Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Let's face it, some Christmas Carols are rooted in tradition rather than theological accuracy.  Scripture says nothing about there being only three wise men, the herald angels didn't sing, it's quite doubtful that the nativity was silent, ("No crying He makes?"  Really?  One wonders if the author had ever been around a newborn baby.)  and there was no little boy with a drum, anywhere in the narrative. (And "Joy To The World" is actually about when Christ returns to set up His eternal kingdom, but that's a different situation.)

But traditions and inaccuracies don't take away from the enjoyment of these songs, in my opinion.  From Sparrow Records late 1980's Christmas album, Whiteheart's quasi-metal take on "Little Drummer Boy" is without doubt the best version I have ever heard.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's Christmastime...Again!

Around the turn of the century (this one) Crystal Lewis released her Holiday CD, a collection of Christmas standards that was a throwback to the jazzy Christmas albums of yore.  Pure joy to listen too!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wonderful Christmastime

To begin with, I'm well aware that Paul McCartney's quirky, New Wave Pop-Synth experiment provokes visceral reactions in most.  I actually enjoy it, but that's probably because of nostalgia and affection for McCartney rather than a true appreciation for the song.  (My argument has always been, if you don't like Wonderful Christmastime, flip the 45 over and listen to the b-side, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reggae, and you'll think Wonderful Christmastime is a classic.)

Anyway, Jars of Clay dug deep and found a real song buried under all the spacey synthesizers.  They turned a song that could produce violence in some into a nice contemplative offering, and it's one of my favorites off their Christmas Songs CD.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmastime is here...2

From his 1993 album "Christmas", here's Bruce Cockburn with my favorite Christmas tune of all time.  (If anyone knows what the lyrics are about, please let me know!)

Here's Jon Anderson's version from his "3 Ships" album.

And here is a link to Bob Bennett's version from his "Christmastide" cd:


Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Time Is Here...

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone, I hope everyone had a blessed time with Family & friends.  Between now & Christmas I plan to post some of my favorite Christmas tunes.  Some will be familiar to you, some will not, so I hope you hear something you like.

I want to start off with the great Russ Taff, from his "Sinatra" inspired Christmas cd, "A Christmas Song." (1992)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I have no desire to address politics on this blog, so this will be a one time thing.  This was my Facebook status this morning.  I wanted to share it with the rest of you.

"I refuse to pay attention to any "doomsday" scenarios being played out on FB this morning.  You know what, it may well be the "end of America as we know it," but God is still God.  As followers of Christ, HE is our hope for the future.  If I may paraphrase John 21:22 without being accused of sacrilege, "If I want Barack Obama to be president, what is that to you?  YOU follow ME!"

Pray for those in power.  It doesn't matter if you agree with them or not.

"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-For kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all Godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Savior..."~~1 Timothy 2:1-3

Monday, October 22, 2012

My personal top ten Christian albums.

From the outset, I must state the obvious: my list will differ from yours.  There are lots of CCM "greatest" lists out there, the most prominant being CCM's  "100 Greatest Albums In Christian Music," or the great list at http://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/.  My list will include albums that didn't make any other list, of course.  We all have different taste.  My list will include artists from many different genres and spiritual viewpoints, even some who no longer identify as Christian.  Those albums must be included because, while my heart may ache for those individuals who have chosen, for whatever reason, to walk away from the Church, (and in some instances, from Christ Himself,)  the impact their music had on me will never go away.

To save time and space, I'm only going to comment on the top five.  Enjoy!

1. The Alarma Chronicles - Daniel Amos
A bit of a cheat here, as this is actually four separate albums, (Alarma!, Doppelganger, Vox Humana and Fearful Symmetry,) but I can't view them that way.  I've always seen the Chronicles as one work, perhaps the most ambitious undertaking in Christian music, and one of the most ambitious in Rock music, period.  Actually, everything Terry Taylor and company have done could easily find it's way on to this list. True visionaries.

2.  Russ Taff - Russ Taff
No one, in CCM or otherwise, has a more powerful voice than Russ Taff.  These days, Taff has been active mainly as a soloist in Bill Gaither's series of Southern Gospel videos, and as a member of the Gaither Vocal Band.  Anyone who knows him just from that would be shocked to hear his 1987 self-titled release.  His third solo album after departing the Imperials, (who's best work was recorded while he was a member,) this was serious, heart wrenching, soul searching Rock that chronicled a tough time in Taff's life, after a hard tour for his previous album, Medals.  About this time, Taff recorded an excellent interview for the radio presentation Shake: Christian Artists Face The Music that is well worth searching out.

