Bloodgood - "Rock in a Hard Place" (1988):
This is Bloodgood's third album. Though
a solid release, it is definitely not their best. Songs are more average Bloodgood than memoriable Bloodgood. Best songs are
"She's Gone" and "Heaven on Earth". Rating - 6.5 (Review by Matt)
Crystavox - "s/t" (1990):
This is Crystavox's first release. Average
metal. The only songs that really get above average are "Sacrifice" and the moving ballad "Home Again". Not a bad record,
just not all that great. If you want good Crystavox get their second album "The Bottom Line". Much, much better. Rating -
6.0 (Review by Matt)
Deliverance - "Weapons of Our Warfare" (1990):
What some consider Deliverance's best album.
Definitely their best cover artwork. Heavy, heavy, heavy! Best songs: "23", "Slay the Wicked", & "Weapons of Our Warfare".
Rating - 9.0 (Review by Matt)
Deliverance - "Stay of Execution" (1992):
This is probably my favorite Deliverance
album along with "Weapons of Our Warfare". This album marked a style change for the band away from speed metal. Although they
do include one new speed metal song, along with a remix of "Weapons of Our Warfare". Best songs include: "Ramming Speed",
"Entombed", and "Windows of the Soul". Rating 8.5 (Review by Matt)
Die Happy - s/t (1992):
This is Die Happy's first release. The
band consisted of ex-Vengeance Rising members along w/singer Robin Kyle who would later do vocals for Red Sea. This is one
sweet album. Very heavy and very aggressive. It will slam you against the walls on every song except the awesome ballad "Celebration".
The biggest fault here is the song "Real" which sounds SO close to Metallica's "Enter Sandman". The band claims that "Real"
was written before Metallica's song was released. Only God knows. It is still an awesome song though with great lyrics about
the dangers of AIDS. It even includes the great line at the end "...it takes a little Magic to make it real." (The song was
written just shortly after Magic Johnson contracted the HIV virus). Best songs: "Real", "Bone Doctor", "Die Happy", &
"Cage". Rating - 9 (Review by Matt)
Haven - "Your Dying Day" (1990):
This is Haven's first release and in my
opinion is one of the best classic Christian metal releases of all time. I love every song on this album. Especially the Martin
Luther King Jr. sample in "America". It gives me chills everytime even until this day. A cool story...my friend in college
was listening to this album while some friends and he played basketball. On the song "Your Dying Day" when it got to the line
'This is the day to change your life. You may not have tomorrow. You've been shown that JESUS CHRIST is the way to follow',
he said that when Kevin Ayers said 'JESUS CHRIST' with the attitude he did in the song, all his friends quit playing and one
of them said..."This is a Christian band?". Even in 1990, some Christian bands were impressive. Imagine that. Best songs:
"Your Dying Day", "America", "On Judgment Day", and "The Calling". Rating - 10 (Review by Matt)
Holy Soldier - "s/t" (1990):
I must say that Holy Soldier was one of
the most talented bands in Christian metal...ever! This album, their debut, is so freakin' good. The musicianship and production
is top notch and Steven Patrick's vocals are some of the best and most powerful I've ever heard. The lyrics here are very
bold without sounding cheesy in any way. Every song on here is good. The cool thing about Holy Soldier is that even though
it's dated it sounds less dated than just about anything from that era. They are so good that even in 2001, people first hearing
it would stand up and take notice. Best songs are "See No Evil", "When the Reign Comes Down", "Eyes of Innocence", and "Love
Me". If you like metal at all, you'd be crazy not to get this. Rating - 10 (Review by Matt)
Jerusalem - "Prophet" (1994):
This is Jerusalem's last album. I absolutely
love this record. It is one of the most worshipful rock albums ever released. Songs like "Risen", "City on Fire", "Soldier",
"Berlin 38" and "Be There With You" give me the chills. Even if you've never heard Jerusalem before, this would be a good
one to get and is probably the easiest of their's to find. Best songs include the above mentioned along with "The Waiting
Zone" and "Umbrella". Only song I don't really like all that much is "On the Road". Rating - 8.5 (Review by Matt)
Mad at the World - "Seasons of Love" (1990):
Mad at the World's 2nd release. First 6
songs are pretty good, last 5 are okay, but not half as good as first 6. Best songs: "Seasons of Love" (ballad version), "City
of Anger", "When the Wind Blows", and "Marshmallow Land". Rating - 6.5 (Review by Matt)
Mad at the World - "Boomerang" (1991):
This is Mad at the World's 3rd release
if I'm counting right. Decent alterno-metal. Vocals by both Roger and Randy Rose. Best songs - "Isn't Sex a Wonderful Thing"
(Great Lyrics!), "Draggin' the Chains", and "No More Innocence". Rating - 7.5 (Review by Matt)
Stryper - "The Yellow & Black
Attack" (1984 - Enigma/Hollywood)
This is Stryper's first album.
