• Latest News

    Saturday, May 16, 2015

    Top 50 - Best Christian Rock Debut Albums


    One of the most important things in the rock, are those bands whose debut albums have stood the test of time, after so many years heard and are still very important. They have exerted a major influence on many other artistes. Unfortunately, some of these discs were the only thing that recorded some of these artists. Here's a list of the Top 50 Debut Albums, as presented by Classic Christian Rock:


    50  Siloam - Sweet Destiny 1991
    Melodic AOR band from Canada named after the Pool of Siloam described in the Bible. Exceptional, melodic, commercial metal with loads of hooks and killer vox. They sort of remind me slightly of Skid Row. The production is also quite good for an unknown independent band. This disc is out of print.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    49  Saint - Warriors of the son 1984
    The album that started it all. Released on Rotton Records, "Warriors of the Son" was a landmark for Christian metal, being one of the early heavy thrashy type releases. Warriors Of The Son has quite the storied history, re-issued the first time in 1984 with new album artwork on Morada Records and again in 2001 on M8 Records but with the 4 songs from The Gentiles demo as bonus tracks.  A third re-issue took place in 2003 as part of the two CD set released by Saint entitled Saint Collection: 1984-1999 while a fourth - re-mastered and packaged in a 6 panel digipak with liner notes from Richard Lynch - occurred in the summer of 2011 on Retroactive Records.
    ______________________________________________________________________________


    48  Sacrament - Testimony of Apocalypse 1990
    Sacrament's debut CD was originally released on R.E.X. Records in 1990. (Unfortunately it was never released on vinyl.) With the demise of that label a few years later, "Testimony of Apocalypse" became a hot collector's item fetching high dollars on auction sites. In 2005 Retroactive Records released a limited edition re-issue together with the band's "Presumed Dead" demo as bonus tracks.  Sacrament are an intense East Coast thrash metal band that pushed the boundaries of early death metal, not unlike Sacrifice or Death. The music is fast and furious leaning towards the more extreme European thrash sound, as opposed to the Bay Area style. Vocalist  Mike Torone has a raw, coarse, throaty voice that adds to the overall extreme vibe of the music, though he never really dives into full on death metal growls. Despite the speed and intensity of the music, Sacrament don't forsake memorable songwriting as well. What some people might find shocking is that despite Sacrament's extreme nature, they are a full-fledged Christian band.
    ______________________________________________________________________________


    47  Eternal Decision - Eternal Decision 1997
    Eternal Decision is the self-titled first album of the American Christian heavy metal band Eternal Decision. It was released by Godfather Records in 1997, and was sold in the U.S. as well as in 16 other countries. Mainly due to the similarities in vocal style, the group is often mistaken for Metallica. As an example, many people have downloaded Eternal Decision's songs in P2P programs like Ares Galaxy or LimeWire believing they're singles or demos from Metallica's 2008 New Album, Death Magnetic. Another example is their song "Imminent Destruction", often mistaken for Metallica's "All Nightmare Long". As another example, the song "Hunger" from the self-titled debut album received many downloads on Napster due to the fact that many people falsely believed it to be a new unreleased Metallica song or a collaboration between Megadeth and Metallica.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    46  Neon Cross - Neon Cross 1988
    Neon Cross is the self-titled debut album by the Christian band Neon Cross. Tracks 1-10 are found on the original 1987 Neon Cross album. Tracks 1-16 (with the bonus tracks being 11-16) are only found on the 2001 Neon Cross Limited Edition reissue. The Limited Edition reissue became an instant collectors item because of the rare bonus material and the fact that the song order is printed wrong on the back cover. During the mid- to late 80's the Christian metal scene exploded. Following the success of Stryper, Barren Cross and Whitecross just about every white metal act out there secured a record deal, released 1 album, and faded into obscurity. Neon Cross was initially not an exception to the rule. Their brand of 80's metal with falsetto vocals impressed the Christian metal crowd, hungry for new bands to listen to. But it would seem that the band had little staying power.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    45  Love Life - Goodbye Lady Jane 1990
    Actually, this is the same band Fear Not, Larry Worley (vocals, guitars), Darin Evy (guitar), Rod Romero - (bass) and Gary Hanson (drums), they launched the first and only album Love Life in 1991 . This is a great album for those who like Skid row, Slaughter or LA guns. Later, in 1993 the same members, with exception of Darin Eby, formed the band Fear Not.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    44  Arsenal - Armored Choir 1990
    It's kinda refreshing to hear a band come along that has a female as their lead vocalist in this world where men typically dominate the metal world. Awesome encouraging lyrics and their style is kinda similar to Doro Pesch from the secular band Warlock. Sadly, this release came too late as the grunge movement had hit and pretty much killed off all glam. If they could have released this around 85-86, I believe they could have done much better! I think they had a demo before this album under the name "Scymitar". They were also known as "Peace Child". Their former guitarist has his own band now called the "Joshua Miller Band".

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    43  Ransom - Ransom 1991
    Ransom's debut was released in 1991, but the band had been kicking around the clubs of Hollywood for quite some time in the late 80's, when metal ruled the land. They had recorded a few demos with little reaction from labels, though they did have a track on the enormously popular 1988 compilation "California Metal II". Finally in 1990 the band hooked up with Intense Records and recorded their self-titled debut. The album as a whole rocks! There is, of course, the obligatory ballads in "Tonight" and the acoustic based "When I Die". However, other songs such as the truly metallic "Lasting Love" and the double-bass led "Break Into the Darkness" are immensely heavy. "Lasting Love" is an incredibly hooky song for which the band recorded an MTV-style video. "Fallen Angel" is a mid-paced rock song in which Lisa Faxom reminds me of Heart's Ann Wilson.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    42  Sweet Comfort Band - Sweet Comfort 1977
    Sweet Comfort Band was a late entry into Jesus music with their 1977 self-titled release on Maranatha! Records. When they started, they had a funky, jazzy, R&B and 70's rock sound. This set them apart from many of the bands in the nascent Contemporary Christian music industry who were primarily performing folk-rock and soft rock. Few bands had the musicianship displayed by this quartet. However, Maranatha! decided to quit releasing rock and roll albums and focus on children's releases, gospel and worship music.


