The Daniel Band Rise Up as reviewed in The Phantom TollboothUnapologetic ministers of Jesus Christ that reached many people with their hard driven message.

(c)1986/2012 Retroactive Records

I have to put out a disclaimer here. Daniel Band holds a deep, spiritual place for me. As a teenager, they were the one of the first bands, along with Jerusalem, to have a strong influence on my ears and my heart. Their debut, On Rock, played a heavy rotation on my turntable, to the point I wore out some of the grooves.

Fast forward a few years. I was able to catch them in concert a couple of times before this release, once, I remember, at a Laura Secord School in St. Catherines, Ontario. Always a heavy, dual guitar oriented band, they began incorporating synth/keyboard and synth drum pads in 1984 Run From The Darkness, yet never lost their hard signature sound, which was similar to Canadian bands Triumph, with a tinge of Rush, and AC/DC. The handlebar mustached Toni Rossi dueling it out with Dan McCabe was always a favorite memory. What mattered most to these guys from Bendale Bible Chapel, though, was ministering to and sharing Christ with the youth around them. The vehicle was an endearing rock and roll formula.

Rise Up was their fourth release, their third on Refuge Records here in the US. Out of the gate, "Bethel" smashes through the speakers with reckless abandon. The cover song, "Rise Up", has the sweetest guitar hooks. It was definitely a crowd pleaser. Toni Rossi was sort of the back up lead vocalist to Dan McCabe, but his strength seemed to be with hard blues/metal songs, such as "Don't Walk Away" and "Fight Back". "Paradise" and "Right Heart" are also stand out tracks that again show the witness of this pioneering band from north of the border. On this remastered disc, done by J Powell, they also cover Darrell Mansfield's "That's Alright." Formulaic or not, the Daniel Band were unapologetic ministers of Jesus Christ that reached many people with their hard driven message.