Originally released as an 6 song EP, but later re-released with 2 bonus songs and a different album cover. The 6 song
EP sounds better, a little more raw and almost has a live sound. Even though some of the lyrics are a little more on
the "simple" side they don't sound that way when Stryper sings them. This album was released at at time when Christian
metal was brand new. Stryper was one of the pioneers of opening up the doors and breaking down the barriers to the Christian
metal scene of today. Although not their most popular release, this one is definitely worth getting. Gary's Best
songs: "From Wrong To Right," "Co'mon Rock," "Loving You." EP rating 10, Re-release rating 7. Matt's Best songs:
"You Know What to Do" & "Co'mon Rock". Rating - 7.5 (Review by Matt/Gary)
Stryper - "Soldiers Under Command"
(1985 - Enigma/Hollywood)
Breaking the ground for Christian metal,
here's Stryper's second album (first full-length). Ten tracks of very positive lyrics, fun 80's hair- band metal, a
few ballads and their cover of "Battle Hymn of The Republic." Although their lyrics clearly point out that they are
doing what they're doing for God and there's hope and eternal life with Him, many people at the time weren't ready or didn't
want to accept them as something that's "real" for Christians. Their lyrics are somewhat simplistic, yet full of hope.
The music is dated, but classic to 80's hair-metal and/or Stryper fans. Gary's Best songs: "Soldiers Under Command,"
"First Love," "Surrender," and "Battle Hymn of The Republic." Gary's Rating 8.5. Matt's Best songs - "Soldiers
Under Command", "Reach Out", "Together As One", & "Surrender". Matt's Rating - 8.25 (Review by Matt/Gary)
Stryper - "Against the Law" (1990 - Enigma/Hollywood)
We both agree, this is Stryper's best album
musically. Unfortunately, not their best lyrical output. Sad thing is, the band said they had problems with alcohol
during this period, but actually wrote some better lyrics on a couple songs than some "Christian" bands do sober. Their
lyrics really aren't negative, most are more of the positive moral relationship type. The only somewhat slightly offensive
part is one line in "Caught In The Middle," where they use 'hell' as though they're cussing. Stryper captured a great
sound on this record. Their most well-known song off of this is their cover of "Shining Star." This is their last
album, their next was a "greatest hits" record. This album sounds completely different than all their others and most
Stryper fans will agree that this is one of their favorite Stryper albums. Rating 9.5. Gary's Best songs:
Two Bodies (One Mind, One Soul), "Lady," and "All For One." Matt's Best songs: "Two Bodies (One Mind, One Soul)", "Not
That Kind of Guy", "Lady", & "All For One". Rating - 9.5 (Review by Matt/Gary)
Tourniquet - "Stop The Bleeding"
(1990 - Intense)
Here's Tourniquet's first album and
appropriately titled for the name of the band, but don't think you're looking at a simple band here. One word that would
describe them is "talent." If you like speed/thrash metal that has lots of guitar work and more drumming than you thought
possible, this is the band for you. Their music and lyrics are very complex. They have an original sound and there
is so much going on in their music that you may not catch it all during the first few listens. The main difference between
this album and their other early releases is the high-pitched vocals. There's a lot of screaming vocals on this one.
This album, along with some of their other early releases, has been re-released a few times...most recently with new cover
artwork and bonus tracks. Gary's Best songs: "Ark of Suffering," and "You Get What You Pray For." Rating
7.5. (Review by Gary) Matt's Best songs: "Ark of Suffering" and "You Get What You Pray For". Matt's Rating: 8.0
Various - "Art for the Ears" (1991):
This was a sampler put out by Intense Records
for only 99 cents that showcased all of their bands. There are no full songs, but lots of samples and histories of the bands.
Pretty humorous at times. Including the many jokes about how long it took for Ken Tamplin to release the Magdallen project.
Bands covered include: Angelica, Deliverance, Mortification, Sacred Warrior, Sanctuary Praise, Shout, Ken Tamplin, Tourniquet,
Vengeance Rising, and Ransom. Pretty good for only 99 cents. Rating - 6.5 (Review by Matt)
Vengeance Rising - "Released Upon the Earth"
Well, sadly this was Vengeance Rising's
last release (not counting "Anthology") before Roger Martinez converted to atheism. "Destruction Comes" was a big let down.
"Released.." is not as good as "Once Dead" but is a huge improvement from "Destruction..". The songs on here (at least most
of them) sound different from each other. Certain songs like "Released Upon the Earth" and "Instruments of Death" sound similar,
but they are a much better similar than the "Destruction Comes" song(s). Best songs include: "Human Dark Potential" and "Bishop
of Souls". Rating - 8.0 (Review by Matt)
White Metal Warriors - "Last Ship Home" (1991):
Compilation album containing two songs
each from Seventh Angel, Stairway, Lazarus, Detritus, and Maverick. Standout cuts are easily the songs by Seventh Angel &
Detritus. The other 3 bands are not horrible, but nothing to write home about. Just your standard straight-ahead '80's metal.
Rating 6. (Review by Matt)
Whitecross - "s/t" (1987):
Whitecross' first album. Great heavy metal
songs w/one sappy ballad. Best songs: "Looking for a Reason" & "No Way I'm Goin' Down". Rating - 7.5 (Review by Matt)
X-Sinner - "Get It" (1989):
If you're looking for a Christian version
of AC/DC than look no further. Despite the cries of copycats, this is a very decent album that I've listened to a lot over
the years. Best songs are "Walking Evil" and "Livin' on the Edge". Good stuff. Rating - 8.0 (Review by Matt)