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Barren Cross


Barren Cross  

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Someone help me, I can't stop the polls! :crazy:

 

Anyway...when I look over all of the bands I've polled in the past I can't believe I skipped these guys, because ATOMIC ARENA is one of my all time favorite Metal CDs EVER, Christian or non-Christian. These guys came along at exactly the right time for me, as I had been a huge Stryper fan for a few years but was just beginning to discover the many other Metal bands in Christian music. Stryper's IN GOD WE TRUST had just come out and that album didn't do much for me, so I was pleased to find a "new" band (signed to the same label as Stryper, even!) that were keepin' it heavy (whereas Stryper were aiming straight for the hair metal market at the time). For those of ya who don't know BC, I strongly suggest you track down any of the first three albums (especially ATOMIC ARENA) because they all womp serious bootie. Mike Lee was CCM Metal's answer to Bruce Dickinson and the tunes were definitely in the Priest/Maiden vein. Classic stuff!

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I have 'State Of Control' which is mighty fine and of the others have only heard 'Atomic Arena'. Of the 2 'State..' gets my vote.

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  • 1 month later...

"Atomic Arena" just kicked some serious ass. :banger:

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Barren Cross came along at a time when Stryper was known as the heaviest band in Christian rock...and completely stole the title with their thundering guitars and heavy-metal riffs, not to mention the distinct powerhouse vocals of Mike Lee. Barren Cross delivered the goods for Christian headbangers the way Stryper had delivered the goods for Christian hair-metalers.

 

"Atomic Arena" is easily the best of the bunch, but I like all their CDs. Still, for heavy production and killer crunch, you can't beat "Atomic." Still not exactly sure what they were trying to accomplish with their head-scratching reunion album ("Rattle Your Cage") but even that has grown on me over the years. All too often back in the 80s Christian metal was viewed (often rightly so) as an inferior product, but Barren Cross showed they could rock with the best of 'em.

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Youve gotta be kidding me, Im the only person on this entire website that thinks Rock For The King was the most honest and raw album they ever did? sure Arena was the pinnacle album, but as far as the best, I don't think so, but I am a very far off fan, my buddy got me into them, he's a fucking Barren Cross freak, and Neon Cross at that.

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Youve gotta be kidding me, Im the only person on this entire website that thinks Rock For The King was the most honest and raw album they ever did? sure Arena was the pinnacle album, but as far as the best, I don't think so, but I am a very far off fan, my buddy got me into them, he's a fucking Barren Cross freak, and Neon Cross at that.

 

I love ROCK FOR THE KING as much as the next guy, but ATOMIC ARENA blows it away IMHO. Although R.F.T.K. scores some cheese points for the hilarious band photos on the cover (the poofy haired version where they're wearing blue and white leather outfits) and for this immortal lyric in the song "Believe," which cracks me up every time I hear it: "Better than pot, JESUS ROOOOOOCKS!" :rofl2:

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Barren Cross came along at a time when Stryper was known as the heaviest band in Christian rock...and completely stole the title with their thundering guitars and heavy-metal riffs, not to mention the distinct powerhouse vocals of Mike Lee. Barren Cross delivered the goods for Christian headbangers the way Stryper had delivered the goods for Christian hair-metalers.

 

"Atomic Arena" is easily the best of the bunch, but I like all their CDs. Still, for heavy production and killer crunch, you can't beat "Atomic." Still not exactly sure what they were trying to accomplish with their head-scratching reunion album ("Rattle Your Cage") but even that has grown on me over the years. All too often back in the 80s Christian metal was viewed (often rightly so) as an inferior product, but Barren Cross showed they could rock with the best of 'em.

 

 

Heaviest band in Christian Rock??? I have to disagree with you on that.. Listen to Mortification, or Deliverence sometime.. now Those bands are pretty damn heavy..... :banger:

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Heaviest band in Christian Rock??? I have to disagree with you on that.. Listen to Mortification, or Deliverence sometime.. now Those bands are pretty damn heavy..... :banger:

 

Morti and D had not quite come out yet in '88. And Vengeance Rising made BC sound like Idle Cure when they exploded onto the scene. But in '88, I would have to agree the Atomic Arena was the "heaviest" album of note in the Christian scene. I voted Atomic Arena, but my fav BC tune is Stage of Intensity, which is off State of Control. I still have not heard anyone try to duplicate that wierd acoustic psuedo-thrash riff before it kicks in. Very cool!

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Barren Cross came along at a time when Stryper was known as the heaviest band in Christian rock...and completely stole the title with their thundering guitars and heavy-metal riffs, not to mention the distinct powerhouse vocals of Mike Lee.

 

"Atomic Arena" is easily the best of the bunch, but I like all their CDs. Still, for heavy production and killer crunch, you can't beat "Atomic." All too often back in the 80s Christian metal was viewed (often rightly so) as an inferior product, but Barren Cross showed they could rock with the best of 'em.

Heaviest band in Christian Rock? I have to disagree with you on that. Listen to Mortification or Deliverence sometime...now those bands are pretty damn heavy...

I'm not saying Barren Cross is the heaviest Christian metal band of all time, but they were pretty much the heaviest thing around when they hit the scene in '86. Sorry if my original post was confusing...as you pointed out, groups like Mortification, Deliverance, Vengeance Rising, etc. came along shortly after Barren Cross and completely crushed them in the heaviness department (though I still think Barren Cross is better than all of them combined), but when they first emerged, make no mistake, Barren Cross was the hardest rocking juggernaut that Christian music had ever seen/heard.

