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Top 25 Greatest Christian Rock Albums of 1986

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Published on december 30th, 2016 | by Anthony Martinez



Many people are not very comfortable with the label "Christian Rock / metal" because the music is not Christian or secular, music is just music, and there is much truth in that. But it's also true that most people who work in magazines, radios, TV, and sites recognized on the internet generally do not know to recognize and value an artist simply because is a Christian.

I have seen many listings on recognized internet sites about great rock albums from 1986 and other years, and very rarely do I see a Christian artist on those lists. Even the most recognized bands like Petra and Stryper, are often omitted by other bands musically, no offense, they are below them.

But whether you agree or not, with the label "Christian Rock / Metal", you can not deny that 1986 is one of the most important years in the history of christian rock and Christian metal, despite having more than two Decades of existence, Christian rock reached the ears of millions for the first time in that year.

In 1986, old legends such as Mylon Lefevre, Phil Keaggy, Larry Norman, Matthew Ward, and Randy Stonehill introduced new albums, though some of them were not good enough to compete (so to speak) with the new artists of rock and Christian metal that were emerging.

Petra premiered their new singer John Schlitt, who would soon become one of the most well-known faces in Christian rock music. At the same time, two former members of Petra, Greg X Volz and Rob Frazier, released their albums as soloists.

Other bands like Sacred Fire, 911 and Motherlode would release their only album in that year, and although they disintegrated too quickly, their only albums are really impressive, these bands could have come a long way from not having disintegrated.

Barnabas would say Goodbye forever with "Little foxes", unfortunately, it was not as well produced as their previous albums.

Tonio K, a genius, "Romeo Unchained" is an album full of wit, musical maturity, full of intelligent lyrics, Tonio K is probably one of the most great composers, although not so known.

Altar Boys and Undercover, probably the two most important Christian punk bands in the 80s, released two really classic albums within Christian rock music.

It was also the year that debuted bands as Barren Cross, Bloodgood, Idle Cure and Bride, they soon to become renowned bands of rock and metal Christian.

Some groups like Messiah Prophet and DeGarmo & Key, probably released their best albums in that year. Although there is no doubt that "Master of the Metal" was the best work of Messiah Prophet, a true masterpiece of heavy metal. While "Street Light" would become DeGarmo & Key's most notable album until then.

Stryper would make history with "To hell with the Devil", it was the first Christian metal album to achieve platinum status, selling over one million copies. and be the first band / artist of history to have 3 videos in the top 10 of MTV simultaneously , Which would lead them to be nominated for the Grammy. Something never seen before in the history of Christian rock.

Bands like Allies, Daniel Band, WhiteHeart, Crumbächer, Rick Cua, Geoff Moore, and The Choir, also made significant albums that year.

Another band that released a good album in 1986 was Stryken, although unfairly criticized, First Strike is really a good album for me.

And although Lone Justice was not a band that was within the Christian music industry, Shelter had some impact on it. Shelter is an album loaded with wit and brilliance.

Not all the albums before mentioned appear on this list, and you probably will not be happy with the order in which they appear, but certainly, you will  agree with all that appear here.

25  Rob Frazier - This Town
Style: Soft Rock, AOR, Pop
Tracks: 10
Light Records
Produced by Steve Camp

24  The Choir - Diamonds and Rain
Style: Alternative
Tracks: 10
Myrrh Records
Produced by Charlie Peacock

23  Bride - Show no Mercy
Style: Heavy Metal
Tracks: 10
Pure Metal Records
Produced by Bride
Bride - Dale Thompson. Having had the privilege of doing several shows with Bride, I can honestly say they always "stile the show."Dale's vocal power and stage presence is awesome! He is a force to be reckoned with!  - Ken Tamplin -

22  Crumbächer - Escape! From the Fallen Planet
Style: New Wave, Synth-Pop
Tracks: 10
Frontline Records
Produced by Crumbächer

21  Geoff Moore - Over the Edge
Style: Hard Rock, AOR
Tracks: 10
Power Discs
Produced by Billy Smiley

20  Rick Cua - Wear your Colors
Style: Hard Rock
Tracks: 10
Sparrow Records
Produced by Dave Perkins

19  Motherlode - The Sanctuary
Style: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Tracks: 10
Active Music Productions
Produced by Kit Woolven

