Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock, Metal, Christian
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THEY HAVE MY ATTENTION!!! (Just an honest review from a huge
H. Detter | Herndon, VA USA | 04/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Their 1987 self titled debut "Whitecross", though lacking good production, started their career together in fantastic fashion. Although the production was better and I loved it at the time, 1989's "Hammer & Nail" was a slight downgrade in their song writing. 1992's "Triumphant Return" combines the best of the prior two releases. It matches their debut's excellent song writing and surpasses "Hammer & Nail" with outstanding production.
Whitecross accomplishes the demand implied in the title of first song, "Attention Please". From the moment the opening chords to the main riff blares through the speakers, they caught my attention. What a way to kick start a CD. Two aspects that were immediately noticeable were the drumming and bass playing as compared to the first 2 releases. In a word, outstanding! Both finally matched the wizardry of Rex Carroll's guitar playing. "Red Light" and Straight Thru The Heart" continue what was started on the first track. These two are excellent songs with memorable hooks. The next track takes a slight detour in style. While the first 3 tracks are fast paced, "Down" is slower but no worse a song. It also marks the first time that Rex varies the guitar sound within the song. Next is "Behold" and if you're a fan of Whitecross' ballads, you may consider this track to be among their best. The song radiates with a sincerity that all too commonly is missing from the ballads of other metal bands. "Shakedown" appeared on a Christian guitar oriented compilation in 1989 but this CD's version crushes the original. The call and response style riff is given greater impact with a slight difference in chord placement which makes it absolutely fantastic. I especially enjoy the first half of Flashpoint" which is this CD's guitar solo. The second half takes a completely different direction in style. It's interesting and quite effective. "Simple Man" is great. Rex takes the lead vocal chores on this song and it's a nice change of pace. The style isn't really a ballad. It's more of an acoustic driven song styled similarly to songs you might've heard on AM radio during the 1970's. "Over The Top" jockeys for position with "Shakedown" as the best song on this CD. The main guitar riff makes great use of "hot space" (a term coined by the rock group Queen who also named an album "Hot Space"). Defined, it simply means playing a riff that makes use of places in measures where no notes are played. When done in a certain fashion, it makes the notes/chords played around those "hot spaces" have much more impact. Fantastic song. "Heaven's Calling Tonight" closes this CD nicely.
Whitecross were often compared to the metal group Ratt and that's mainly because of Scott Wenzel's vocals. However, if you're familiar with Ratt, you'll notice that on this release less of a comparison can be made between the two bands. The song writing style bares little resemblance to their secular counterparts, not to mention that Ratt's guitar players couldn't dream of playing in Rex's style.
A combination of excellent playing by Rick Cua and Frank Liva and the great production give the bass and drums much greater impact than they've had on the previous 2 releases. Scott Wenzel's vocal shrieks are even more prominent on this CD and it goes without saying that Rex's guitar playing is outstanding. Half of the riffs are very good while the other half are just flat-out great. All of the songs have an incredible guitar solo. All of these elements combine to make Whitecross' "Triumphant Return" their best."