Justin Gaines | Northern Virginia | 05/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Released in 1989, State of Control was the third, (and in my opinion the most professional) studio album by Christian metallers Barren Cross. If Stryper gave the faithful a righteous alternative to Bon Jovi and Dokken, Barren Cross's blazing guitars and Dickenson-esque vocals were a "gift from above" for metalheads who preferred Iron Maiden and Dio's heavier approach. Besides, there's just something appealing about a band of earnest Christians who drew such obvious influence from albums like Holy Diver and The Number of the Beast.
Barren Cross was in top form on this album. Everything about State of Control is first rate. Ray Parris just blazes away on the guitar throughout the album, the perfect counterpoint to Mike Lee's soaring vocals. The songwriting is intense and powerful, and the production quality is excellent. This album really showcases Barren Cross at their very best. The band does temper their metal assault with a remarkably good ballad ("Cryin' Over You") that puts plenty of Hollywood hair bands to shame, and a straightforward love song ("Love at Full Volume") that has little or no religious context, but in the main this is another signature Barren Cross power metal album with an unapologetically righteous message.
One of Barren Cross's best attributes is that they are viewed above all as a very talented metal band. You didn't have to subscribe to their faith to enjoy their music. Any time this band comes up in conversation, even the most jaded metal fan has to admit a grudging respect for Barren Cross's music, if not a real appreciation.
State of Control is an extremely strong metal album that anyone who enjoys bands like Iron Maiden, Dio, Judas Priest, and Armored Saint would do well to check out. It goes without saying that this is a must-have for Christian metal fans.
NOTE: State of Control was reissued in 2004, making this long out of print title available again with digitally remastered sound. There isn't any bonus material, but the sonic makeover breathes new life into this classic album."
A more mature barren cross
Brent E. Johnson | Naches, WA | 04/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was one of my favorite groups back in the day and this album was more mature lyrically then their past two albums. Since my dad was an alcoholic at the time this album really spoke to me. It's already been stated whom they sound like though I actually liked bc better then maiden and priest, both of whom I used to listen to. Musically it's a throwback now but one that holds up well. It was heavier than big hair metal but not thrashy. I still listen to this and atomic arena quite a bit. Rock for the King is a little too cliche for me. If you are looking for the history of Christian hard rock this is one of the better places to start.
I'm looking for someone to email with about old and new Christian hard rock. Preferably age 32 to 42. Think it would be kind of cool to share what the music meant and means to you. firstname.lastname@example.org"
Last song is NOT 'Your Love Gives', Amazon needs to correct
Amadeus | Warsaw, IN United States | 01/02/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"!!!BEWARE!!! YOUR LOVE GIVES is not the last song on this disc as stated in the song listing; it is actually ESCAPE IN THE NIGHT which is the more common song that is found on the Enigma Records release. YOUR LOVE GIVES can be found on the Benson Records release which was distributed through Christian music stores when it first came out but it can also be found on the Restless Records re-release. Just thought I'd let you know so you know exactly what you're getting when you buy this. No matter what version you get, this album absolutely ROCKS!!! Barren Cross was/is a very underrated band!"