Bands That Start With "L"

Leviticus "I Shall Conquer" (9 Tracks. Shadow. 1995)

As far as I know this is the original Leviticus release. Hailing from Sweden Leviticus put together some really solid Metal under the guidance of Bjorn Stigsson. With clean vocals and loud guitars they pumped out some anthems and devotional songs that inspired me. But what really impressed me on this album was the double bass pedal work by the drummer. I had never heard that from a Christian band before. But it should be noted that from the beginning Leviticus was a band with pop sensibilities that emerged more and more as time went on. --TE

Leviticus "The Strongest Power" (10 Tracks. Pure Metal. 1986)

This second album was more good solid Metal. It is still one of my favorites. More worshipful anthems and some biblical narrative kinds of songs. A real boon for my teenage years. --TE

Leviticus "Setting Fire To The Earth" (10 Tracks. Pure Metal. 1989)

It was three years before the next Leviticus album came to America. This album had a bit more of a gritty sound and yet more of a pop appeal. This album features Terry Haw on vocals and Ez Gomer on bass. Terry and Ez would leave soon after and form Jet Circus. Again, this album contains some great Biblical songs that come almost entirely from Scripture. --TE

Leviticus "Knights Of Heaven" (10 Tracks. . Pure Metal)

Now, if you are already a great band and you want to make the perfect album this is what you would do. You would go out and get Peo Petersson to sing and play keyboards. You would write 10 perfectly balanced pop Metal songs and have the Elephantes to produce it. And that is what Bjorn Stigssen did. This is one of the best most perfect pop Metal albums I've ever heard. It does bear an uncanny resemblance to Petra of that era (notice that Bjorn has a child named Petra) but is cooler than Petra. Check out, too, the ballads, "Oh, Lord" and "For Once In My Life". Unfortunately this greatness did not last. Leviticus disbanded and Stigssen went back to college. Later he formed XT. --TE

Lightforce "Battlezone" (Demo)

Lightforce (original release)

Lightforce (re-release) "Best Of Lightforce"

Lightmare "Vampires" (4 Tracks. 19:13. TiSch & ChriSto)

The disc starts out with a song entitled "Bachtro". Being a German band I just assumed it was a German word. What it turned out to be was a cool guitar rendition of J.S. Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D minor". The next three songs are original to the band and feature some very interesting stuff. One feature is that the music is not overly heavy, but very classically influenced. The guitarist is an extremely capable individual. They have a keyboardist who adds some really neat effects to the overall gothic sound of the band, like the harpsichord in "Crusader". The vocalist sort of reminds me of the singer for Supertramp, would you believe? And various members of the band sing back up and harmony vocals. Of course the drummer's not bad either. The overall effect brings to mind groups like the Scorpions and Queen and the more ethereal sections of Seventh Angel's Lament For The Weary (listen for the similar thunder crack in "Darkness"). But I feel confident recommending this to fans of Veni Domine. Lyrically there are some neat concepts. Especially noticeable is the song "Crusader". This song is about a crusader who has come to see the error of his ways. Also noteworthy is the title song, "Vampires". It is not about bloodsucking creatures of the night, but about bloodthirsty business people and politicians -TE

Living Sacrifice "Living Sacrifice" (10 Tracks. 44:35. R.E.X.)

So what if everybody says this album sounds like they copied Slayer? This is one incredible album. Straight ahead Thrash with solid production and really clever lyrics. Songs like, "No Grave Concern" and "Anorexia Spiritual". I will argue that it is still the best of the Living Sacrifice albums. --TE

Living Sacrifice "Non-Existant" (10 Tracks. . R.E.X.)

I've already said that I like the first album best. But that's not to say I don't like this one. I really do. But on this album the band takes a turn towards the heavier, more grinding world of Death Metal. They do so very competently. The only drawback on this disc are the vocals which are almost completely indistinguishable. In contrast, though, are the worshipful lyrics. --TE

Living Sacrifice "Inhabit" (10 Tracks. . R.E.X.)

This last album featuring DJ on bass and vocals was a great compromise of the first two albums. It featured gruff but distinguishable vocals, more of the worshipful lyrics, and grinding but thrashing music. The production, once again, was killer. The best song here, in my opinion, is "Breathing Murder". --TE

Living Sacrifice "Reborn" (12 Tracks. 48:27 . Solid State/Tooth & Nail)

