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  Feel the Fire / Little Foxes 
Artist: Barnabas
Label: Retroactive Records

Retroactive Records has released a 2-on1 CD featuring  Feel the Fire and Little Foxes by the pioneering heavenly metal and hard rock band, Barnabas.
 
From 1984 and 1986, these albums were seminal in breaking down the anti-rock walls so very prominment in Christian rock at the time.
 
Evolving from  punk to a hard rock band over the course of five releases, visionary drummer Kris Klingensmith showcased a band ahead of its time musically and lyrically. Brian Belew  shredding guitar leads matched up with the best at the time.  Klingensmith and keyboard/bassist Gary Mann provided a seriously heavy rhythm section.  Out front was Nancy Jo Mann. A female vocalist was unusual, but not unpredented at the time. Remember Servant and Resurrection Band?  
 
Originally released on Light Records, Feel the Fire sported brilliantly colorful fireworks artwork-very eye-catching. CD size cover can't do it justice. Musically taking a nod from Rush, Fire may be considered the band's best featuring epic masterpieces like the title track-where Belew's playing is outrageous, "Breathless Wonderment" and "Suite for the Souls of Our Enemies." 
 
Not that Little Foxes pulls any punches. Musically, the heaviest and lyrically the most harsh from Barnabas. Klingensmith will never be known for holding back lyrically. Every song here DEMANDS action. Nancy Jo Mann's vocal sense of conviction  sells each and every line. "while a blemished flock plans an easy escape safely in heaven/the earth awaits her violent fate, Auschwitz '87"
 
Hard rock/metal ground had been broken in Christian music by Petra, Resurrection and others. Amidst the same unfriendly confines, Barnabas made excellent Christian hard rock that continued to open the doors for the scene we have today. Twenty years on and they are still lighting the way. Kudos to them for doing it.
 
Bob Felberg  6/7/2004
 
 
 
 
 

 

   
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