STYLE: Hard Music RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 115523-18200 LABEL: Retroactive RAR7902 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby
Messiah were one of the early American Christian heavy metal bands. They initially performed as a tribute band covering Kiss, Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper, but soon Charles Michael started writing his own material based on the biblical book of Revelation and the coming of the Anti-Christ. They appealed to mainstream metal audiences as their stage show included an incantation ritual to raise the Devil, followed by another ritual to send the Devil back to Hell. But touring the American Bible Belt with this show proved dangerous, with many religious leaders believing that they were performing a black mass! Tensions ran so high that someone took their religious protest to extremes and fired a shotgun at Charles as he was leaving a venue one night. Although the single "Final Warning" had been written in 1979 and released on a compilation album, it wasn't until 1984 that it would be released on Messiah's first album. The line-up then became Charles Michael (vocals), Scott Wood (guitar), Dave Johnson (bass) and Keith Behnke (drums). Messiah's management decided that they should follow up the success of their first album by putting out a five track EP in 1986. This contained two songs that were re-worked from the previous album. When Retroactive Records released this Collector's Edition re-issue in 2010, they added three bonus tracks taken from their 1979 demo (two of which also appeared on the first album). Messiah's sound had matured so that whilst they still retained the influences of Blue Oyster Cult and Alice Cooper, they didn't appear to have directly copied them. Although the demo versions are rough around the edges, the sound quality on this release is much better.
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