    ______________________________________________________________________________


    41  Bride - Show no mercy 1986
    Show No Mercy is the debut album by the American heavy metal band Bride. It was the band's debut on the label Pure Metal Records. Less commercial than Bride's later works, the album received a mixed reception in its time, as it was somewhat more extreme and darker than many Christian releases coming out at the time and did not sell particularly well. Bride's budget to record Show No Mercy was $2500. According to the band, when entering the studio in October they incorrectly believed it had to meet a release date only a month away. The album ended up rushed with the production being thin and muddy.
    ______________________________________________________________________________


    40  Die Happy - Die Happy 1992
    Die Happy was a Christian rock band that formed in 1990. The band was formed when Vengeance Rising members Larry Farkas, Doug Thieme, Glenn Mancaruso, and Roger Dale Martin split the band, citing unrest with that band's front man and vocalist, Roger Martinez. They hired Robyn Kyle Basauri, formerly of Jaguar, as a vocalist and he officially joined the band after the release of their eponymous debut.At the time of their first album the band was seen as "Vengeance Rising with a new Vocalist". The music is still heavy and retains some of the Vengeance sound, but adds a bit more groove. The fast thrash riffs are still present in songs like "Cage". ("Cage" was originally written for the third Vengeance Rising CD and was originally titled "The Wailing" and was played this way on the "Once Dead" tour.) However, for the most part this CD sports a more mid-paced heavy metal approach. Of course Robin's vocals are what really separated this disc from the Vengeance sound. This is probably one of the best discs most people have never heard. 

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    39  Barnabas - Hear the light 1980
    The band recorded their first album, Hear the Light, in 1980 in a Los Angeles studio. After this, the band briefly visited Highway Missionary Society in Rogue River, Oregon before moving to Jesus People USA in Chicago for an equally short stay. Next, they moved to nearby Schaumburg, Illinois. This is one of the first records of Christian Hard Rock.  This album was reissued in 1983 with a new cover. Nancy Says: Do you like the Pic on the back of the album-Hear the Light? It was taken in Hollywood Ca. in a battle of the Bands- at Gazzari's. Many artist had there start there. Oh, we won the battle of the bands, that night- we were the only Christian band in this Huge secular Night club! 

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    38  Narnia - Awakening 1998
    Awakening is the debut album of progressive metal band Narnia. The band is credited for skill, especially Carl Johan Grimmark, with his impressive neo-classical guitar solos, who was only 19 when this album was released. Narnia’s full length debut Awakening moved in a neo-classical metal direction with power and melodic tendencies.  Quite the underrated work, the album proves a solid effort musically but suffers from inconsistent production.  The rhythm guitar and drums, on one hand, end up on the thin side of things but the lead guitar, on the other, is produced to near crystal clear sounding perfection.  As a matter of fact, Awakening allows Grimmark to introduced his world class playing, something he best exhibits on the heavy duty “Break The Chains” and more melodic based “No Shadows From The Past”, two first rate numbers to include on a Narnia compilation.  The ballad “Heavenly Love” – a marginal choice at best – represents one of the only tracks on Awakening I struggle to get into.  Perhaps the band felt they needed the versatility a ballad would provide, but I say put your best foot forward and select the shredding instrumental “The Return Of Aslan” or technical “Time Of Changes” instead.  Irregardless, one has to commend the decision to add the live version of “Awakening” in that it showcases a heavier side to the bands sound along with the solid production characteristic to At Short Notice.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    37  Crystavox - Crystavox 1990
    Big hair, slick production and loads of pop metal choruses. Crystavox were Christian metal's answer to Warrant, Skid Row, and Slaughter. Crystavox write smart lyrics, with a few exceptions. Of course, what pop metal album would be complete without the hit ballad and Crystavox are no exception with the heartfelt "Home Again." This album is now out of print and extremely difficult to find. Hit songs as "Sacrifice" (#1 PRR 1990), "Home Again" (#3 CCM 1990), and "It's All Right" (#7 PRR 1990).


    ______________________________________________________________________________


    36  Messiah Prophet - Rock for the flock 1984
    Messiah Prophet Band was formed in the late seventies by Dean Pellman and Gil Tabor as an acoustic duo performing cover songs in Pennsylvania.  It had developed into a full band by 1983 with Charlie Clark singing, Andy Strauss and Rob Clark playing guitar, Dave Daubert on drums and Pellham on bass guitar. In 1984, a small Nashville label called Morada Records signed both Messiah Prophet Band and Saint, another band destined to leave a lasting mark on the fledgling Christian metal scene. They recorded their debut album, Rock The Flock in the spring of 1984. Shortly after the recording was finished, guitarist Rob Clark left the band. They played small regional shows in support of the album.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    35  Fear Not - Fear Not 1993
    This 1993 self-titled album was the only release from Christian melodic rockers Fear Not. The band, who was lucky enough to score a production job by the Elefante brothers, had a melodic rock sound that was somewhere between Mr. Big and early Skid Row, sort of like a harder rocking Guardian. The album is chock full of catchy guitar hooks, great melodies, strong vocals, and songs you want to sing along to. The band is definitely pushing a Christian message, but it’s not so blatant as to preclude non-Christian listeners from enjoying the music. I suppose it’s not all that surprising that the band never issued more than a single album. As good as they were, the musical climate in the mid 90’s wasn’t exactly friendly to long haired melodic rockers, Christian or otherwise. At least the band left behind an album that definitely should be a part of any Christian rock fan’s collection, and one that mainstream melodic rock fans should find quite enjoyable as well.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    34  Idle Cure - Idle Cure 1986
     In 1986, Idle Cure launched their initial self titled album on the then newly formed Frontline Records. The response was both remarkable, and immediate. “Breakaway” was a runaway hit on major Christian Rock radio stations, and “Take It” was a number 1 ballad almost nationwide. Enough keyboards to keep the record from straying into the big hair metal category and diversity in arrangements allowed for constant repeated listening. What was strayed from was the songwriting formula. Toned down verses, big hooky choruses, massive wall of sound backing vocals and tasty, just heavy enough guitars. Foreigner, Bon Jovi and the rest understood how this worked and so did Idle Cure. The first ballad, Take It, was Frontline’s first big radio hit I believe. The Chicago influenced ballad would also be one of the first “background tapes” the company would have to produce as people wanted to sing the song during church. Six of the eight songs were rockers and two ballads. Again, the perfect formula for hit records. But it really boiled down to just how good the songs actually were.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    33  Legend - Legend 1992
    Legend is the debut album of the Christian rock band of the same name. After this recording, the band changed the name to Legend Seven when they became aware of another band with the same name. It was released in 1992 under the Word Records label. The album were produced by Grammy Award winner, Bubba Smith, and scored several hits on Christian radio ("Carry Me", # 4, 1992, "Angels", # 2, 1992,  ) . The band split in 1994.



