – Max Alpha, Dino, Jamie, John, Tony
Bass – David Bach
Cover [Consultant] – Sandra Ney
Drums – David Raven, Karl Ney
Engineer – Dino Elefante, Jeff Simmons, John Elefante, Mike Mierau
Guitar – Tony Palacios
Keyboards – John Elefante
Lead Vocals – Jamie Rowe
Mixed By – Dino Elefante, Mike Mierau
Mixed By [Assisted By] – Gil Griffith
Pedal Steel Guitar – Ron Eglit
Photography By – Jeff Jones
Producer – Dino Elefante, John Elefante
Vocals – David Bach, Karl Ney, Tony Palacios

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Pakaderm Records
Copyright (c) – Pakaderm Records
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Pressed By – Denon Digital Industries
Recorded At – Pakaderm Studios
Mastered At – Precision Mastering

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Deliverance – Weapons Of Our Warfare – 1990

For their second album Deliverance turned up the thrash to 10. Upon reading reviews of this album it seems like this album is loved by the people who love this genre. A few even said this may be the best Christian trash album ever. Obviously I can’t really comment on this as I don’t like thrash and to me it all sounds the same. I did find the track “23” quite interesting as it makes a reference to Psalm 23. I just can’t get used to thrash metal making a reference to a Psalm. Anyway while I may not care for the album I can tell that it is a good album judging from the reviews. It’s history of re-releases, 2008, 2014, and twice in 2017 is a further testament to it’s popularity. So if you’re a metal head with a love of thrash this obviously is the album for you.

1 – Supplication – 1:48
2 – This Present Darkness – 2:47
3 – Weapons Of Our Warfare – 4:25
4 – Solitude – 6:05
5 – Flesh And Blood – 7:27
6 – Bought By Blood – 3:17
7 – 23 – 5:49
8 – Slay The Wicked – 4:03
9 – Greetings Of Death – 2:49
10 – If We Faint Not – 4:25

Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Band [Deliverance Is], Bass – Brian Khairullah
Band [Deliverance Is], Drums – Chris Hyde
Band [Deliverance Is], Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – George Ochoa
Band [Deliverance Is], Vocals [All Vocals], Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar – Jimmy P. Brown II
Co-producer [Co-produced By] – Jimmy P. Brown II
Design Concept [Cover Concept By] – Jimmy P. Brown II
Engineer [2nd Engineer] – Brian “Missing” Person
Engineer, Producer [Production Assistant] – Eric “Homefilth” Kibbe
Illustration [Cover Illustration By] – Joe Yakovetic
Layout – Joe Potter
Mixed By – Bill Metoyer
Photography By – Douglas Cloutier
Producer [Produced By] – George Ochoa

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Intense Records
Copyright (c) – Intense Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Published By – Broken Songs
Published By – Carlotta Publishing
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia

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Adam Again – Homeboys – 1990

When a band with only five studio releases is able to have four placed on a list like this, it says something about the band that is beyond impressive. And the thing is, I am not a huge Adam Again fan stylistically, but utterly recognize the Gene Eugene Andrusco and crew created some of the most impressive music ever recorded over that very short five album career. And I don’t just mean the most impressive music ever recorded in CCM…but anywhere! The title track kicks off things with such an unforgettable groove and some impressive and memorable lyrics. Eugene’s is master storyteller here and anyone who remembers their youth and childhood will find something here to reflect upon. The loss of friendship and innocence is difficult and real. Obviously raised with a love for blues, R&B and cool funk/soul, Eugene was able to capture those grooves and place them firmly into the heart of alternative music. Often compared vocally to Michael Stipe and, in the early days, musically to The Talking Heads, on Homeboys there is more jazz, funk and heavier rock influences than either of those comparisons. Very few bands with the above comparisons and influences would be able to create a song like “Hide Away.” Mellow without ever being soft there is something more Van Morrison like here and it is utterly brilliant with a perfectly included violin accompaniment. The vocal passion in the album’s closer, No Regrets, again points to why this band was so amazing. Eugene and then wife, Riki Michelle, join forces here to bring the message home. The most auto-biographical record for Eugene, Homeboys is a classic along with two more that will follow.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Homeboys – 3:41
2 – The Fine Line – 4:32
3 – Hide Away – 2:51
4 – Bad News On The Radio – 3:52
5 – Inner City Blues – 5:44
6 – Dance Around In Circles – 2:39
7 – This Band Is Our House – 5:56
8 – Save Me – 4:11
9 – Occam’s Razor – 3:35
10 – No Regrets – 5:24

