Thursday, May 27, 2010


Break Out! is the title of Pastor Brad’s debut album for Roxx Records. Pastor Brad if you are not aware has been putting out 80’s inspired hard rock/metal since 2003. Lyrically very bold in content there is no doubt as to where his heart and his mission lies. His music is very much ministry oriented material with a desire to reach the non-believers with the message of forgiveness through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pastor Brad also runs a website entitled GuitarJams.Net where you can learn guitar theory/licks ECT; as well as devotional material for one’s spiritual walk. Brad’s sincerity and passion are evident immediately. With that no one can find any fault because it’s obviously apparent this isn’t about glorifying Brad.

With that said I was really looking forward to hearing this release from Roxx Records. With a guest list of special vocalists such as Ski from Faith Factor, Ken Tamplin of Shout fame, Chaz Bond courtesy of Jacob’s Dream, Les Carlson from Bloodgood and David Meriwether of Stricken I was anxious to spin this one.

The first thing that struck me was the production factor; it feels much more like a demo then a label release. The clarity is disappointing as the drums are buried in the mix with little definition. You know they’re there, but from the twin guitar passages and vocals the drums are sacrificed. At times it feels as if this was recorded on a four track machine, (I don’t know how it was recorded, but through my experience this is the feel I’m left with) and in this era of computer recordings even an analog recording will sound better.

Vocally aside from the songs sung by the special guests mentioned above, it seems that things fall into disarray more often than not. What really got my attention was the title song, once Rachel Anne started to sing a harmony part was added that sounds horribly out of key. Whether it’s actually out of key or the harmony is just muddied from the mix that could be open for debate, yet it left me feeling like I was listening to Stryken’s debut, yuck. This same unfortunate thing occurs on the song ‘Gethsemane.’

On several occasions the vocal melodies seem to get cluttered with too many words, so as to disrupt the melodic flow of certain vocal passages. Prime historical examples of this were Rez Bands songs Autograph and White Noise or Barnabas tune ‘Northern Lights, Brad on many occasions uses a break down in a song to provide a spoken vocal passage that just seems out of place. This arrangement occurs on the first two songs ‘Break Out’ and ‘In Your Lovin Arms.’ Please understand this isn’t a criticism of what is said, but a critique of the performance given.

The songs that are the strongest include the trifecta of ‘Turn up the Light’ with Ken Tamplin, ‘Cold Blooded Killer’ featuring Ski and ‘We Win’ which includes the vocal talents of Chaz Bond. The melodies and vocal performances stand head and shoulders above the rest of the album. The closing song with David Meriwether of Stricken on vocals shines as he executes with a powerful metal flair.

Pastor Brad is a talented guitar player and has the ability to write some good material; again there is no doubting the heart of the man or his passion. Yet on this release I found the production and at times the performances to be substandard with a few gems amidst the many compositions penned for this album. If you’re already a fan of Pastor Brad you’ll probably still pick this up, but if not I just can’t give a good recommendation this time.

5 axes

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