    ______________________________________________________________________________


    32  Rachel Rachel - Way tot my heart 1991
    Rachel Rachel signed on with Word Records in 1990, and began working on their first album. Released in 1991, Way to My Heart featured the members of Rachel Rachel, as well as studio musicians including Carl Marsh, Dann Huff, and several members of White Heart. The album contained a number of songs written by band members, as well as covers such as the Kansas classic, “Carry On Wayward Son”. The eighth track from this album, “I Will Stand By You”, written by lead singer Cheryl Jewell, Sue Sheridan, and Matthew Christianson, became a No. 4 radio hit. The album itself hit the No. 25 mark on the Billboard Contemporary Christian Music chart in June 1991.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    31  Allies - Allies 1985
    The style prevalent on SCB's last album 'Perfect Timing' was a natural progression for Thomas to take into Allies, but even so, he improved the quality ten-fold, so much so that this Allies debut album is now a collectors item among the melodic rock fraternity. This improvement was also a recognition of Dino Elefante's excellent production job.Formed as a by-product of the christian outfit Sweet Comfort Band (SCB), which was the vehicle for musician Randy Thomas. When they split in 1984, singer Bryan Duncan went on to a successful solo career while Thomas formed Allies, inviting a relatively unknown Bob Carlisle to join as the singer. Carlisle was busy playing clubs and did some session work with the likes of Steinberg and Kelly, but found this role to be a 'musical calling' of sorts. Tha latter-day material of SCB was very good. An acquired taste among secular listeners, but it was the springboard for the Elefante brothers Dino and John to demonstrate their production talent. Unfortunately, the quality gradually slid from their subsequent albums, but most of their material is still worthy of collection due to the class team of Thomas and Carlisle. 'Allies' and 'Virtues' (their 1986 release) should be high on your list of collectibles.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    30  Margaret Becker - Never for nothing 1987
    This was Becker's first album, released in 1987. It sounds a bit like the secular band Heart back in the 80's. Upbeat melodic rock with some softer moments, and some hard rockin' moments. The lyrics are strong, and Becker certainly has the pipes! She didn't stick with the rock sound very long. Her 2nd album still rocked, but not quite as much, and after that, she all but abandoned rock entirely. But this album from '87 is excellent! Dann Huff does the lead guitar work, and Chris McHugh (of Whiteheart fame) did the drums.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    29  Steve Taylor - I want to be a Clone 1983
    I Want to Be a Clone is the title of the debut EP by new wave and post-punk influenced Christian musician Steve Taylor. As in later works, the singer-songwriter mixed criticism of general secular society, for things such as empty materialism and selfishness, with criticism of Christian church organizations, for things such as muddying the gospel message for marketing. Jonathan David Brown produced the work. After hearing this album, influential Christian author Francis Schaeffer wrote the following to Taylor; "The combination of music and lyrics really works on a very high level, and the message, therefore, comes across with real clarity... in the light of the gifts that the Lord has so obviously given you, and which you obviously developed with care and hard work, I do urge you with all my heart to press on. You are really doing something marvelously worthwhile. I must say the words really cut a wide swath in the need in the church today.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    28  Daniel Band - On rock 1982
    "On Rock" was originally recorded as an independent release by the band with Rez’s Glenn Kaiser and Roger Heiss co-producing. The album was picked up for distribution through Lamb & Lion Records and the record made some waves in Christian circles. While the album was released in 1982, the music is squarely based in the 1970’s hard rock sound. Daniel Band had a sound not unlike fellow Canadian’s Triumph. For the most part "On Rock" has a raw, rock and roll production that actually adds to the overall appeal of this album. Unfortunately in the early 80’s many hard rock and metal band’s albums suffered from squeaky clean productions that stripped the rock and roll right out of the band. That is not the case here. However, despite the crunchy guitars and raw edge, the mix is also not muddy like many 70’s releases. The stars of the show here are guitarist Tony Rossi and vocalist/bassist Dan McCabe. McCabe has a clean, high singing voice that would match fellow Canadians Triumph, Rush and April Wine. Rossi offers a lot of fiery guitar work. His style is rooted in the 70’s; bluesy, straight forward hard rock with slick guitar solos. The band is backed by rhythm guitarist Bill Findlay and drummer Peter Cosman. Together Daniel Band create a solid hard rock platter. Unfortunately "On Rock" has been out of print for many years. The first official CD pressing was in 2001 on Magdalene Records, which featured new artwork and a bonus CD featuring a one hour interview with McCabe, Rossi and Findlay. The 2010 pressing on Retroactive Records restores the original artwork and adds two new bonus tracks that were recorded in 2009. The two new tracks stay stylistically very close to the album tracks.