3. Lie Down In The Grass - Charlie Peacock
When I first saw this album cover, I have to admit, it didn't fit my idea of what a "Christian" album should be.  Listening to the album didn't change my mind much, honestly, and I put it away without any more thought.  But then, several years later, I had a third shift job and as I was leaving for work one night, for some inexplicable reason, I chose this album to listen too.  I had an over thirty minute commute, plenty of time to listen to most of it, and this time, I "got" it.  Favorite songs would be "Whole Lot Different," "Lost In Translation," "Who Is Not Afraid," "Human Condition"... actually, every song is a classic.  To this day, as great as CP's recorded output is, this remains my favorite.

4. Return To Paradise - Randy Stonehill
Randy Stonehill has never recorded a "bad" album.  True, some releases suffered from bad production, (Love Beyond Reason, the Stonehill ep, Celebrate This Heartbeat,) but the songs were always good, and his acoustic performances always brought that out.  Producer Mark Heard played on that strength, and this amazing album of acoustic tunes was the result.  Randy has always been a very "emotional" singer, but he never sounded better than this.  From the plaintive 'Starlings" to the joyous "Ready To Go,"  Randy ended the 80's with his best album ever.

5. Learning To Trust - David Meece
As prolific as David Meece was back in the 80's, you're not likely to see any of his albums on lists like this.  He was not a critical favorite, and his music was considered too light weight and "poppy," a description that, quite frankly, is hard to argue with when you go back and give albums like "Are You Ready" and "7" a listen, and "Candle In The Rain," while musically very good, was somewhat confusing theologically.  Then came this beautiful, personal album that, while maintaining a "Pop" sound, was comparable to Russ Taff's album mentioned above.  This was Meece's chronicle of his own "dark night of the soul," and made even some who were critical of his earlier albums reassess  their opinion of him.

6. Circle Slide - The Choir

7. Faith, Hope, Love - King's X

8. Sunday's Child - Phil Keaggy

9. Something New Under The Son - Larry Norman

10. Satellite Sky - Mark Heard

Thursday, October 4, 2012

New album from Bryan Duncan

It's been a while since my last post.  Our internet's been down, plus the new blogger interface is a pain, but I'll get back in the swing of things.

Meanwhile, I want everyone to check out the great Bryan Duncan's new album!  For a short time, he's streaming "Conversations" in its entirety here: http://sogoodforthesoul.com/

It's so good to hear new music from Bryan.  He's an artist that definitely deserves our support.

Here's Bryan and Phil Keaggy performing an early version of a song from "Conversations."  Wish I could have been at this concert!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mark Heard: 12/16/1951 - 8/16/1992

Twenty years ago August 16th, one of the greatest songwriters who ever lived was lost to the world.  I've already posted a blog about Mark (here:http://diversity-sam.blogspot.com/2011/02/mark-heard-enigma-in-christian-music.html) so I won't repeat myself.  I just wanted to post something in his memory.  Rest in peace, Mark.

Treasure Of The Broken Land was the last song on the last album Mark ever released.  Somewhat prophetic, I think.
 This one is as close as Mark ever came to writing a "Gospel" song.  It's been covered by Nickel Creek on their cd Here To There, and by Buddy Greene on his cd Sojourner's Song.
Famously covered by Leslie (Sam) Phillips on her album Beyond Saturday Night.
Artist web site: http://www.markheard.net/

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Billy Crockett

I first heard Billy Crockett back in 1986 when I picked up a Dayspring Records sampler titled "Just What You're Looking For."  That album featured tracks from Billy, Wayne Watson, Teri DeSario and many others on the Dayspring label.  Every song was good, but Billy's "Portrait Of Love," a beautiful, acoustic Harry Chapin-ish tune, really stood out.  I immediately sought out the album "Surprises In Disguises" and was equally impressed with the rest of the disc.  To this day, "Surprises" is my favorite out of a long line of excellent releases from Billy.

