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Barren Cross- State of Control (1989)

Published on february 17th, 2020 | by Pastor Wildman
Style: Heavy Metal
Release date: January 06, 1989
Format: CD, Vinil, Cassette
Tracks: 11
Label: Enigma Records
Rating: 95%

1. State of Control
2. Out of Time
3. Cryin' over You
4. A Face in the Dark
5. The Stage of Intensity
6. Hard Lies
7. Inner War
8. Bigotry Man (Who Are You)
9. Hard Lies
10. Two Thousand Years
11. Escape the Night

Of all the Barren Cross projects, my personal favorite has to be State of Control. The production is solid and the vocal harmonies are outstanding.

It is clear this album was something different then Rock for the King or Atomic Arena (both GREAT albums by the way). SOC was able to blend fist pumping classic rock sounds with the metal sound that made Barren Cross who they are.

The title track State of Control kicks off with a message about alcoholism - one of the many issues BC addresses. They are known for attacking controversial social issues with a scriptural understanding.

Crying Over You is everything you would want in a ballad. It has the mellow acoustic guitar at the beginning, letting you know the sound isn’t complete. Then the chorus kicks in with drums, guitar and solid vocals! The song is a story of how one handles a loss when someone walks away.

A Face in the Dark, Stage of Intensity and Hard Lies are solid metal songs. They contain a message of the dangers in worldly success and the potential of dishonesty.

Inner War is a perfect combination of both sound and message to explain the Apostle Paul’s struggle in Romans 7.

Love at Full Volume is a testimony of finding the one God desires to spend the rest of your life with. The evil of racism is attacked with Bigorty Man. The album closes out with an invitation to accept Christ as Savior in 2000 Years and a great prayer about Jesus’ love in Your Love Gives.

The song that stands out the most is Out of Time. It starts with the news report, “suddenly thousands of people, perhaps millions just disappeared.” This is followed by Ray Parris’ driving guitar keeping the listener going as Mike Lee belts out, “Why did you wait, why did you hesitate?” We tried to warn you, but now you’re out of time!The message could be considered as gloom and doom, and possibly outdated. The truth is this is just as important today as it was back in 1989. In fact it’s the same message John the Baptist proclaimed as well as Jesus.

Anyone who attended christian rock/metal concerts in the 80’s knows the routine. The band is done, crowd cheers, band says goodbye. It’s not over, time for the encore. The band comes back on and does one or two more songs. Finally, a member of the band- Bassist Jim Laverde in Barren Cross’ case- would give a strong message. It was a message of Salvation- the importance of becoming a Jesus follower and giving your life to Him.

Jesus did the same as He explained to be His disciple, all must surrender to Him. Gaining all the world's success means nothing if you forfeit your soul (Luke 9:23). Either we spend eternity with Christ or we spend it separated from Him forever like the rich man (Luke 16).

This album asks you to take your walk with Christ seriously. If you have never accepted Him as your Saviour do so now in this moment. Simply say, Jesus I want to follow you, show me what this means. He will be faithful to answer your request and make today the day of Salvation.

The song concludes with…

“Why did you run,

When God gave His only Son,

So you might have everlasting life,

Before it’s too late,

There’s a choice you’ve got to make,

If you receive Him,

You won’t be left behind.”

I gave this album a 95% rating for three reasons. First, no album is perfect. (In my personal opinion this one comes close.). Second, the maturity of the bands sound compared with previous projects improved immensely. Finally, the overall message of the album is why Barren Cross became a band in the first place, to spread the gospel of Christ. SOC certainly does that!

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