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    27  Ken Tamplin - An axe to grind 1990
    This was the first of many solo albums by Ken Tamplin. It's actually quite good and pretty heavy, in comparison to other 80's melodic metal bands. It is also very commercial. If Ken had more financial backing and a bigger label, I'm sure that "Living For My Lord" or "Straight Between the Eyes" could have been a huge hits in 1990 as these are both monster commercial metal tunes. The whole album has some killer guitar playing on it, but what can you expect when you have some of the best studio musicians playing on your album. Lanny Cordola & Ken Mary (ex-House of Lords) both make guest appearances as does Joey Tafolla (Jag Panzer), Mark St. John (ex-KISS) and a bunch of other artists. Of course Lanny and Ken would later get together and form Magdallan. This disc was very rare and at one time , but in 1998 it was reissued by KMG with "Soul Survivor" as double disc making the value go way down.  Of course the reissue has none of the original artwork or liner notes and is missing a few songs. 

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    26  The 77s - Ping Pong over the abyss 1982
    The 77s released their debut album in 1982 on the Exit Records label. One song from that album, "Renaissance Man," was later recorded by The Ocean Blue. "It's So Sad," was later rerecorded, with a drastically different arrangement, by Roe's other band, the Lost Dogs for their album MUTT. The title comes from Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl," section 3: "I'm with you in Rockland / where you scream in a straight jacket that you're losing the game of the actual ping pong of the abyss." The 77′s ascent to the top of Christian alternative rock, as anointed by fans and critics alike, started with a rather pedestrian debut. It’s a decent record, though, and does contain flashes of brilliance both in terms of songwriting and delivery. Musically, the 77′s trademark sound emerges, especially on the title track “Ping Pong Over the Abyss, which shows the band in fine form. However, the record trends toward ’80s inspired new wave with a healthy dose of synthesizer. “It’s So Sad” evokes Devo-inspired weird that, on a 77′s record, is just plain odd. But elsewhere some of the hooks are great. The opener “A Different Kind of Light”(penned by Steve Scott), along with “Time is Slipping Away” and “Renaissance Man” feature memorable, catchy choruses. The record closes with a superb cover of the Washington Phillip’s “Denomination Blues (That’s All),” a traditional gospel number recorded by guitarist Ry Cooder in 1971. All in all, Ping Pong Over the Abyss is not a bad start for The 77′s, a band that was just getting warmed up.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    25  Recon - Behind Enemy Lines 1990
     "Behind Enemy Lines" did not disappoint. Recon play a brand of heavy metal that is very melodic yet retains it's heavy feel. Lots of galloping, tons of crunch, and a hook in every song. Vocalist Vett Roberts seems to have studied at the Geoff Tate/Queensryche school of metal singing. Unfortunately, this would be the only disc by this band as guitarist/founder George Ochoa would leave to join Deliverance. A few years later bassist Mike Grato and drummer John Christianson would also join Deliverance. Actually, Deliverance main man, Jimmy Brown co-wrote the heaviest song on the album, "Behind Enemy Lines," and also sang background vocals as well as played a guitar lead in "Alive." Vengeance Rising growler, Roger Martinez, also makes a guest appearance. Vett Roberts resurfaced many years later and sang as a guest performer on one song off Mortification's "Primitive Rhythm Machine."  This album was re-release in 2001 by M8 Records with several bonus demo tracks and the two tracks from the Cali Metal compilation. The artwork however, is inferior to the original and the mastering is not better than the original either. I now have both versions.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    24  Servant - Born Twice 1979
    Perseverance and hard work eventually paid off and in 1979 Servant, now a little more weathered, was offered a recording contract, and became the first artist on the fledgling Tunesmith Records. The recording experience was a critical turning point for our roughly unshaped band, and under the very capable hands of Bob Rock (of later Metallica fame) things finally took on substance. The release of Shallow Water is perhaps hard to appreciate in today’s saturated market. When this award-winning album hit the market with its contemporary cover image, social commentary and progressive music seared onto red vinyl, it was a tidal wave through the fledgling Christian music scene. Servant headed out on their first national tour and played ninety dates in three and a half months in everything from miniscule coffeehouses to packed auditoriums where audiences responded enthusiastically to the energy of the young band. Some of the songs on Shallow Water record sound dated now, and the band was definitely still getting their sea legs making things a little stiff in places, but the energy and passion of those early songs would stir the audiences. For the most part it was like nothing they had heard before. Whether challenged to wake up to the world’s needs, (Shallow Water, Cup of Water, and Rich Man) or taking a concerned swipe at the luxury of the Christian star maker machinery (Jesus Star), being utilized to promote the simple teachings of Jesus. There were also themes of celebration and fun (Here Comes David, Holy Roller Blues-the basis of Bruce’s theatrical monologue that left folks rolling in the aisles, Rejoice, Watergrave, and Fly Away), letting listeners know that there were also rich rewards to be had on the sacrificial journey.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    23 Randy Stonehill - Born Twice 1971
    On August 12, 1970 Stonehill was led to the Lord by Larry Norman in the kitchen of Norman's apartment at 1140 North Gower Street, Hollywood.  Stonehill's self-composed song "Norman's Kitchen" released initially in 1971 on his Born Twice, his debut album, describes the circumstances. Born Twice was released in 1971, with financial help from Pat Boone.  The album, primarily a live performance, was recorded for a mere $US 800, and according to Stonehill, it "sounds like every penny of it!"  (Interviewer in 1994: "When will Born Twice be released on CD?"  Stonehill: "When someone in charge makes a grave error in judgment."  The album was released on CD in 2005. Born Twice remains one of the most sought after collectibles from one of Jesus Music’s founding fathers. And what a great album it is! .  The flip side is in the studio with a band. It’s that same classic home-grown underground rock sound as Larry Norman’s Street Level (both albums were released on the same label, recorded with some money and studio time courtesy of Pat Boone). The original and hardest-to-find pressing includes the song ‘He Is A Friend Of Mine’, later replaced with pressing includes the song ‘He Is A Friend Of Mine’, later replaced with a raw hard-rocking cover of the Norman co-written ‘Christmas Time’. Collectors will want to track down both versions (they are rare and in demand but obtainable). The ‘Christmas Time’ version was also released in the UK. And then there’s the ‘Two Sides Live’ variation, actually a mis-pressing with the live tracks on both sides.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    22 Believer - Extraction from Mortality 1989
    Extraction from Mortality is the first album by the Christian thrash metal band Believer. In 2010, HM Magazine ranked it #33 on the Top 100 Christian metal albums of all time list. The album was mostly distributed to Christian bookstores but quickly gained popularity for Believer. The album was noted for its technicality and aggression, and especially the song ”Shadow of Death” is one of the all-time favorites among Believer fans. "Unite" starts with an intro that contains industrial music elements and bizarre sound samples. The last song, "Stress" is a humorous, laid-back tune that advice not to worry about things man can not do anything about. Extraction from Mortality gained notice among non-Christian metal fans, and Believer was signed to Roadrunner Records in 1990. However, R.E.X. Records would release Believer's later records to Christian market while Roadrunner's distribution was strictly aimed at secular audience. A remixed version of "Vile Hypocrisy" was released on the compilation album titled Argh!!!, and an unreleased demo song titled "The Chosen" appeared on the compilation album East Coast Metal. For years Extraction from Mortality was hard to find, and copies sold for high prices in internet auctions. A label called M8 re-issued the album in 2001, printing 2000 copies of it, containing the bonustrack that appeared on the aforementioned compilation albums. The print sold out soon after. However, in 2007, the Polish label Metal Mind Productions re-released the album in a digipak version with 2000 copies.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    21 Bloodgood - Bloodgood 1986
    Bloodgood started work on material in 1985 and released later the same year a critically acclaimed four song demo, Metal Missionaries, that led to a deal with Frontline Records.  Bloodgood began the recording process of its self-titled full length debut in the fall of 1985 and released it the spring of 1986. Bloodgood, well received in the burgeoning eighties white metal scene and garnering its share of positive reviews, eventually went out of print and turned into a hard to find collectors item.  Enter Intense Millennium Records, a company dedicated to re-issuing fully licensed material from the Intense/Frontline/Alarma Records group, which re-mastered and re-released the album in later 2010.  In addition to a different interpretation of the artwork and liner notes from Pastor Bob Beeman, the re-issue also comes with bonus tracks in the form of an alternate mix of “Awake” and extended version of “Black Snake”.
    ______________________________________________________________________________