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groups like Mortification, Deliverance, Vengeance Rising, etc. came along shortly after Barren Cross and completely crushed them in the heaviness department (though I still think Barren Cross is better than all of them combined)

 

I'll take B.C. and Deliverance any day over Vengeance Rising or Mortification. Yea, the latter two were way heavier, but the WOOOOOARRRRGH vocals were a bit much. Not to mention that in the years since V.R.'s heyday, Roger Martinez (vocalist/songwriter/mastermind) has proven himself to be a wack job of the highest order. :lol:

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Of these four albums, the only one I feel wandered into mediocre range is Rattle Your Cage. It is "merely" a good album, certainly better than most that I have bought throughout the years.

 

But I feel the other 3 are easily a step above that one.

 

Yea, "Rattle Your Cage" is just an OK disc in my book too. I remember being REALLY happy with it when it first came out back in 94, but it hasn't aged as well as the other three studio albums.

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So for someone who has no Barren Cross music in his 3700 and counting collection which release should I start with..??

 

Atomic Arena, definitely!!!

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So for someone who has no Barren Cross music in his 3700 and counting collection which release should I start with..??

 

Atomic Arena, definitely!!!

 

Agreed.

 

State of Control would be a good second choice.

 

I'll see if I can track down Atomic Arena on Ebay....thanks...

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I don't know, I think that S\T Neon Cross fucking jammed, IMHO, Frontline Life, and On The Rock, those songs don't let up one bit, pretty much the whole albums like that, I thought it was fucking heavy anyways, but then again, what do I know, I think Michael Bolton smokes everybody!!!!

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Just picked up the Atomic Arena release on Ebay for $5....I'll let you know what I think when it arrives. Thanks again....

 

Excellent! I hope you shall dig! If you do, then I suggest your next purchase be STATE OF CONTROL. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
Just picked up the Atomic Arena release on Ebay for $5....I'll let you know what I think when it arrives. Thanks again....

 

Excellent! I hope you shall dig! If you do, then I suggest your next purchase be STATE OF CONTROL. :)

 

Well Atomic Arena is quite good 80s heavy metal...my favorite song is Dead Lock......I've picked up State of control as well from eBay ($4.25), although I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet I suspect I will like it since I like AA....don't know how I missed out on this band in the 80s but it sure is nice to make their acquaintance today....

 

Considering the cheap price for these cds on eBay I guess I'm not the only one who missed out on this band...Thanks for the heads up FF !

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Well Atomic Arena is quite good 80s heavy metal...my favorite song is Dead Lock......I've picked up State of control as well from eBay ($4.25), although I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet I suspect I will like it since I like AA....don't know how I missed out on this band in the 80s but it sure is nice to make their acquaintance today....

 

Considering the cheap price for these cds on eBay I guess I'm not the only one who missed out on this band...Thanks for the heads up FF !

 

Way cool, glad you liked BC... "Dead Lock" is one of my favorites on ATOMIC as well...the others being "Imaginary Music" and "Living Dead," although that album doesn't really have a bum track on it IMHO...

 

You should dig State of Control too... wait'll you hear "The Stage Of Intensity!" :banger:

 

Your next mission, should you choose to accept it, is to track down their other two studio CDs, "Rock For The King" (1986, cheesy but great!) and "Rattle Your Cage" (1994)... and they also have a live CD called "Hotter Than Hell" if you're so inclined... :tumbsup:

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Well Atomic Arena is quite good 80s heavy metal...my favorite song is Dead Lock......I've picked up State of control as well from eBay ($4.25), although I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet I suspect I will like it since I like AA....don't know how I missed out on this band in the 80s but it sure is nice to make their acquaintance today....

 

Considering the cheap price for these cds on eBay I guess I'm not the only one who missed out on this band...Thanks for the heads up FF !

Way cool, glad you liked BC... "Dead Lock" is one of my favorites on ATOMIC as well...the others being "Imaginary Music" and "Living Dead," although that album doesn't really have a bum track on it IMHO...

 

You should dig State of Control too... wait'll you hear "The Stage Of Intensity!" :banger:

 

Your next mission, should you choose to accept it, is to track down their other two studio CDs, "Rock For The King" (1986, cheesy but great!) and "Rattle Your Cage" (1994)... and they also have a live CD called "Hotter Than Hell" if you're so inclined...

Haven't met many metalheads, Christian or not, who didn't like Barren Cross once they heard 'em. "Dead Lock" is frequently the favorite--and make no mistake, it's an ass-kicker--but my personal favorites are "King of Kings" and "Heaven or Nothing," with "Dead Lock" coming in 3rd. As Freddy said, not really a bad track on the CD, though "Cultic Regimes" comes close and is the only song that makes me reach for the Skip button.

 

"State of Control" is really good too, but I think it was a minor step back compared to "Atomic Arena." Less stand-out tunes, at least for me, with only "Stage of Intensity" and "Love at Full Volume" really whipping me into a lather.

 

As for "Rattle Your Cage"...well, it grew on me with time, but it's a little different than their previous efforts. Taken on its own terms, it's a decent enough hard rock/metal album, but compared to early Barren Cross, it's something of a letdown.

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