After LS pumped out three brutal albums in a short period of time (1991-1994) they were out of the studio for about three years. During that time they lost singer/bassist DJ. Then guitarist, Bruce Fitzhugh, stepped in and took over as singer and Jason Truby's (the other guitarist) younger brother, Chris, took up playing the bass. This story, which isn't too unfamilar in the Christian Metal scene usually has a sad ending. You normally expect a band to fizzle in this climate. However, such is not the case with Living Sacrifice. As with the title of the album this band seems to really be Reborn. In other words, LS comes back just as strong and aggressive and professional as before. This album does have a different vibe from the previous three. It is best described as heavy Groove Metal with a hint of Thrash. It has been called Hardcore and I wouldn't necessarily disagree. However, one shouldn't think of this album as leaning towards punk. There does seem to be a very conscious effort on LS' part to identify with the style of music of Sepultura, Pantera, Korn, Machine Head, Suffocation, Obituary. In fact, I'd say that the best comparison is Sepultura, not just musically either, but vocally and professionally as well. Particularly similar is the song "Sell Out" which reminds one a lot of Sepultura's "Cut Throat". --TE

Lordian Guard "Lordian Guard" (7 Tracks. 39:00. Hellion)

No doubt most people will refer to this as a metal disc when in reality it is not very heavy. But it is a tremendous odyssey of guitarsmanship by William J. Tsamis, former guitarist for classic metal pioneers Warlord. Anyone who loves the epic metal from a decade or so ago will be so pleased to hear this. It is truly rapturous. Listening to this disc one is reminded--you may think this strange--of Phil Keaggy's The Master And The Musician or What A Day albums. But this album is most similar to Uli Jon Roth's Beyond The Astral Skies (Roth was once lead guitarist for the Scorpions). Lyrically this album draws a lot from John Milton's Paradise Lost. It also incorporates readings from the King James Bible (for effect I'm sure) by none other than Alexander Scourby. It also contains a song called, "Winds Of Thor" which is based on old Norse mythology. This album is very pleasant to listen to. Oftentimes I find myself getting caught up in the melodies which often remind of Irish folk music. The keyboards are supportive and not dominating (guitars rule!!!). The vocals will really remind you of Phil Keaggy and Uli Jon Roth. All in all, this could would make a great soundtrack to a fantasy movie (i.e. The Lord Of The Rings, I wish) --TE

Lordian Guard "Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God" (7 Tracks. 44:54. Hellion in Europe and Byzantium in USA)

If you are a fan of the first Lordian Guard album or Warlord, Uli Jon Roth, Phil Keaggy's The Master And The Musician album, etc. you'll be thrilled with this disc. It is epic, melodic, technical in a classical way, and full of neat imagery. In fact, band leader William J. Tsamis labels it dark, Medieval Epic Metal. If you've never heard any of the above let me describe it this way. The music is not real heavy but it is really polished. The is a lot of melody throughout that you can remember when you are not listening to the album. The melodies are played quite impressively on the guitar. There is keyboard which accents the music but doesn't take away from the guitars in any way. And the female vocals, which have a flair for the dramatic, are sung in the alto range. You can just sit back, close your eyes, and be carried away while listening to this disc. The lyrics are purposefully apocalyptic in nature and are very direct. This is interesting when you note that LG has had tremendous success in the secular market in Europe and is little known to Christian audiences. The title song, "Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God" is taken from the famous 18th Century Sermon by Great Awakening preacher Jonathan Edwards. The sermon and the song both remind us that if God's love for us is intense enough that his own son should die for our sins, his wrath against our sin is equally intense and required that death. Remember, "the wages of sin is death", but what punishment should you endure if you miss out on this one? --TE

Bands That Start With "M"

Darrell Mansfield Band "Revelation" (8 Tracks. Broken. 1996)

You may be wondering why this album is here if you haven't heard it. Darrell Mansfield is know mostly these days for his bluesy rock and his just plain old blues albums. Actually, Darrell had several Christian albums before this one. But this is the only one that warrants mention in this periodical. Back in 1986, a fertile period in Christian music, Darrell and co. recorded this awesome album with 8 of the grittiest, hookiest hard rock songs of the time. About two thirds of the songs could be compared to ZZ Top. Good examples are "Runnin'" and especially "Bible Study". A few of the others would very much be compareable to Ozzy/Quiet Riot songs with Randy Roads like soloing. My favorite is "After The Storm". And finally is the ballad, "Waiting". I wish very much someone would re-issue this on CD. --TE.

Martyr "Wickenstraut" (18 Tracks. 66:42.)

Mental Destruction "Intensity Of Darkness" (13 Tracks. 46:35. Cold Meat Ind.)

Mental Destruction "When Madness Strikes" (12 Tracks. 46:15. Cold Meat Ind.)

Mental Destruction "Straw" (10 Tracks. 50:07. Cold Meat Ind.)