While he's never had big "hits" of his own, really, Billy has worked with many other artists who have, most notably with Rich Mullins, as a member of Mullins' Ragamuffin Band.  After Rich's death, Billy recorded "Verge Of A Miracle" for a Rich Mullins tribute cd.

Between 1984 and 1999 Billy recorded and released 8 excellent albums in the CCM market.  He "retired" in 2000 to build his own studio/artist retreat, Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio, located in Wimberley, Texas.  He frequently tours as part of a trio, including Grace Pettis (Daughter of Pierce Pettis) and Dirje Smith.

Artist Website: http://billycrockett.com/

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kajagoogoo - Islands/Extra Play

In 1984, the mainstream New Wave band Kajagoogoo (think "Too Shy,") released an album that could have competed with early christian alternative bands like the 77's in the "fringe" Christian bookstores where such material was sold.  Islands, (titled "Extra Play" in the U.S.,) was the second album from the band, and featured blatantly Christian content. Bassist (and by this time lead singer) Nick Beggs had become a Christian when he was in his late teens, after the death of his mother.  Beggs would join the band Iona for a couple of albums in the mid 90's before returning to solo work, and eventually back to Kajagoogoo.

Nick Beggs interview:  http://kajafax.co.uk/2011/07/12/kajagoogoo-on-kajagoogoo-no-1-magazine-feature-1983-nick-beggs/

Monday, July 9, 2012


This past Saturday, July 7, was an historic day in that it was the final day of the final Cornerstone festival.  In appreciation, and "in memoriam," here is a remarkable video shot at the very first Cornerstone in 1984.  It includes sets from three of my favorites; The 77's, Daniel Amos and Steve Taylor.  It is not my video, I'm only sharing it from YouTube.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

After The Fire

After The Fire was originally formed in 1971 by keyboard player Peter Banks.  Guitarist Andy Piercy would join in 1974.  Piercy and Banks would be the core of ATF for the rest of the first phase of their career.  The band would go through many personnel changes, even disbanding once, before recording their first album.  1978's "Signs Of Change" was a Progressive Rock album, very reminiscent of the material bands like Yes, Genesis and Nektar were performing at the time.  In 1978, ATF signed with CBS Records, and released three excellent New Wave/Pop records while with the label: Laser Love (1978,) 80-F (1980) and Batteries Not Included (1982.)  Only one album was released in the U.S., a compilation titled ATF, which included the best songs from the previous three UK albums, plus their recording of Austrian musician Falco's song "Der Kommissar."

Der Kommissar would be ATF's only hit in the U.S.  The band had broken up by the time the single was released, so that is the song they are known for.  That's a shame, not that it's a bad song, (it's an anti drug song,) but their original material was so inventive, and lyrically was a refreshing change from the banal stuff that was around in the Disco era.

Andy Piercy went on to become a producer, producing modern Worship albums by Delerious? and Matt Redman.  In 2004, Peter Banks reformed the band, and is the only original member still in ATF.  They are currently still active touring, though no new material has been recorded.  A groundbreaking Christian band that really was not a part of the "CCM culture," ATF does not need to fall through the cracks.

(Laser Love is a single from 1978, but the video shows current band members.)
Band web site: http://www.afterthefire.co.uk/

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wanted to share this...

Very insightful blog post by Bill Walden, former lead singer for Undercover, currently Senior Pastor at Cornerstone Ministries, Napa California.  I've toyed with the idea of writing a post about this subject for quite some time, but Bill says it all, better than I ever could.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Gabriel were an Inspirational group active through the entire decade of the 80's.  Their album "Standing Strong" was one of the first featured on my friend Allen's local radio broadcast "Change The World" back in 1985.  Musically, they were cut from the same cloth as Harvest (post pending) but with less "southern" influence.  The group originally consisted of  Robin Lyle (keyboards, vocals) and Jeff Walter (vocals.)  They released four independent albums as a duo, the best of which, "Out Of The East," is pictured above.  In 1988, they signed with Home Sweet Home records, added drummer Robert Noland, and released their self titled major label debut, which was simply a rearranged version of "Out Of The East" (two songs deleted, two new songs recorded with Noland added.)  In 1990 they released "Long Line Of Love" on Urgent records, with Noland sharing lead vocal duties with the others.  "Long Line..." showed them heading in more of a (then) modern "Pop" inspirational direction, but to my knowledge they never released another album.

