Barnabas - Little Foxes (Legends Remastered)The fifth and final album by Barnabas serves as a fitting end to the bands career. Little Foxes proved that the band didn't just get lucky with two good albums (like so many other metal bands did). Retroactive Records concludes the epic re-issue series in style.

Title: Little Foxes (Legends Remastered)
Artist:  Barnabas
Label: Retroactive Records
Time: 8 tracks/36:56 min.

So now our trek through the musical output of Barnabas has brought us to the thundering conclusion to the band's saga. After pretty much perfecting their sound on Feel the Fire, where was the band to go after that? There are various and conflicting reports about what was going on with the band at this point in time - from burnout to personal conflict in the band to mounting pressures from a CCM music machine that didn't get the bands extreme sound and image. Probably all of it is true to some degree, but many accounts seem to paint the picture of band that was just going through the motions and fulfilling a duty. If that was the case, the resulting album didn't really reflect that (in my opinion at least).

Little Foxes was actually the first Barnabas album I owned. I heard a track of theirs on a Heaven's Metal compilation and tried to find anything by them. All I could find was this album on tape in a discount bin at an older Christian bookstore in town. The front cover didn't look metal... and there was nothing in the liner notes but a list of songs and a short sermon that said nothing about the band. But I plopped down $4 and took a chance. I was blown away by the album. "Gospel Maniac" blasts out of the starting gates with a groove and drive that few album openers seem to have. "Little Foxes" follows up with more intensity and full blown guitar shred. Next up is one of my personal favorites on the album: "Destroy After Use." It's a song with a catchy riff and well crafted songwriting over all. This is followed up by the near thrash intensity of "Auschwitz `87." After that is "China White" - probably my top favorite song on the disc. This song was perfectly in line with the Sunset Strip sleaze metal of the time... style-wise that is. The message was completely different, of course. "Sins of the Fathers" is a song where the rhythm section shines.  Every Barnabas album seems to have a keyboard driven song, and on this album it is "All Alone." This song was actually first recorded for their last album, but left off for different reasons. This is a re-recorded version that shines a bit brighter than the original, in my opinion. The album ends with "Suite for the Souls of Our Enemies Part 2: Lover" - complete with saxophones and a sound that leans back to the first two Barnabas albums. It's a nice close to what would end up being the last album from Barnabas - pointing back to where it all began. I later found other tapes by them, and discovered that Little Foxes was a slight step down from their last album (but not much). Maybe it was the conflict and tensions - who knows? But they still made a killer album no matter what  else was going on.

I might be a broken record here, but again the team at Retroactive Records did a great job of putting together a complete package - from the remaster to the design to the completion of the liner notes, this is the full package. Barnabas CDs have a history of selling out fast - so make sure you grab this one and the four previous albums as well before these also get snapped up by collectors.

By Matt Crosslin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) (April 15, 2018)