Messiah Prophet "Rock The Flock" (Morada)

I had this tape for a while and then traded it off. It was more ministry minded than metal minded. Lyrics were rather clicheish and I got tired of it quickly. --TE

Messiah Prophet "Master Of The Metal" (10 Tracks. Pure Metal)

This album was much better than the original and was a great find at the time. The music was straight ahead Heavy Metal but, once again, the clicheish lyrics became annoying (to me anyway. Some people like that). --TE

Metamorphosis (14 Tracks. 71:06. R.E.X.)

Metanoia "Screaming Fetus" (6 Tracks. Demo)

Metanoia "Akeldema" (4 Tracks. Demo)

This material is also available on the Raise The Dead Australian Metal Compilation II reviewed earlier on. See that review for pertinent information. --TE

Metanoia "In Darkness Or In Light" (10 Tracks. 52:07. Rowe Productions)

In Darkness Or In Light is a really solid debut album which delivers even better than their previous demos (Screaming Fetus and Akeldema), not that they were bad. The sound is much like Mortification only with touches of melody in the songs. Most notably different is the last song, "Seventh Seal". The first few minutes of this song sound almost like an early Stryper song, which includes Steve Bennett (guitar) singing soprano on it. Really different. However, their regular vocalist is definitely a grind vocalist much like Crimson Thorn's. The musicianship is top-notch and the production was handled by Mark McCormack who is known for producing Mortification's Bloodworld and EnVision EvAngeline. But enough with the comparisons, this album stands up well on its own. It is really a fine, genuine article. --TE

Minier "Minier" (7 Tracks. REX. 1990)

This awesome album is little know today. It was written and performed totally by Greg Minier, lead guitarist of the Crucified. This is best described as Thrash, except for the wierd last song. Another great one that should be re-issued. --TE

Mortification "Break The Curse"

Mortification "Mortification" (11 Tracks. 38:06. Intense)

The American debut of Mortification. One of the most convincingly genuine metal debuts in Christian music history. Even today this grindcore masterpiece holds up better than most other debut albums. In a word: BRUTAL!

Mortification "Scrolls Of The Megilloth" (10 Tracks. 59:41. Intense)

After their big American debut I was eager for more. I can't describe to you how satisfied I was. Scrolls remains today one of my favorite Mortification albums. Listening to this album is like playing chicken with a freight train. The loving marriage of grind and classic metal, this album is the heaviest they 've made. --TE

Mortification "Post Momentary Affliction" (14 Tracks. 50:56. Intense)

Jayson Sherlock's last studio album with Mortification was just as satisfying and meaningful as the previous ones. Noticeably different on this album, though, is a continuing maturation in lyric writing, a nifty bass solo called "Solo Flight", and we get to hear the high end of Steve Rowe's vocal range. This album marks the beginning of the bands movement back towards classic metal (though the real move didn't come until Bloodworld). --TE

Mortification "Live Planetarium" (13 Tracks. 58:39. Intense)

One of the longest and best produced Christian live metal albums--which has an accompanying video. Of special interest here are two new songs and a cover of Bloodgood's "Black Snake" which makes the Bloodgood version sound lame. --TE

Mortification "Blood World" (10 Tracks. 44:46. Intense)

According to information in The Best Of 5 Years, Blood World was Mortification's best seller. The musical structure on this album is much more commercial, yet it is as heavy as the rest. There is no wimp factor here. Blood World is best described as Mortification's official turn towards classical metal and away from Grind. --TE

Mortification "Primitive Rhythm Machine" (10 Tracks. 35:28. Intense)

The cream of the crop. Despite the loss of Mick Carlisle and Phil Gibson both as musicians and contributors, Steve Rowe manages to pull off the best Mortification album. Aided by the incredible talent of George Ochoa as producer and guitarist, this album is one of the best of all time. 10 songs of extremely cool metal! --TE

Mortification "The Best Of Five Years" (14 Tracks. 59:51. Intense)

A remix of fourteen classic tracks Mortification tracks from the above mentioned albums, two tracks per album. As stated above, the Break The Curse album was never released in America so the two tracks here will be especially of interest to American fans. There is also a helpful band biography included in this disc. It's only $12.98, so I recommend it to anyone who is interested in Mortification and is not sure which one to buy. --TE

Mortification "EnVision EvAngeline" (8 Tracks. Rowe Productions)

If you're like me you thought Primitive Rhythm Machine couldn't be topped. Well, maybe it could. The latest studio offering from Mortification proves once again why this band hasn't gone away despite their hardships: they are good! For one thing, this album contains the longest song ever recorded by Mortification, the title cut "EnVision EvAngeline". It clocks in just under 19:00 minutes. This epic song describes the angelic legions in Heaven witnessing Christ's Passion (that's the trial, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection). It turns out to be interesting both musically and lyrically. Consider it a musical Bible Study--of course, many Mortification songs are like that. Song two, "Northern Storm" hints musically to "Brutal Warfare" from Mortification. Song three, "Peace In The Galaxy" preaches to New Agers about Christ and is a really catchy tune in the same vein as much of Primitive Rhythm Machine as is much of the rest of the album. And the next to the last song, "Noah Was A Knower" is a really catchy tune that describes how Noah was a righteous man and "knew the heart of God". Musically this song kicks it into high gear, hinting at the same thrash/grind that is reminiscent of their cover of Bloodgood's "Black Snake" from Live Planetarium. This is probably the fastest song Mortification has put together. Lyrically, it is very clever and carries a lot of meaning. This album further establishes Mortification as a force to be reckoned with. Don't miss out on the premier Christian metal band! --TE