    20 Angelica - Angelica 1989
    "Angelica"  was recorded on June-July 1989, release in 1989 under Intense Records, a division of Frontline Music Group.   Produced by Dennis Cameron.  Vocal production by Ken Tamplin.   Recorded at The Mixing Lab A.  Engineered by Dave Jahnsen and Eric Kibby.   Mixed by Dave Jahnsen.  Mastered by John Matousek. The first Angelica album was recorded in Costa Mesa, California with the starting line-up of:  Andy Lyon, Scott Ernest, Bob Pallen and myself.  The finishing line-up for the album was a little different . . .  While in the pre-production stage of making the first album, Andy Lyon, the vocalist (more likely from a lack of experience on all our parts) chose to view the the opportunity to prepare for recording with less enthusiasm than the rest of the band.  The result being that after a couple of days of having Ken Tamplin push him in his performance (as Ken was hired to produce the vocals on the album) that the singer "burned out".

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    19 The Brave - Battle Cries 1992
    THE BRAVE was one of the best Melodic Hard Rock bands appeared in the L.A. scene during the late '80s. Perhaps due their Christian origins they weren't more massive, and the band's debut, this superb "Battle Cries", arrived too late. The Brave recorded ten tracks of pure golden Melodic Hard Rock with Hair Metal and AOR touches, plenty of big hooks, terrific harmonies and memorable choruses mixed by guru Neil Kernon and produced by the talented duo John & Dino Elefante with a crisp, slick sound. The record was released via the brothers own label Pakaderm / Word in 1992. You can't find a weak song here, all are killers in their own right.  There's outstanding gems in "All Together Now" and "The Waiting", more edgy rockers on the melodic "Tears Of A Broken Heart" or " Little Love", sublime AORish midtempos like "Never Live Without Your Love" and "Running All My Life", and a perfect ballad in "Just A Man". HM Magazine listed Batttle Cries #95 on its Top 100 Christian Metal Albums of All Time list stating that “The big arena rock sound – coupled with catchy, singable songs – was the key to The Brave’s success with this release.”

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    18 Shout - It Won't Be Long 1987
    Their first album, It Won't Be Long, was recorded by session musicians. These included Lanny Cordola (Magdalen), Marty Friedman (Megadeth), Michael Angelo (Nitro), Joseph Galletta, Loren Robinson, Dennis Holt (AD), and others. The album was an instant hit, and the band played at London's famed Marquee in August 1988. Following this release Tamplin hired Galletta and Robinson, who he had played with in Joshua, on a full-time basis. These three members would form the long term core of the band. Chuck King (Idle Cure) also became an integral part of the band. The band achieved early success in Europe and toured there in August 1988.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    17 Mortification - Mortification 1991
    Mortification is the eponymously titled debut studio album by Australian Christian metal band Mortification. This album leans more towards death metal than the band's previous demo album, but still keeps itself in the ways of thrash. The Billboard Guide to Contemporary Christian Music described the album's sound as "punk-meets-metal grind-core".Jayson Sherlock's original cover art (seen above, nicknamed the "gnarly cover") was censored by some Christian bookstores; the label shipped them a version with an alternative cover, simply the band's logo. Although not as popular as its follow-up, Mortification became reputive in both Christian and secular metal scenes for its remarkably brutal output. There are two short grindcore songs: "Turn" (33 s.) and "The Majestic Infiltration of Order" (1:06). The latter is commonly known as "God Rulz," because those are the only lyrics in the song. It is still often played in the band's concerts. Music videos were shot for "Turn," "Until the End," "The Destroyer Beholds," and "The Majestic Infiltration of Order" by film maker Neil Johnson. These videos were released on the video compilation Grind Planets. The album was produced by Roger Martinez.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    16 Rage of Angels - Rage of Angels 1989
    Christian metal band that broke up before their CD was even released. Became a cult favorite. Two Rage of Angels members, Frank DiCostanzo (guitar) and John Fowler (drums), went on to be in Steelheart. Lead singer Dan Mariano formed band called Pyn Siren. John Sherman Fowler (born 1965- died March 21, 2008) was an American drummer who was an original member of Rage of Angels and Steelheart. He died on March 21, 2008 after falling into a coma on March 17 following a sudden brain hemorrhage. This was the one and only album Rage of Angels ever put out. This one was originally scheduled to be released by R.E.X. but was sold to Regency. In any case, Rage of Angels are excellent heavy metal with a heavy Skid Row flare. Loads of hooks. With the right label and management, these guys could have been very popular in 1989. The album credits Doug Mann with production and mix, but apparently the band was so unhappy with the mix that they wanted it remixed. It was re-mixed by the Elefante brothers before it's release. John and Dino were never given credit for it. The disc went out of print years ago, so these were selling for a pretty hefty price on the auctions.
    HM Magazine listed Rage of Angels #36 on its Top 100 Christian Metal Albums of All Time list stating that " “Christian metal’s answer to Motley Crue, this album has the attitude and hooks that all albums should.”

