Tuesday, May 24, 2011


David Benson has been around the Christian Metal scene since the mid 90’s. Yet this re-issue is my introduction to him and his music. He’s been one of these names that I’ve heard about and pondered what his music would sound like. Many of you who are more familiar with him are probably shocked that I’d not heard him before.

Well with Intense Millennium's reissue of Benson’s first album I’ve finally got the opportunity to check him out for myself. Purpose of the Cross was originally released in 1996, this edition has been remastered and expanded for a modern audience. Three extra tracks were added that Benson recorded with former Tempest guitar player Mick Rowe, more about those later.

Purpose of the Cross is the almost perfect amalgam of early 70’s era Sabbath with a strong sense of melody and just the right touch of early solo Ozzy. Benson is clearly influenced by Ozzy as his vocal performance is clearly brings that spotlight to it.

Yet without the songs themselves no amount of posturing will save any artist and Benson has the songs to back up his performance. From album opener Purpose of the Cross to Shout through Works album closer Faith, and this album is some true doomy metal. The more I listen to this album the more I like it and it actually excites me to hear someone playing Heavy Metal in a traditional manner. It also makes me wonder why there aren’t more bands from a Christian point of view doing it.

This disc rocks my friends, if you dig stuff like Barren Cross, Whitecross, Trytan then you’ll have no problem here. If you’re a purist who feels that wearing one’s influence on your sleeve this way is a problem then don’t buy it, but if you’re like me and just want some tunes to rock out to, grab this album NOW!

On the production end of things Purpose of the Cross has that underground feel and I’ve no doubt that the remastering has helped to improve the sound. The frequencies seem to be balanced appropriately; it’s not overly thin or boomy. Lyrically David lays his Christian message right out there.

Now back to three bonus tracks, Benson and Rowe collaborated on what would’ve been a new Tempest album. Yet that album would’ve sounded nothing like the Tempest of the late 80’s. These tracks are doomy sludge that follow the style of Benson’s other material. On this release they are right at home and perhaps are even heavier then the rest of the album. Just listen to Crushing the Dark Cathedral and your head is gonna sway hard.

Fans of Ozzy era Sabbath should find something to cheer about here. Doomy, powerful metal with melody and a message, Purpose of the Cross is the real deal. A big thumbs up and here’s looking forward to more from where this came from.

9 axes

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! 9 axes?