Mortification "Undergrind Vol. 1 Live Without Fear" (10 Tracks. 28:59. Rowe Productions)

I was totally surprised to find this disc at the recent Mortification concert. I'm glad I did, though it doesn't have any new material. This disc, much more than the Live Planetarium, gives the listener a real feel for what a Mortification concert is like. If I close my eyes I can listen to this disc and think of the concert in Atlanta. It is very well mixed, very tight, and very raw. It is also the first volume in what I'm guessing will be a series put out by Rowe Productions. I'm looking forward to the rest.

Mortification "Undergrind Vol. 2. Noah Sat Down And Had A Coffee While Listening To The Mortification Live E.P." (5 Tracks. 20:34. Rowe Productions)

Undergrind Vol. 2 contains 3 more Mortification live tracks: "EnVision A Beginning" which is the hard instrumental part of "EnVision EvAngeline", then there is "Buried Into Obscurity" a short talk by Steve and then "Noah Was A Knower". After this is a 10 minute 48 second interview/biography of the band by Steve Rowe in which he talks about Mortification from the beginning to the present. He explains many of the behind-the-scenes events as well as the rationale behind their work. It's really an enjoyable listen for true fans. --TE

Mortification "EnVidion" (Rowe Productions)

Were it not blasphemous I would refer to Mortification as gods. So many good bands have come and gone so quickly (e.g., Saint, Seventh Angel) that we hardly had time to appreciate them before they were gone. Also, other great bands have endured a little longer only to fizzle (e.g., Deliverance, Sacrament, Believer, etc.). It's a dog-eat-dog world. Many bands have not had the endurance to survive. Mortification is an exception. This latest release, their third video, is a prime example of how label problems, threats, and even leukemia will not stop Steve Rowe from making God's music. This is the best music video I have bought in a long time. The production standards and special effects on this project are so good I've wondered to myself if Rowe Productions won't go bankrupt on it. Probably not, but, this video is over an hour long and has many great concept videos, including the almost 20 minute "EnVision EvAngeline" video. This particular video has many actors and actresses who dramatize the passion story from Heaven to Earth to Hell to Heaven again. All things considered it alone is well worth the $14.98 price. Also included in this video is a guided tour by Steve Rowe, a bio of the band (same as on the Noah Sat Down E.P.), some rare clips, new videos of almost all the songs on EE, and a video each by Metanoia and Screams of Chaos.

Mortification. "Triumph of Mercy". 10 Tracks.
I recently obtained Mortifications' brand new release. "Triumph of Mercy" has been described as a blend of older Mort as well as the more recent "Envision Evangeline." I've spend the last 2 weeks listening to this new cd and I must boldly say that it best sounds like BloodWorld and Envision. I did notice a harsher guitar tone which brought me back to the Post Momentary days. Overall, the song structure and sound is outstanding, excellent in every way. Everyone has seen the artwork for this album, so I won't spend a lot of time commenting on it. This time their moto is "Crush Hatred, Love Others." What a statement of faith and and example of Christ. I was challenged personnally by the lyrics but also assured of Jesus love and trust. Most grindcore and modern metal fans will enjoy the texture and superior quality of this release. Grind with a serious modern edge as well as a progressive vocal delievery is another description for this album. Three songs were also rearranged for the final cut of this album. I've heard different versions of several songs on this cd. (Eli Sanders)

Bands That Start With "N"

Nobody Special "Pat Nobody" (15 Tracks. Frontline. 1987)

Reportedly done by Ojo Taylor's brother, this ultra cool album came out when Henry Rollins was still in Black Flag (I think). It is very much in that psuedo-punk/angry rock style that Rollins is famous for nowadays. NS features some really cool and humorous lyrics that are scathingly thought provoking. Punk attitude, Christian perspective. A one-of-a-kind gem. Produced by Ojo. Recently re-issued. --TE.

Nobody Special "Call It Whatever You Will" (Tracks. Broken)

Less than exciting follow-up. I don't really remember anything about it. --TE

Norwegian Metal Compilation "Northern Lights" (12 Tracks. . Rowe Productions)

Bands That Start With "O"