Art Direction, Layout, Photography By – Bruce Heavin
Assemblage [Assembled By] – Dave Collins
Bass – Paul Valadex
Drums – Jon Knox
Engineer [Additional] – Greg Lawless, Ojo Taylor, Paul Valadez, Super C
Keyboards – James Werning
Lead Guitar – Greg Lawless
Mixed By – G. Eugene
Mixed By [With] – Greg Lawless (tracks: 1, 2, 5 to 10), Jeff Simmons (tracks: 3, 4), Paul Valadez (tracks: 1, 2, 5 to 10)
Producer [Produced By] – Gene Eugene
Recorded By – G. Eugene
Saxophone – Dan Michaels
Vocals – Riki Michele
Vocals, Guitar, Electric Piano [Rhodes], Organ [B-3] – G. Eugene
Voice [Preaching] – Rev. Howard Finster, Man Of Visions

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Brainstorm Artists International
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – The Mixing Lab
Recorded At – Neverland
Recorded At – Winetree Recording
Recorded At – Pakaderm West Studios
Mixed At – The Mixing Lab
Mixed At – Pakaderm Studios
Engineered At – Icehouse, Upland, CA
Engineered At – A&M Studios
Mastered At – Bernie Grundman Mastering
Published By – Chenka, Chenka Music
Published By – Jobete Music
Manufactured By – JVC

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Holy Soldier – Holy Soldier – 1990

Holy soldier formed in the 80’s by bassist Andy Robbins and guitarist Jamie Cramer and they quickly gained popularity in their hometown of Los Angeles. They commonly played secular outlets but maintained an evangelical message. In 1988 they released a demo and it was very popular in both secular and Christian circles. They were subsequently signed to some sort of deal between Word (Myrrh) and A&M Records. I’m not sure but I think they may have been the first Metal band sign by Word but admittedly I could be wrong. The album did really well in Christian circles and actually had some moderate success with secular audiences. The album achieved two Dove Awards in the hard rock song and album of the year categories. Point of trivia of the album is that is was produced by Bloodgood guitarist David Zaffiro and he did a great job. The album has a polished commercial sound and was as good as anything published at the time in the secular Metal genre.

1 – Stranger – 3:25
2 – See No Evil – 5:28
3 – The Pain Inside Of Me – 6:35
4 – Cry Out For Love – 3:28
5 – Tear Down The Walls – 3:58
6 – When The Reign Comes Down – 5:17
7 – Lies – 4:58
8 – Eyes Of Innocence – 3:55
9 – Love Me – 4:15
10 – We Are Young, We Are Strong – 5:15

A&R [A&R Direction] – Mark Maxwell
Art Direction – Laurie M. Fink
Art Direction, Design – F2 Design
Backing Vocals – Andy, Jamie, Michael, Steven, Terry
Backing Vocals [Additional] – Charles Meserole, Donna Rood, Donny Russell, Evelyn Watson, Marc Anthony, Michael Plissner, Sherie Hopper, Vanessa Beckrum
Band, Bass – Andy Robbins
Band, Drums – Terry “The Animal” Russel
Band, Guitar [Guitars] – Jamie Cramer, Michael Cutting
Band, Lead Vocals – Steven Patrick
Bass [Bass Overdubs] – Jerry Watts (tracks: 3)
Coordinator [Artwork Coordination] – Roz
Edited By [Digital Editing By] – Daniel Hersch
Effects [Keyboard Effects] – Charles Meserole
Engineer [Additional Engineering] – Bobby Salcedo, Dave Hackbarth
Engineer [Drun Track Engineer] – John Hanlon
Engineer [Overdub Engineer] – Charles Meserole
Engineer [Second Engineer] – Brian Herbert, Chuck Rodriguez, Jeff Piergeorge
Management [Managed By] – Daryn Hinton
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Mixed By – Joe Chiccarelli
Photography By [CD Portrait Photos (b/w)] – Aaron Rapoport
Photography By [Front Cover Photograph] – John Scarpati
Photography By [Live Photograph of Steven Patrick] – Perry Cooper
Photography By [Live Photographs] – Nigel Skeet
Producer [Produced By] – David Zaffiro
Technician [Drums By] – Ross Garfield

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Zaffiro Productions
Published By – Most Triumphant Music
Published By – Dayspring
Published By – Barkloid Music
Published By – Word Music
Recorded At – Wayne Cook Studios
Recorded At – Neverland Studios
Recorded At – Mixing Lab B
Recorded At – Pakaderm Studios
Mixed At – Master Control, Burbank
Edited At – DigiPrep
Mastered At – Masterdisk

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