|Messiah - 'Going Insane' and 'Final Warning' Collectors Editions (Retroactive Records)|
|Written by John Oakley|
|Tuesday, 08 February 2011 05:00|
"Christian metal? AAAARRGGH IT BURNS!!! WE HATES IT!!" - OK, don't fret, I'll try to write a more in-depth review than that Uber Rockers...These chaps are from Detroit, split way back in 1987 and Retroactive Records have finally rereleased the band's album and EP for us as collector's editions, as apparently the vinyl copies have been changing hands for over $1,000 dollars each. (Where? In the Bible belt?)
The problem with Christian metal is as Alice Cooper said, "we like our rock heroes to be the anti-hero", which can be evidenced in Alice Cooper calling Lemmy "Captain Hook". We love metal for the escapism, and all that \m/ devil stuff. You go to see horror films to be scared, it's the same with METAL, you go to laugh at the upside down Slayer crosses. No one except Glen Benton really takes it seriously.
OK, back to Messiah and if Lemmy is Captain Hook, then these guys are your Sunday school teachers or Cliff Richard. (Actually, Cliff has better tunes, but wait a minute I'll get to the music now). What makes metal lovable is that it's anti-establishment and escapist and a great big middle finger to your boss/teacher/mum/dad telling you what to do and how to behave. We don't listen to our music to be preached at. You could put Messiah on the coffee table when the vicar comes round for a spot of afternoon tea, but really listening to them, well CHRIST ON A BIKE, it's just DULL. Take for example 'Evil Lies' from the 'Going Insane' EP. This is a ditty all about "The kind of girl where evil lies, in her eyes, that's the talk of the town." "Stay away from her, as she'll only bring you down." Sounds good to me... Anyone got this girl's number? Is she free tonight? Have I missed the point...?
Now, am I being anti Christian? Well, not really! It's just clichéd, preachy and plain awful. As a vaguely Judeo Christian with good moral values I find these record just like ummm...vanilla ice cream. Nothing excites me, and nothing really stands out. It really is like having tea with the vicar. Indeed, after several plays I now want to go out and rock, get pissed, and get off with groupies but can't in case I'm going to offend anyone. I simply can't see the references that the band makes within their press releases to bands like Kiss, Judas Priest or Alice Cooper. The secret of Alice's success is the shocking stage show that your mother wouldn't like (even though these days she's probably dragging her sons and daughters to the shows!). Worse still, most of the songs have the poppy style that perhaps you could find more at home with Take That than Mr Cooper. Apparently Messiah's live shows featured an incantation ritual to raise the devil, followed by a spell to send him back to hell. Lovely! Did they then bring on tea and scones for the encore?
This is simply NOT METAL! Don't let 'We Will Rock's proclamation: "Heavy METAL is the music we play, let the message guide the way" fool you in any way. THIS IS NOT METAL! I don't know what you guys are playing, but it has very little to do with the metal I listen to. If I wanted to be preached at when listening to my music, I'd rather listen to my 'Jesus Christ Superstar' soundtrack than this. At least Jesus had prostitutes for friends and was quite dangerous and rock 'n' roll! And by the time I get to the band's full length album 'Final Warning' I'm in danger of falling asleep here I feel so safe.
Messiah could have no doubt sold out tours in the Christian metal circuit, and in Bible belt America where advertising hoardings proclaim the Ten Commandments and these CDs will sell like hot cakes. But any casual listener here should buy them only if they fancy being preached at for an hour and a half or if they've got their mum coming round, otherwise avoid these at all costs.
Where is my 'Bible Black'...? Send me round Vince Neil in a car with some hookers..... I'm going out! Let's party... Muhahahaha!