18  Barren Cross - Rock for the King
Style: Heavy/Glam Metal
Tracks: 9
Star Song Records
Produced by Barren Cross

17  Greg X Volz - The river  is rising
Style: Hard Rock, AOR
Tracks: 9
Myrrh Records
Produced by Greg X Volz, Jonathan David Brown

16  White Heart - Don't Wait for the Movie
Style: AOR, Pop
Tracks: 11
Sparrow Records
Produced by Billy Smiley & WhiteHeart

15  Saint - Times End
Style: Heavy Metal
Tracks: 9
Pure Metal Records
Produced by Saint
This is the album a buddy of mine introduced me to that really grabbed me. I was a big Judas Priest fan back in the day and when I first heard Josh Kramer's vocals on the title track, I was instantly hooked. Killer album from start to finish.   - Eli Prinsen (ex-Sacred Warrior)


14  911 - Time Will Tell
Style: AOR
Tracks: 10
Exile Records

13  Daniel Band - Rise up
Style: Heavy Metal, Hard Rock
Tracks: 9
Refuge Records
Produced by Daniel Band
12  Idle Cure - Idle Cure
Style: Hard Rock, AOR
Tracks: 8
Frontline Records
Produced by Bill Baumgart
Idle Cure had an awesome Corporate Rock vibe. Steve Shannon on vocals, Chuck King on guitar, (who later joined me in Shout!) Mark Ambrose on guitar, Pete Lomakin on Keys - Killer combo with producer Bill Baumgart at the helm! They were as good if not better live than even the album! - Ken Tamplin -

11  Bloodgood - Bloodgood 
Style: Heavy/Glam Metal
Tracks: 10
Frontline Records
Produced by Darrel Mansfield

10  Undercover - Branded
Style: Punk
Tracks: 12
Blue Collar Records
Produced by Joey Taylor

09  Randy Stonehill - The Wild Frontier
Style: AOR
Tracks: 10
Myrrh Records
Produced by Dave Perkins & Ray Ware

08  Matthew Ward - Armed and Dangerous
Style: AOR
Tracks: 8
Live Oak Records
Produced by Matthew Ward
I grew up on Matthew Ward.  Toward Eternity is one of my all time favorite Christian rock albums. His soulful voice and powerful message have spanned decades!   - Ken Tamplin -


07  Tonio K - Romeo Unchained
Style: Alternative
Tracks: 10
Gadfly Records
Produced by Bob Rose

06  Lone Justice - Shelter
Style: Rock, Country, Soul
Tracks: 10
Geffen Records
Produced by Jimmy Lovine, Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul, and Lone Justice


05  Messiah Prophet - Master of the Metal
Style: Heavy Metal
Tracks: 8
Pure Metal Records
Produced by Ray Fletcher
04  Altar Boys - Gut Level Music
Style: Punk
Tracks: 10
Frontline Records
Produced by Rob Watson & Terry Taylor
Mike Stand - Altar Boys. Having been in a band many years earlier with Mike Annis (Stand) called "The Image Band" I can can say he is line exceptional songwriter and player. His writing skills spanned the eagles, tom petty all the way to raw punk versions of Stray Cats while always maintaing a string gospel message integrity.  - Ken Tamplin -


03  Petra - Back to the Street
Style: Hard Rock, AOR
Tracks: 10
Star Song Records
Produced by John & Dino Elefante

02  DeGarmo & Key- Street Light
Style: Hard Rock, AOR
Tracks: 11
Power Discs
Produced by Dana Key, Eddie DeGarmo and John Hampton

01  Stryper - To Hell With the Devil
Style: Heavy/Glam Metal
Tracks: 11
Enigma Records
Produced by Stephen Galphas and Stryper
When I first heard THWTD album I was in Germany because my father was in the military. I was waiting excitedly for this album like a kid on Christmas waiting for his presents lol! The amazing thing about this album is that it is a whole package! Visually it was fantastic when I first purchased it, just looking with amazement! Then when I played it, every song was just what it should be! I was so thrilled and encouraged to follow my own dreams in music and ministry! Every song was great! Michaels vocal ability was astounding!! The drum sound was huge!! The songs would stand the test of time definitely! This album is a huge part of my life and I recommend it to any heavy metal fan!         - Michael Feighan (Whitecross) -

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