"Out Of The East" is easily one of my most listened to CCM releases.  Unfortunately, no youtube videos for any of those songs seems to exist.  The entire "Long Line Of Love" disc is available for streaming at Myspace, however.

"Long Line Of Love:" http://www.myspace.com/gabrielsage/music/albums/long-line-of-love-12934725

*Slight Update*  Thanks to my friend Chris for tracking down a couple of live videos of Gabriel.  Here's "I Want To Be Your Light," a track from Out Of The East.

This one's from Standing Strong.

Deviating from the norm...Again

This was inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien.  And the Apostle Paul.  The drawing is Phil Keaggy.


And so it is...
I saw through the shadow...
I caught a glimpse of secrets in flight
And the Flame that created it all
And the desire of Gollum
That withered the leaves of the Tree of Life
And the pain of the King
And the Blood
That restored them.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Breakfast With Amy

"Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt"  1990
"Dad" 1991
"Product # bvcd 3482 (Love Gift)" 1992
"Live At The Hawleywood Bowl!" 1995

What was this stuff?  Glam?  Punk?  Psychedelic?  Dadaist? (look it up, kids!)  Whatever it was, it was unique.  If the word "Alternative" ever truly fit any band, it was this one. There never was, or ever will be, another Breakfast With Amy.  

The band formed in 1986 to fill in at a Saturday night concert at La Habra Four Square Church in La Habra, California , and consisted of  Dave Koval (vocals,) Jeff Beahn (bass,) Chris Colbert (guitars,) and Paul Pelligren (drums.)  They recorded a couple of demos with Beahn, who was replaced by Caryn Colbert (Chris Colbert's wife) but did not release their debut album until 1990. Between 1990 and 1992, BWA released three of the most bizarre albums to ever hit the Christian music community.  The best was 1991's "Dad," possibly the only Christian album ever released to include a song with lyrics that consist of pithy sayings read from Christian t-shirts. ("Mermelstein And The Disappearing Sink.")

I don't know what happened to most of the members of this band.   Guitarist Chris Colbert and drummer Paul Pelligren formed the Punk band Fluffy (later called Duraluxe,) which also included bassist Jeff Beahn.  Colbert also worked as a producer and engineer on several albums.  Caryn Colbert was in the band Plague Of Ethyls, but all this activity occurred while BWA was still active.

The "Live At The Hawleywood Bowl"  disc was released in 1995 (I've never heard or even seen a copy of that one.  If anyone could help me out there, I would appreciate it.) and then the band disappeared down Mermelstein's sink.  But I'll always love them.

This one isn't for everyone:

Hope you have a sense of humor:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tom Howard

Often heard but seldom recognized, Tom Howard was an important figure in the development of modern Christian music.  He was one of Larry Norman's brilliant Solid Rock artists in the late 1970's, along with Randy Stonehill and Mark Heard, and after the dissolution of Solid Rock, he helped Daniel Amos (another Solid Rock act) form the Alarma! record label.

View From The Bridge

Although he recorded three excellent vocal pop albums, Howard is more known for the instrumental albums he has released since the mid 80's, and as a session musician, composer and conducter, appearing on albums by artists like The Choir, Phil Keaggy, Randy Stonehill, Jars of Clay, Rich Mullins' Ragamuffin Band and many more.  You would have a hard time finding a Christian album recorded in the 80's or 90's that Howard didn't work on, in some way.
Danger In Loving You

Although in one of his final interviews he joked that no one would miss his singing, he had a pleasant, soothing voice, reminiscent of Supertramps' Roger Hodgson.  Musically, his first two albums, "View From The Bridge" (1977) and "Danger In Loving You" (1981), were firmly rooted in 70's pop, but he could throw a few curve balls, too. "Danger In Loving You" opens with "Horizen," a progressive rock instrumental that would have fit on the first Emerson, Lake and Palmer album.  The title track was another prog rock masterpiece.  ("Horizon" was re-recorded in 1985 as a solo piano piece titled "Horizon Storm.)

In 1985, Tom released a final vocal album with fellow CCM pioneer, Bill Batstone titled "One by One,' which yielded a hit in the tune "When The Curtain Falls," and thereafter concentrated on his instrumental albums and his work for other artists.  Of his instrumental works, the Windham Hill-like "The Harvest"(1985,) and "Solo Piano"(1987) are some of the most listened to albums in my collection.

