Released: 2008, Retroactive Records/Music Buy Mail/Artist Workxx
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
It seems like Retroactive Records has a few Christian hardrock and metal acts and Whitecross can be counted into that category of bands. Personally, I have never understood the magic in Christian metal but just as there are Satanic proclaimed bands I guess that there also have to be Christian acts. Whitecross has been active since 1987 and they are one of the bigger acts in this genre. The band is a duo led by Wenzel and Carroll and they opened the doors for many acts at the beginning of their career in Whitecross. The duo has released 12 albums and they have a very solid and true fanbase that backs them up.
NINTEEN EIGHTY SEVEN isn’t an album with new material; it’s a re-recording of the band original debut. Bonus feature are two bonus tracks and four hidden songs at the end of the album. If you look away from the obvious theme of the album and from the very speaking titles and let the music stand for itself I think the band does very well. This is 80’s based American hardrock. It is heavy but very melodic and the choruses are catchy and easily remembered. You can hear that the guys really love what they’re doing because the album oozes joy, love and passion. Carroll is an amazing guitarist and the things he does with his guitar makes you hiss. He’s clearly a great guitar player and a real talent and he stands for the albums most solid effort. Singer Wenzel is worth to mention, he has a vocal range out of the ordinary and he is perfect to sing in Whitecross. He sounds a little like Stephen Percy from Ratt. The two lead-men have help from a drummer, called Feighan and he is a solid drummer that knows what he is doing
The material is actually quite solid with only a few down lows but my main concern is the lyrics that take the Christian message to the edge. Sure, its fun to hear something new and different but I don’t’ want a band that shoves a message down my throat. Highlights are “Who Will You Follow” and “Looking For Reason” which are both heavy USA-based hardrock with a contagious tempo with lead vocals and amazing guitar work in the centre. “Enough Is Enough”, “He Is The Rock” and “No Way I’m Going Down” are firm songs that stays true to the 80’s hardrock theme but they go a little slower than the rest of the songs. These songs sounds a lot like Cinderella or Ratt did back in the days and they also have really catchy choruses.
The bonus track could have been left behind because they’re no fun at all and the first part of the album feels clearly more solid than the second part. My main problem is the Christian message that they have featured. When it comes to the music it sounds really good and if you look away from the message and focus on the music I bet you can find many hours of good entertainment.