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Christian Metallica delivers legitimate metal! - 75%

greenberger, December 20th, 2013

Christian heavy metal record label Intense released a series of "live in the studio" EP's featuring bands from their roster, all produced by the godfather of Christian Alternative Music himself, mister Terry S. Taylor, who kept things raw and exciting by banning the use of overdubs and limiting each performance to only a couple of takes.

The result of this first volume is a simple, but fun treat for fans that sounds exactly like it was supposed to- rough, but jamming. Opening with a respectable cover of Stryper's Surrender, bandleader Jimmy P. takes his guys through six blazing tracks (the other 5 being originals from their first 3 albums.) Little snippets of studio horseplay are interspersed throughout to give you a sense of the band's chemistry- which sort of works, and sort of feels contrived. No matter, they're short little tidbits.

While the vocals are a little dry and prominent in the mix, the rest of the band is tight and blends well together. Deliverance's thing has always been about bible-down-your-throat lyrics anyway, making no bones about what they believe you need to do to avoid burning in hell- so prominent, crisp vocals makes aesthetic sense, oddly enough. Unlike a good percentage of Christian bands, however, these guys manage to back up their need to spread the good word with musical muscle, so you have to give them credit where it's due.

Deliverance was never what you'd call an innovative band, wearing their metal influences on their sleeve- but they were certainly damn good at copying their beloved Metallica (they did progress into more original territory later, to mixed results.) They kick extra-special ass on The Call, showing off their drumming and guitars in a way few bands of their ilk can, and then close the set with an appropriate epic finale in No Time. For the mediocre world of Christian music, just having a band that could rock legitimately was a huge benchmark, and this EP is as good a calling card as any metal band could garner.