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Fire It Up
Artist: X-Sinner
Label: Retroactive Records
Time: 10 tracks/43:13 min

I own the classic (and rare) X-Sinner CD Peace Treaty.  Unfortunately, I was among a fairly rare group.  In a way that so many artists & labels are learning, it is virtually impossible for fans to find rare music from CCM’s early years (late '60’s through the '80’s) on a modern format (read: CD).  As many artists & upstart record labels are finding, it is even more difficult for the band’s to be able to re-release the music they created. Masters are missing or destroyed. Ownership is not clear-cut.  Even when ownership is easily established, often the labels do not want to sell or license the rights to the music (or even discuss the possibility).

Retroactive Records was wading through the red-tape of licensing Peace Treaty when they approached the band about possibly re-recording that CD.  The band had some issues that they had always wanted to address on the album.  The band has re-recorded the project, dropped “Hold On” (a syrupy ballad – probably a concession to the CCM machine), and added a new track: “Fire It Up.”  That new track serves as the new title track, but the rest of the disc is Peace Treaty again.  The new recordings of the old tracks emphasize X-Sinner’s AC-DCesque
sound, with grit and guitar solos added.

Much of the Elefante brothers’ influence has been swept away in the new recordings.  You can determine for yourself if that is a positive or negative. The track list for Fire It Up has been shuffled from the previous album, with the title truck the new opener and “You Got Me” as the new closer.  This helps enhance the grittier feel of the new recordings, as the whole album rocks throughout.

Lyrically, the new track is up-front and as blatantly Christian as their previous work.  It signals a new impetus for the band as they record all new material for Back in Red, a new disc due in 2007.  Sonically, the sound is rougher, but also a little weaker than the Peace Treaty disc.  The sound is mixed a little lower & the recording quality is not as good (I imagine the budget was much smaller this time – it sounds that way).

If you don’t own Peace Treaty, this is a definite must-buy, as it is a good upgrade from the previous release.  However, metal fans that are not completists or huge X-Sinner fans would do well to wait for the new material next year.

By Jonathan Nelson



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