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    15 Delirous? - King of Fools 1997
    King of Fools is a Grammy nominated studio album by the British rock band Delirious?, initially released in June 1997. The full-length project showcased a new mainstream sound, whilst retaining many of the core themes found in their Cutting Edge EPs. Stylistically, the album epitomises the band's similarity to U2, an influence which was highlighted by several critics on release. King of Fools reached No. 13 in the UK album chart, a career high for the band, and produced four singles. The second, "Deeper", peaked at No. 22 on the UK singles chart on 11 May 1997. It also includes what is possibly the best known Delirious? song, History Maker, which the band regularly played live throughout their whole career. The album was listed at No. 85 in the 2001 book, CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music. King of Fools was positively received by both mainstream and CCM publications. Crosswalk praised the album, stating "...if you're looking for something tame and lacking originality, you're in the wrong place!" Cross Rhythms rated the album as ten out of ten, and argued that it showed the "...versitility of the band." Jesus Freak Hideout called it "...an overlooked but excellent musical achievement." Many critics noticed the U2 influences on the record. MTV noted that "King of Fools has echoes of '80s U2, but the band accentuates the Christian undertones in Bono's lyrics, creating a modern rock record that resonates with spirituality." HM Magazine called the project "the U2 album fans have been waiting for..."

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    14 Sacred Warrior - Rebellion 1988
    Sacred Warrior were one of the very first notable bands on the scene with "Rebellion" being their debut to the world. Sacred Warrior fused the melodic, progressive metal sound with a heavy American power metal style. Songs like "Children of the Light" and "The Heavens Are Calling" are pure American power metal that would rival Metal Church, while the title track, "Stay Away from Evil" and "Day of the Lord" are more melodic. Of course, what really makes or breaks a band of this style is the vocalist. Sacred Warrior vocalist Rey Parra is often compared to one of heavy metal's elite singers, Geoff Tate of Queensryche. The original Intense Records pressings of "Rebellion" were out of print and out of circulation for years. Original pressings of the album on either the Medusa or Intense Records label would routinely sell for record prices on auction sites. In the 1990's, KMG Records put out inferior re-issues of the Sacred Warrior catalog with very cheap packaging. Not until 2010 did the newly formed Intense Millenium Records put out a proper re-release of "Rebellion". Besides remastering the CD to give it a brighter, more dynamic sound, they also added two new bonus tracks. 


    ______________________________________________________________________________


    13 X - sinner - Get it 1989
    Get It is an album by X-Sinner. At the time of its release, Get It was one of the most talked about albums White Metal albums. The record was nominated for a Dove award and had three number one singles and five top ten singles. Their debut release is produced by John and Dino Elfante, two of the most successful Christian producers. One of the strange things about this band is that their song titles are more overtly Christian than the lyrical content.  Musically X-Sinner are obviously influenced by AC/DC and at times Def Leppard. The album is blessed by excellent production with a good up front guitar sound and clear vocals. This has to be one of the best white metal albums. 

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    12 Barren Cross - Rock for the King 1986
    Barren Cross' debut was influenced by classic heavy metal bands like Judas Priest, Queensryche and especially, Iron Maiden. The music is melodic yet heavy and contains some killer hooks, yet it's not overtly commercial.  In anycase, vocalist Mike Lee has a strong voice, reminiscent of Bruce Dickinson but certainly not a carbon copy of Bruce.  Ray Parris Says: It was “Believe” and became “Rock for the King”. So we recorded that on our own and we sold so many copies. We sold out in several months so we knew there were people that liked what we were doing. So I think it was really that. We kind of pioneered Metal. Because no one could get signed, it was impossible. So we finally came out and then Enigma picked up “Stryper” and then picked us up. We kind of legitimized all the other bands that came afterwards. Obviously the record companies realized there was something that could be made money from. But there was legitimate ministry that could take place as well. You know, we just opened doors and we finally got the better contract and everybody said: “It’s now okay to do it.” And then all the Christian companies started signing and then all the other record companies were popping up.

