Sunday, September 22, 2013


Vengeance Rising’s Human Sacrifice is the greatest Christian Thrash Metal album ever recorded. I realize it’s been said before and more than once by me.  However not only was it the first of its kind but the reality is, it was (and still is) an epic release!

            Roxx Records has undertaken a special release in time for this landmarks 25th anniversary.  A full on picture disc limited to only 300 pressed!! Whenever I hear the magic words “only so many pressed” I get nervous because I know that many of you, like me, are collectors who really want the coolest stuff and believe me this is one of the COOLEST!! There are some other goodies that come with this including picks, stickers.

 J Powell at Steinhaus remastered this slab of metal history specifically for vinyl and man does it sound good. The warmth is there with full lower end without sacrificing clarity.  J Powell has an unbelievable ability to make so many of these older releases sound as vital and powerful as ever.  The guitars of Larry Farkas and Doug Thieme on I Love Hating Evil sound just as loud as ever, perhaps even more intense.  Roger Martins bombastic bass delivers the goods on Fill This Place With Blood and Burn with a rich and pulsating dynamic power. Glenn Mancaruso’s drums sound as full and dynamic as ever with a little more punch in the kick drum.

            Revisiting this album in depth after so long is just a reminder to me of what Christian metal was like back in 1987 (a year before this albums release). There was nothing! And I mean nothing in Christian music that competed with the Slayers, Metallica’s or Megadeth’s of the world (let alone the Dark Angel’s or Kreator’s). When people thought of Christian Metal they thought of Stryper and Calling on You or Honestly. Not exactly bang yer head start a pit type stuff.

            Living in the San Francisco bay area during that time I longed for an album I could share with my non Christian friends that was heavy and brutal.  I’d seen VR twice in Southern California and I knew these guys were the real deal. Not only were they one of the tightest bands I’d ever seen, but they MOVED and totally thrashed on stage. It was incredible as I never saw Slayer do that or Metallica or Megadeth (or Testament or Forbidden Evil or Death Angel.)

            When this album came out on Intense in the late summer of 1988 (I bought mine from vocalist Roger Martinez, right out of the box at the beginning of second HIS Festival) it just blew everyone away. I mean everyone; this wasn’t a rehash of old Metallica riffs or a piece of sonic dog doo. This was WORLD CLASS THRASH METAL that was more over the top then most of their secular counter parts.

The ominous intro to White Throne, a pile driving tour de force that is Beheaded, the chunky bob and weave of Mulligan’s Stew, the sonic cacophony that is the instrumental Ascension (which they brought on stage a full group of acrobatic skateboarders at C-Stone in 1990 or was it 89?).

 Human Sacrifice started a movement that was brewing under the surface in Christian music. It stretched the boundaries about a million miles about what defined “Christian” music, let alone metal. These guys did not make a dime for their efforts but instead left a legacy that continues to this day. Every extreme metal act out there with a Christian worldview owes their gratitude to the trail blazers in this genre and like Resurrection Band; Vengeance Rising has that mantle placed on them.

Grab a piece of Christian Metal history and pick up this fabulous picture disc. You won’t regret it.

10 axes (the album itself is a classic)
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