Tom in 2008.

In January 2010, when Tom and his wife Dori were hiking at a State park in Nashville, Tennessee, he suffered a fatal heart attack.  He was 59 years old.  

Few "celebrity" deaths affect me on a personal level, although I mourn for anyone who passes on.  Tom's death, like Dana Key, Mark Heard, Rich Mullins, Dan Peek and Larry Norman, was like losing a friend, who I never really met.  R.I.P. Tom.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard comes from Scotland, and a good portion of that music is by Runrig.  Formed in northern Scotland in 1973, the band took the name "Runrig" from the Scottish "furrow and ridge" farming style.

Runrig mix Scottish folk in with Celtic Rock, much like other "big guitar" bands like Big Country (another favorite) and many of their songs, particularly early ones, are sung in Gaelic. But rather than using spiritual imagery for pure poetic reasons, Runrig's core members and songwriters, brothers Callum and Rory Macdonald are devout Christians.  The  Macdonald's are also the sole remaining original members.

Also unlike Big County and U2, Runrig never had much success in the United States, and you're not likely to hear any "hits" on the radio, but lack of radio success certainly has nothing to do with quality.  (Nor does major success, but that's another argument.)  In searching out Runrig's music, the first major label album, "The Cutter And The Clan," is a good place to start, as well as 1993's "Amazing things" (called "the most life-affirming album ever made" by reviewer Glenn Mcdonald.)

Cross Rhythms interview, 1993 : http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/articles/39272/p1/
In A Nutshell: Runrig's Spiritual Message: http://www.s-line.de/homepages/ross/ebotschaft.htm

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"Deviating From The Norm...Part 2"

My family and I have been in the process of purchasing a house and moving in, so I've been rather busy the past few weeks.  I'm working on a post about the Scottish band Runrig, meanwhile here's the second of my poem/artwork posts.  The drawing this time around is John Lennon.

Abandoned Houses

Hollow echo
Creaking open
Broken glass
Sunlight.  Dust.
Silent?  Not silent.
Flies buzzing.
Footprints in dust.
Large room.
Loneliness, but not alone.
Quietness, but not silent.
Someone is speaking loudly here
In the stillness.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Loudflower - Happy Now?

1 Everyone But Me
2 Guess I Need You
3 Disaffected
4 Routine (Remix)
5 Clouds
6 Savior Business (Remix)
7 Crime Of The Century
8 Happy Now
9 Everything Rhymes With Wrong
10 Can't Change Yesterday
11 Color Of Heaven
12 5 Minutes After 3
13 Always Tomorrow
14 Comfortable Bed
15 Don't Say Goodnight

Sometimes when a band has only one album to their credit, you listen to that album and you immediately know why.  Other times, you ask yourself  "Why wasn't this a huge hit?  Why, when something that calls itself  "Lady Gaga" is selling millions of cd's, wasn't this band, that actually knew something about real music, more popular?"

Loudflower is Alt rock with horns.  Not Ska style horns. This sounds like Chicago's horn section accidentally got mixed in with a jam session by the Clash and REM.  It shouldn't work, but it does, beautifully.

A couple of the songs are labeled as remixes, but I'm not sure why, as no other versions of these songs were released anywhere. Gray Dot's 1996 "sampler" disc, "Same Three Chord's,"contained a couple of tunes, a different version of "Color Of Heaven" and an alternate version of  "5 Minutes After 3" titled "I Still Want You."  A 4 song ep titled "Christmas Killed us" was also released in '96, but that's the complete output of this band, and that is truly a shame.

What little I could find out about the band points to this being another CCM horror story.  It seems the band sued their record company for lack of a written contract, and they were held up in litigation for several years.  Because of the hurt this caused, and because of some internal "band" strife, they decided not to continue.  But they left behind a masterpiece.  Highly recommended, if you can find it.

Note:  None of the YouTube videos below feature music from the "Happy Now?" cd.  The first two are the alternate versions from the Gray Dot sampler,  but the main difference between them is much better production on the official release.  The third video is the title track from the "Christmas Killed Us" ep.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Classic CCM Radio.