    ______________________________________________________________________________



    11 Michael Sweet - Michael Sweet 1994
    After nine years as the lead singer/lead guitarist of Stryper, Sweet left the band in 1992 in order to pursue a solo career. He first released a demo album titled Unstryped, which featured several songs allegedly intended for the band. Sweet later included some of these on his first full-length album. His self-titled debut album was released in 1994 and sold over 250,000 copies.  Is the first full-length solo album of  singer, and Stryper frontman, Michael Sweet. The album was released in 1994 by Benson Music Group. The album features Gregg Fulkerson (previously with band Blue Tears) as a co-producer, songwriter, musician, and backing singer.
    The album received high praise from critics as well as five No. 1 singles. Three music videos for "All This ans Heaven Too", "Someday", and "Ain't No Safe Way", were released following the album

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    10 Tourniquet - Stop the Bleding 1990
    Stop the Bleeding is the debut album by the Christian metal band Tourniquet, originally released in 1990 on Intense Records. Stop the Bleeding was recorded at a studio called Mixing Lab A & B, Garden Grove, California. On this album the band's line up consisted of Ted Kirkpatrick, Guy Ritter and Gary Lenaire. Almost half of the lead guitars were played by session musician Mark Lewis. Lenaire, as seen in the video, played leads on Ark of Suffering and the remainder of the record. The song "You Get What You Pray For" was the first single by the band. The song charted quite well and was a GMA Dove Award nomination for "Metal Recorded Song of the Year". A video was done for the song "Ark of Suffering" which contained graphic footage of animals in labs and meat houses which received some airplay on MTV before it was banned by for being too graphic. The video won the Christian News Forum Contemporary Christian Music Award for "Rock Video of the Year" and it was voted by the Heaven's Metal magazine's readers as their "Favorite Video of the Year". The video is also included on the Ocular Digital DVD.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    9 Jerusalem - Volume 1 1978
    Jerusalem is the first album by the Swedish hard rock band Jerusalem. The Swedish version was released in 1978 on Prim Records. The English version (renamed Volume 1) was released in 1980 on Lamb & Lion Records in the United States and on Word Records in the UK. The Christian record company Prim signed Jerusalem, without much expectation of success. However, the band's self-titled debut album, Jerusalem, became an instant hit among Christian listeners, and within the first six months the record sold 20,000 copies, unheard of within the genre of Christian rock in Europe.


    ______________________________________________________________________________


    8 Deliverance - Deliverance 1989
    Deliverance is the 1989 self-titled debut album by the  speed/thrash metal band Deliverance. The original Intense Records pressing is now considered a valuable collectable. It was reissued, minus 2 songs in 1998 on KMG Records as a 2 disc set along with the 1990 album Weapons of Our Warfare. It was officially re-released late 2008 with 2 bonus tracks on Retroactive Records. The album was ranked at number 44 on Metal Hammer magazine's top 50 thrash metal albums of all time list. In 2010, HM Magazine listed Deliverance #31 on its Top 100 Christian Rock Albums of All Time list stating that "'If You Will' into 'The Call' is almost as good as metal gets (-Doug Van Pelt)” and that "this record would forever change and impact me and the Christian metal music scene as we knew it!"(-Bill Balford).  Heaven's Metal fanzine ranked it #3 on its Top 100 Christian metal albums of all time list.



    ______________________________________________________________________________


    7 Stryper - The Yellow and Black Attack
    The Yellow and Black Attack is the first release from Stryper. It was originally released as a six-song EP, and fewer than 20,000 copies were pressed, as their label, Enigma Records, was unsure of the potential market for Christian metal. CCM Magazine was slightly critical, citing production quality and the short length of the release, but commented that "Stryper has the promise of a major success story." According to Michael Sweet's autobiography, the album was re-recorded and released as an official album, after their first manager, Daryn Hinton loaned them $100,000 to re-produce the record. The album initially sold 150,000 units in the first three weeks.

    The Yellow and Black Attack EP was reissued. Re-released on August 10, 1986 with two additional songs, "Reason for the Season" (which was originally released on a 1985 Christmas-themed 12" single with "Winter Wonderland") and a new, mellowed-down version of "My Love I'll Always Show", which dates from their Roxx Regime days. The version recorded for The Yellow and Black Attack featured less obvious Christian lyrics than the one to feature on The Roxx Regime Demos


    ______________________________________________________________________________


    6 Love Song - Love song 1972
    Their classic debut album, Love Song [1972], is considered one of the greatest Christian music albums of all time. The group toured heavily in the early 70s, becoming very popular both in the US and abroad. The album was to come out on Freddie Piro's new label, "Good News", but Freddie was pretty much leaving us alone in regard to the choice of songs and putting the album together in general. The album was recorded at Gold Star Studios, which was famous for the fact that Phil Spector had recorded groups such as The Ronettes, the Crystals, and The Righteous Brothers there. Many hits by other artists such as the Beach Boys, Dick and DeeDee, and Sonny and Cher had been recorded there as well. Actually, from a historical standpoint, this  album was the very last album recorded on the historic old sound board that had recorded so many of these hits.  The album was actually mixed twice. The first mix was done at Gold Star. 
    Sound Labs, a studio known for its technical excellence, was booked. We hired a "hot" young mixer, Eirik Wangberg, to do the mixes, but this time everyone respectfully kept their distance and let Eirik do what he did best. This time we all liked the sound of the mixes and the album was finally released. It went on to sell over 250,000 units over the course of its lifetime, and even though such statistics were not charted in those days, these sales were phenomenal for the times. Chuck Girard - Jan 1998
    Shortly after, Freddie Piro made a new distribution deal with Myrrh Records, a division of Word Records in Waco, TX, and the album sold 70,000 more units in a few short months. Over the life of the album, it sold over 300,000 units, unheard of numbers for a contemporary Christian album  of that time.  It was actually voted “Album Of The Year” in the trade publication “Bible Bookstore Journal” and it wasn’t even on the ballot! After the listed choices on the ballot, there was a box for “other”. The Love Song album won by voters writing it in that category.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    5 Whitecross - Whitecross 1987
    Whitecross is the eponymous debut album from the  metal band Whitecross, released on September 5, 1987. It reached #17 on Billboard's Top Contemporary Christian Albums chart. In 2010, HM Magazine listed Whitecross #29 on its Top 100 Christian Rock Albums of All Time list stating that "listen to this album. It’ll blow your mind. It’s simplistic ‘80s metal to a fault (think Ratt with Jesus-first lyrics), but the shredding lead guitar by Rex Carroll in every fill, nook and cranny is primo."Heaven's Metal fanzine ranked it #4 on its Top 100 Christian metal albums of all time list

