the Fire / Little Foxes
Label: Retroactive Records
Retroactive Records has released
a 2-on1 CD featuring Feel the Fire and Little Foxes
by the pioneering heavenly metal and hard rock band, Barnabas.
From 1984 and 1986, these
albums were seminal in breaking down the anti-rock walls so very prominment
in Christian rock at the time.
Evolving from punk
to a hard rock band over the course of five releases, visionary drummer
Kris Klingensmith showcased a band ahead of its time musically and lyrically.
Brian Belew shredding guitar leads matched up with the best at the
time. Klingensmith and keyboard/bassist Gary Mann provided a seriously
heavy rhythm section. Out front was Nancy Jo Mann. A female vocalist
was unusual, but not unpredented at the time. Remember Servant and Resurrection
Originally released on Light
Records, Feel the Fire sported brilliantly colorful fireworks artwork-very
eye-catching. CD size cover can't do it justice. Musically taking a nod
from Rush, Fire may be considered the band's best featuring epic masterpieces
like the title track-where Belew's playing is outrageous, "Breathless Wonderment"
and "Suite for the Souls of Our Enemies."
Not that Little Foxes
pulls any punches. Musically, the heaviest and lyrically the most harsh
from Barnabas. Klingensmith will never be known for holding back lyrically.
Every song here DEMANDS action. Nancy Jo Mann's vocal sense of conviction
sells each and every line. "while a blemished flock plans an easy escape
safely in heaven/the earth awaits her violent fate, Auschwitz '87"
Hard rock/metal ground had
been broken in Christian music by Petra, Resurrection and others. Amidst
the same unfriendly confines, Barnabas made excellent Christian hard rock
that continued to open the doors for the scene we have today. Twenty years
on and they are still lighting the way. Kudos to them for doing it.
Bob Felberg 6/7/2004