Album Reviews: Reissue: Vengeance / Sacred Warrior / Bloodgood

 November 8, 2010 | By Dale Huffman (Metal Pulse Radio) for Untombed.com

My hat goes off to James and Bill for the birth of a great new label called “Intense Millennium Records” and for making available some really great original albums working in conjunction with “Frontline” catalog.

The old Frontline label proved to be a pinnacle in my life. The albums they produced had a great positive message that planted seeds before I was saved and were instrumental to my salvation.

Five of those albums have recently been re-mastered and released by “Intense Millennium”. The new releases are:
1. Vengeance Rising – Human Sacrifice
2. Vengeance Rising – Once Dead
3. Bloodgood – Self Titled
4. Bloodgood – Detonation
5. Sacred Warrior – Rebellion

I have listened to all five and am excited with the results. They sound like brand new albums.

J. Powell’s re-mastering brought a fullness to the music. He cleaned up the sound so the listener hears parts of the vocals and instrumentals that couldn’t be heard before. It’s like listening to a brand new album. The album covers were also made new. They are reversible with the original artwork on one side and the new artwork on the other. You can choose to display which one you prefer. Pastor Bob Beeman did an excellent job writing the liner notes. They are full of interesting facts and information about each band. Even I was surprised with some of the things I learned.

People who don’t already own these would have to pay $25.00 – $40.00 for these original releases because they have been out of print since the early 1990’s.

Vengeance Rising – Human Sacrifice:

I wasn’t saved at the time but I loved this album because it was so fast. Back when I was listening to S.O.D, Death Angel, and Slayer a buddy that I worked with gave me copies of these cds. With songs like “Salvation”, “He is God”, and “I Love Hating Evil” you can see God was at work planting seeds that would come to fruition later in my life. I can’t leave out the classic song “Burn”.

As for the artwork on the cover this is one where I prefer the original to the new.

The live version bonus tracks which are from 1987 of “Prodigal Son”, “White Throne”, and “Salvation” are a great addition. Even though “Salvation” only lasts 13 seconds it is fun to listen to.

There is also an interview with Roger Martinez that reminds me of the days when he was on fire for God. He could preach a powerful message.

This album was voted the number one album of all time by Heaven’s Metal Magazine this year. I rated this album a 5/5

Vengeance Rising – Once Dead:

Like the “Human Sacrifice” album this was one that was given to me before I was saved.

I like the work James Heru did for the cover of this album.

The last four tracks are interviews with Vengeance Rising prior to their reunion concert where Scott Waters was a guest vocalist. These give a lot of information about the disbandment of the band.

Heaven’s Metal Magazine voted this album 45 out of their all time top 100 list. I rate this one 5/5

Sacred Warrior – Rebellion

I can’t believe this cd is over twenty years old. Their music is timeless. After I got saved I was starving trying to find some good Christian rock or metal when I stumbled across Sacred Warrior. Their music reminded me of Queensryche. Rey’s vocals conveyed a lot of emotion. I still love this album even if I have listened to it for over fifteen years. Every time is like the first time I listened to it so I was glad to see it as part of this project.

The two bonus tracks are previously un-released demos: “Day by Day” and “Prince of Peace” (2001/2006). “Day by Day” is a good old fashion rock song while “Prince of Peace” is more of a praise and worship song.

While the artwork on the cover is brilliantly done I feel it does not convey the feeling of the album. If this was a Goth band it would fit perfectly. The liner notes are black on black so it is difficult to read.

This album was picked number 39th of 100 as the greatest of all time by Heaven’s Metal.  I give this album a 5/5

Bloodgood – Bloodgood

It’s been 25 years since this albums release. How time flies! This is an album that started a great career for Christian Metal in the classic metal scene. “Blacksnake” is a fast song while “What’s Following the Grave” is a powerful ballad with a great message which shows the great diversity of this band. Bloodgood went against the grain with so many “poser” bands around by playing classic metal in it’s purest form.

The bonus tracks are “Awake” – the alternative Mix, and “Blacksnake” the extended version, which happens to be my favorite song of the album.

As for the art cover, it’s ok. I prefer the original because it’s obviously blood, depicting the blood of Jesus, while the new cover makes it look more like water. Needless to say I will be reversing the cover on this one.  This also gets a 5/5.

Bloodgood – Detonation

This was the first Bloodgood cd I ever owned. The songs “Crucified” and “Messiah” still give me goosebumps every time I hear them. With songs like “Eat the Flesh” and “Holy Fire” I can understand why HM Magazine put this album at number 8 in their list of all time greatest cds. It has always been in my top five best ever recordings.

Whats was even cooler were the bonus tracks. “Crucified” and “Messiah” Live at Metal Mardigras. It got me so excited after listening to it that I had to break out the VHS of Metal Mardigras to share the experience.  My rating for this album is 5/5.

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