Home > CCM, Christian Music, Christian Pop, Christian Rap, Christian Rock, Greatest Albums, Jesus Music > 376. Approaching Light Speed – Barnabas

376. Approaching Light Speed – Barnabas

APPROACHING LIGHT SPEED (1983)

Barnabas

After two releases on Canada’s Tunesmith label that featured a very eclectic combination of punk, funk, metal and blues, Barnabas signed to Light Records (home of Sweet Comfort and Resurrection Band) and unleashed a fury of heavy metal onto the CCM world that was light years ahead of the industry. Young guitar virtuoso Brian Belew plays with a Van Halen flair and the music is pure heavy metal for fans of Triumph and Van Halen.

Production was also superior for the time with real guitar mixes and a wall of sound type vocal production. This was very big sounding, especially for the day. Nancy Jo Mann’s vocal can be an acquired taste for some with a little Grace Slick with more passion and power, but on this album it works quite well.

There are some very interesting musical interludes such in the case of “If Love Brings Love” that starts with just an acoustic piano and slowly builds into a huge wall of guitars and becomes a rock anthem in the truest sense of the term. The call of the Gosepl is proclaimed with brilliant clarity.

Waiting for the Aliens is a 6-plus minute epic that, like many artists lyrics during the time, deals with a particular view of end times replete with Marks, Antichrists and a deception of the world that will cause everyone to believe aliens have taken over the world. This is borrowed from many popular prophecy prognosticators and was not a rare hypothesis. the song rocks though!

The album ends with another epic that is more progressive rock in nature than the rest of the album with several musical and time signature changes. “Crucifixion” also features a bass solo, which is so “old school” that it’s almost shocking to hear now even though it was not the peculiar for the time. The songs is a wonderful, well arranged and powerful depiction of the passion in a borderline rock opera type setting.

By the way…the album cover rocked!

 

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  1. Brian
    October 29, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Ok October 20th is my birthday and you left me a gem to comment on
    Groundbreaking in so many ways not the least was that it was a complete album without fluff tracks to fill space

    Waiting For The Aliens was a very dramatic song which brought the listener into one of the plausible theories of the end times but it really was the emotional urgency which sells it. Between Nancy Jo Mann’s voice and the instrumentation, this song works today

    Crucifixion was a strong track as well but Subterfuge was always the multi-play track for me

    Again the cover did rock!

    • low5point
      October 29, 2010 at 9:02 pm

      Those familiar with my other blog )theology) understand why I comment on the eschatological views in Jesus Music and CCM from the 80’s 🙂 …. but that really is for a different blog (book?)

  2. Shawn McLaughlin
    November 1, 2010 at 12:31 am

    I’m not sure that these artists even have the same views they did back then. Shotgun Angel CERTAINLY doesn’t reflect TST’s current eschatological position.

  1. October 27, 2011 at 4:05 am

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