Whitecross – Triumphant Return – 1989

This was the 4th album from Whitecross and it is a great Rock & Roll album. If you just started listening to it may I suggest you turn it up to 12. It’s just my opinion but I think this is their best album. Scott Wenzel’s vocals are outstanding but I’m pretty sure the tour for this album must have destroyed his vocal cords. Rex Carroll’s guitar stands out as usual, he really was one of the best guitarists in the Hard Rock/Metal Christian scene. The surprise of the album is that Rick Cua plays bass on all but one track. I was really surprised to read this and a part of me really doesn’t know if it’s actually true but wow. I respected him before but my opinion of him just went up a notch. The album reached number 13 on Billboard’s Top Contemporary Christian Albums chart and actually won a Dove award for Hard Music Album of the Year.

Tracklist
1 – Attention Please – 3:55
2 – Red Light – 4:32
3 – Straight Thru The Heart – 3:57
4 – Down – 4:01
5 – Behold – 4:35
6 – Shakedown – 4:16
7 – Flashpoint – 1:30
8 – Simple Man – 4:21
9 – Over The Top – 4:18
10 – Heaven’s Calling Tonight – 4:16

Credits
Backing Vocals [Additional] – Caroline Nieto, Jonathan Pagano
Bass – Rick Cua (tracks: 1,2, 4-10)
Bass, Vocals – Rick Armstrong (tracks: 3)
Drums – Frank Liva
Drums, Vocals – Mike Elliot
Guitar, Vocals, Producer – Rex Carroll
Keyboards – George Small
Lead Vocals – Scott Wenzel
Producer – Joey Powers

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Whitecross – Hammer & Nail – 1988

More metal, more hair in this 1988 release from Whitecross.

Hammer & Nail is their third album, still with “Pure Metal Records” (and other distributions in Europe). The name says it all.

The sound on this one is almost Queensryche, which is a little different than their earlier work.

The guitar work still shines on this album, with solid rhythm work and plenty of good lead guitar licks to keep the songs moving. It never gets boring, even though they really drive out the anthem choruses on songs like “When The Walls Tumble Down” and “Because of Jesus.”

The title track “The Hammer And The Nail” starts out with a good long guitar solo intro and plenty more of those flourishes that make the song fun to listen to.

The song “Walk With Me” is another ballad offering like we’ve been used to getting from the WC boys. That soft vocal sound is a little surprising to find among all the hard rock on this album, but the song sustains energy and still fits on the album.

Intersting note, the album title is not on the cover, just a picture of a hammer and a nail. The edge of the jacket and all the official release info though confirms the name is official.

Track Listing:
1 – Living On The Edge – 5:11
2 – When The Walls Tumble Down – 3:32
3 – The Hammer And The Nail – 1:35
4 – Take It To The Limit – 4:09
5 – Walk With Me – 4:44
6 – Because Of Jesus – 3:40
7 – When The Clock Strikes – 4:34
8 – Resist Him – 4:20
9 – Living In A Lost World – 3:51
10 – Top Of The World – 3:33

Credits
Band [Whitecross Is], Bass – Jon Sproule
Band [Whitecross Is], Drums – Mark Hedl
Band [Whitecross Is], Guitar [Guitars] – Rex Carroll
Band [Whitecross Is], Lead Vocals – Scott Wenzel
Cover, Art Direction, Design – Jeff Spencer
Engineer – Doug Oberkircher
Engineer [Assisted By] – Dan Rudin, Vince Micko
Executive-Producer – Gavin Morkel
Photography By [Band Photography] – Bill Bilsley
Photography By [Cover Photography] – Kevin Bubbenmoyer
Producer [Produced By] – Joey Powers, Rex Carroll

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Star Song
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Star Song
Record Company – Star Song Communications
Recorded At – Grand Slam Studios
Recorded At – Opus Recording Studio
Manufactured By – EMI Jax
Published By – Girder Music

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Whitecross – (self-titled) – 1987

This debut album from Whitecross hit us in the peak of CCM’s metal heyday. The guitar sounds are unmistakably 80s metal, but Whitecross has a much more melodic sound to their songs than some of the other bands. It’s like a harder version of Bon Jovi and it’s fun to listen to.

Whitecross has the vocal harmonies are typical in this genre of music, and in addition to that, each song has a melody that the listener can follow along with. Some of the similar bands lack this distinction. All in all one of the better examples of this style of music.

Track Listing:
A1 Who Will You Follow
A2 Enough Is Enough
A3 He Is The Rock
A4 Lookin’ For A Reason
A5 You’re Mine
B1 No Way I’m Goin’ Down
B2 Seein’ Is Believin’
B3 All I Need
B4 Nagasake
B5 Signs Of The End

Companies, etc.:
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Pure Metal Records (3)
Copyright (c) – Pure Metal Records (3)
Distributed By – Refuge Music Group
Distributed By – Creative Music Canada
Recorded At – Opus Recording Studio
Mixed At – Opus Recording Studio
Published By – Girder Music

Credits:
Bass – Jon Sproule (The Human Harmonizer)*
Design, Graphics [Photo Tinting] – Jeff Spencer (2)
Drums – Mark Hedl
Engineer – Perry Miller
Executive-Producer – Gavin Morkel*
Guitar – Rex Carroll
Keyboards [Additional] – Joan Johnson (5), Kent Cantwell, Tonja Kataja
Photography By – Gary Trantafil
Producer – Caesar Kalinowski, Rex Carroll
Vocals – Scott Wenzel (Scottzilla!)*

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Various – The Axemen – 1988

This is a 1988 sampler from Pure Metal Records (a division of Refuge Music Group). It features some of the best heavy metal bands of the late 80’s.

Track Listing:
1 – Whitecross – Shakedown – 4:13
2 – Bride – Hell No – 3:50
3 – Saint – Returning – 4:45
4 – Force 3 – Warrior Of Light – 5:32
5 – Lightforce – Babylon – 6:54
6 – Jerusalem – Covered By Blood – 3:34
7 – The Daniel Band – Party In Heaven – 2:57
8 – Rosanna’s Raiders – Serve Someone – 4:04
9 – Novella – Running Home – 4:49
10 – Scarlet Red – You Live Fast – 4:46
11 – Bjorn Stigsson – Come Together – 2:59

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