Home > CCM, Christian Music, Christian Pop, Christian Rap, Christian Rock, Greatest Albums, Jesus Music > 222. Human Sacrifice – Vengeance (Rising)

222. Human Sacrifice – Vengeance (Rising)



Before having to change the name of the band for contractual reasons to Vengeance Rising, the band Vengeance released their debut album on Frontline records and CCM has never recovered.

Well before similar bands would become the norm, Vengeance burst on to the scene with controversy exploding at every turn. From the graphic cover, to the “demonic” growling lead vocals, to the scary images of the band, there was just never a moment of rest for Frontline Sales reps.

Despite all that the album sold…and sold VERY well.

Lyrically no one could complain about the straight ahead, theologically sound and very conservative evangelical content. In fact, as an apologetic for the band I used to read the lyrics to the bookstore owners and have them try and guess which Frontline artist had penned the songs. Not a single one got it right.

Thrash, grind core, death metal. Whatever label it was given could not do justice to describe the audio assault the album unleashed on the listener. Heavy, fast, pounding and oh, so loud! The oddest thing listening back again for this review is just how much melody is there. If not for the vocals it is not too far removed from Metallica, especially on songs like Mulligan’s Stew and White Throne. Great drumming and guitar work abound and are prevelant on every single song.

Those more familiar and attached to the genre will obviously complain the album should be higher. They may be right.

I will not deal in detail here with the demise of the band but it is a sad story. Several band members went on to form the short lived Die Happy while lead vocalist Roger Martinez turned to satanism and eventually atheism.

  1. Lee Pfahler
    December 3, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    An incredible first album. Did the lead singer ever lose his voice from singing the way he did? I saw them once in concert in a parking lot in Indiana nearly 20 years ago, but I never kept up with their career so I was surprised to hear that the lead vocalist turned to satanism then atheism. There first album was one I could play over and over again.

  2. Sundog
    February 17, 2011 at 7:13 am

    I bought this when I lived in SoCal right after it was released. What an amazing album! My wife, who grew up on more traditional Christian music and even sang and toured with a southern gospel group, HATED it with a passion. I found it fresh and relevant for the time and especially, the place. Getting my wife to periodically attend Sanctuary Hollywood with me was a true triumph. I think Pastor Bob (and other people there) broke down some stereotypes for her and helped her to see people as just people. It took her a while just to get past all the hair. Hey, it was the 80’s! LOL!

    I can’t tell you how many time’s I’ve driven down the road with Mulligan Stew turned up to 11 and singing at the top of my voice. Wow, what an album!

    You drink up all your beer and you’re feelin fine
    but you look up to the clock – it’s only quarter til 9
    So you wolf a bunch of munchies cause there’s nothing to do
    but when you find that they don’t mix, you’re chuckin Mulligan stew

  3. StickBoy
    October 22, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Sun dog, I’m with ya. Mulligan Stew was and still is a favorite – at high volume for sure! Really, you can’t find anything of this quality on either side of the Christian/secular spectrum in 1988. This was seriously an epic album in so many ways. The follow up Warfare was just as brutally amazing, and after that, well the wheels fell off. Destruction Comes had its moments, but never matched the quality of the first two recordings, and then things went sour. Still, Vengeance Rising holds a place near and dear in my heart. ON a side note, I wore out the original cassette I had of Human Sacrifice and had to replace it. Those where the day…

  4. Greenchili
    December 7, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I was talking to a co-worker about the “vocaling” style used on this type of music and he said that it really not actually hard on the throat. It just requires a certain technique.

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