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    4 Vengeance Rising - Human Sacrifice 1988
    Human Sacrifice is the first studio album by the Christian death and thrash metal band Vengeance Rising. It is the first full length Christian thrash metal album as it was released in 1988. Though controversial, Human Sacrifice and the following album, Once Dead were huge successes in the world of Christian music, making Vengeance Rising one of the few bands in the genre to cross over into the secular music scene. Dave Caughney of Cross Rhythms magazine wrote in 1990 that this "legendary classic debut [...] breathed much needed freshness into the somewhat stale white metal (Christian metal) scene". HM Magazine editor Doug Van Pelt called Human Sacrifice "the most radical Christian album ever released". In 2010, HM ranked Human Sacrifice the best Christian metal album of all time on its Top 100 list because it "tilted the Christian metal world on its ear". Human Sacrifice was recorded in 1988, and released on Intense Records the same year with 1,000 copies. Soon a Dutch band called Vengeance demanded the group to change its name. After renaming itself as "Vengeance Rising", the band re-released Human Sacrifice with the word "rising" under the logo on cover picture. Causing further issues for the band, some Christians, noting the unusual vocal and musical style, labeled the release as demonic. These issues, along with the cover image which featured the pierced hand of Bob Beeman (founder of Sanctuary International) caused the album to be pulled from the shelves of some Christian bookstores.

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    3 Larry Norman - Upon this Rock 1969
    in December 1969 Capitol released Norman's first solo rock album, Upon This Rock, "the first major label record to marry rock music with the gospel". "the Sergeant Pepper of Christianity", widely regarded as "the album that first recruited rock in the service of salvation", later cited as being "one of the roots of the current Contemporary Christian Music"; In February 1970, two months after Upon This Rock was released, Capitol dropped Norman from their label, as the album was deemed a "commercial flop" as it had failed to reach the sales target Capitol expected, telling Norman that "there is no market for your music." Norman analyzed its poor reception in a 1972 interview: "It was too religious for the rock and roll stores and too rock and roll for the religious stores." Upon This Rock received increased sales due to its distribution in Christian bookstores, and "became Benson's most acclaimed release", selling 23,000 copies when it was eventually released in England in 1972 through Key Records. In 1971 Upon This Rock was submitted unsuccessfully for Grammy Award nomination.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    2 Resurrection band - Awaiting your Reply 1978
    The album was recorded for only $8000 US over a period of two weeks in marathon all-night sessions ending on Easter Sunday morning. A groundbreaking release by Christian music standards at the time, the album caused considerable controversy among Christian music critics, many of whom found fault with everything from its album cover art to its heavy rock sounds,[citation needed] which are clearly influenced by Led Zeppelin. No Christian record label in the United States or Great Britain would agree to distribute the album. The independent label, Star Song Records finally signed Resurrection Band to a record deal. The label soon became one of the largest independents in contemporary Christian music. Many Christian bookstores sold the album from behind the counter, as the cover art was considered too controversial to display openly.

    Awaiting Your Reply along with its follow-up, Rainbow's End, quickly solidified Resurrection Band's place in the upper echelon of Christian rock music due to the band's socially conscious Christian lyrics and solid musicianship. In 2001, the album was listed at No. 91 in the book, CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music.

    ______________________________________________________________________________


    1 Holy Soldier - Holy Soldier 1990

    This album is a reference within the Christian metal, a real clasico.Si this album had been released in the mid-80s, this band would have been bigger than Stryper, I speak seriously. You can not be a Christian rock connoisseur, if you have not heard before this album, it is an obligation that you have this album in his collection. Their eponymous debut, produced by David Zaffiro, was released in 1990 to critical and commercial acclaim. The band garnered two Dove Awards in 1991, in the hard rock song and album of the year categories. Charted #7 on Billboard Magazine's CCM sales charts Released in 1990, Holy Soldier at that time, was the highest selling debut release on Word Records in 7 years. Dove- Awarded Metal/Hard Rock Album of the Year / 1991 Dove-Awarded Metal/Hard Rock Recorded Song of the Year; Stranger / 1991 Dove-Awarded nomination for Metal/Hard Rock Recorded Song of the Year; See No Evil / 1991 The radio single Stranger, was a #1 single for 12 consecutive weeks (CCM Update & PRR)
    • Facebook Comments
    • Google Comments

    9 comentarios:

    Ron Diaz said... June 4, 2015 at 10:40 PM

    Interesting to see that Petra, White Heart, Degarmo & Key, and Mylin Lefevre never made the list.

    abdul muHib Carosaari said... June 8, 2015 at 10:28 PM

    I'm glad to see Servant in #24. But the album was "Shallow Water", and I have no idea who Bob Rock is, but it was managed by Jim Palosaari's capable hands.

    abdul muHib Carosaari said... June 8, 2015 at 10:29 PM
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Allan H said... September 24, 2015 at 11:00 PM
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Allan H said... September 24, 2015 at 11:02 PM

    Where's Seraiah???... Seraiah must be in the top 10 of the Best Christian Bands... at least #2 from the list and Stryper in #1, and Holy Soldier in #3...

    Thinker said... September 25, 2015 at 6:01 AM

    Where is Zion, Thunder From the Mountain, on Image Records? That album charted more songs on CCM and CCM Metal from 1989 to 1991, than any two of the other bands albums combined,

    Thinker said... September 25, 2015 at 6:02 AM

    Where is Zion, Thunder From the Mountain, on Image Records? That album charted more songs on CCM and CCM Metal from 1989 to 1991, than any two of the other bands albums combined,

    P-Dubb said... October 5, 2015 at 7:39 AM

    Stryken??!! Holy Danger??!! The Warning??!! Surely some of these deserved a spot above the choice of Margaret Becker....

    Post a Comment

    Item Reviewed: Top 50 - Best Christian Rock Debut Albums Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Martinez
    Scroll to Top