For those of you out there who would like to hear more classic ccm instead of today's variety (which I have no problem with, but I want to hear some Norman, Stonehill, Keaggy and the Greg X. Volz version of Petra,) check out these great web stations.  Be blessed.

Spirit In Truth Radio   http://www.sntradio.com/

Streets Of Gold  http://streetsofgoldradio.com/Site/Welcome%20to.html

Classic Christian 24/7  http://www.classicchristian247.com/

Healing Stream Media  http://healingstreammedia.com/

wtwt FM  http://www.wtwtfm.org/

Full Circle Jesus Music  http://www.fullcirclejesusmusic.com/

Jesus Music Revival  http://tunein.com/station/?stationId=141885

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Stryken - First Strike

 Original release

Okay, we're not talking about a bona fide classic Christian Metal release here, and I don't think a sillier album cover than the original release (shown above) has ever been designed. I have to admit, however, in spite of myself,  that I love this disc.  Nostalgia maybe. Certainly an appreciation for the band's zeal and love for God.

I first heard these guys when I picked up K-Tel's "Righteous Metal" compilation, which, along with tracks by Barren Cross, Bloodgood, Philadelphia and Jerusalem, included a remixed version of "Rock On" from the "First Strike" album.  The band was originally called Stryker, and was formed by brothers Dale and Stephen Streiker (real surname Hopkins) in the early 80's.  They recorded their only album under this name, "Blitzkrieg" in 1983. (The Blitzkrieg tracks were included as bonus tracks on the 2009 reissue of First Strike.  Believe me, they don't add anything to the listening experience.  However, if you really enjoy band demo's, they're a decent listen now and then.)  With Stryper's popularity growing in the mid 80's, the band changed their name to Stryken to avoid  confusion.

Not that they would be confused for Stryper.  Their look was totally different, and their sound had more in common with Glam Rock bands like Kiss or The New York Dolls than Heavy Metal like Stryper, although the vocals (handled by both Dale and Stephen) could be rather "Sweetish" at times.  They released the album "First Strike" in 1987.  

The band was very Evangelical,  and the most well known story about them is when they stood outside a Motley Crue concert, holding a large cross, and witnessing to people.  They tried to do this a second night, and were "detained" by the police while the concert continued.  

Strangely enough, Stephen Streiker (Hopkins) quit the band and became a fundamentalist minister, denouncing the very music he used to perform.  His brother Dale travels and performs for youth focused ministries.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Deviating From The Norm..."

This post has nothing to do with music, it's just something personal I wanted to do, and since it IS my blog...:-)
I've been wanting to put together a small book of my poems and some of my artwork for quite a while, but never seem to get it finished.  So, I thought I'd post some of those poems and drawings here, for those who might be interested.  I may post this for a few days, and then change my mind.  But, anyway, I hope you all enjoy.

Just A Thought

When the sun sets
and the sky fades
When the stars fall
and our lives burn away
When Hell expands
and Heaven moves
When the knowledge we crave
And the nothingness we love
turns to dust…
You're still here.
And the liars and deceivers
The hypocrites and believers
The scoffers and deniers
The sellers and the buyers
Will finally see the one
That's been so much on their minds.

(August, 2005)

(Pencil, 1998)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rage of Angels

A "One Album Wonder," this band came and went before their disc was released.  Their break up is one of the sad stories that's all too common in CCM.  In an interview in Heaven's Metal (issue #21) vocalist Danny Mariano said "The band was really baby, brand new, fresh.  There was only a couple of us in the band that considered ourselves Christians.  The other guys were just comin' around.  We were having bible studies and so on...all attending church.  They were pretty much excited about the whole idea of a Christian album and a Christian band.  As time went on, they saw the bad side of the industry or the Christian market."  This seems to be the story of several CCM bands.  Some overcome and survive, some don't.

Except for a bootleg of demos, this is the only material available from ROA, and that's a shame.  This is classic 80's commercial metal.  "Do you still believe in love" is one of my favorite Metal songs.

Before this album was released, drummer John Fowler and guitarist Frank DiCostanzo joined the mainstream metal band Steelheart, who were popular for a short time in the early 90's before Grunge totally wiped metal off the air.  Fowler passed away in March, 2008 of a brain hemorrhage.

CD review:  http://www.angelicwarlord.com/reviews/r/rageofangels89.html