North of Hell 
Artist: Final Destiny  
Label: Stepping Stone Records, 1996 
This is Final Destiny's first album, and it rocks.  It's not alternative. It's not modern contemporary. It's straightforward rock-n-roll, taking me back to the days of Triumph, Journey, and Boston. 

There is Scott Hallman on lead guitar, vocals, and keyboards; Jeff Pope on lead vocals and rhythm guitar; Ronnie Evans on Bass; and Kelly Scercy on drums, vocals, and percussion.  They combine to produce a solid 15-track performance, well-produced for an independent release. Everything is clear and crisp, with no muddled guitars or vocals, and a bass and percussion line that carries each song. 
Lyrically, North of Hell is great fare.  They are similar to Petra, Resurrection Band, or Whiteheart in their uncompromising lyrics, both hopeful and challenging at the same time.  Although not as hopeful, perhaps the best song is "Just Walk Away": 

    There's a drunken man lying in the street 
    Just walk away 
    A prostitute who wants to break free 
    Just walk away 
    A junkie kid in a rundown hotel 
    Just walk away 
    All of them just one step from hell 
    Just walk away
    Darkness covers the lives of this land 
    Free yourself from their pain 
    People dying within our grasp 
    Wash your hands it will be okay
If you miss the days of straight-ahead rock-n-roll, check out Final Destiny's North of Hell.  It'll get you rocking.-----Mark Aylor