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Hotter Than Hell! (Live)

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Album Review

There's something very amusing about a Christian metal band calling one of its albums Hotter Than Hell! But you won't find any endorsements of the occult on this album. Musically, Barren Cross sound like a combination of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, but lyrically, the Chicago headbangers bring a strongly Christian viewpoint to "In the Eye of the Fire," "Close to the Edge" (not to be confused with the Yes classic), "Light the Flame," and other tunes on this live album. One of Cross' best songs, "Dead Lock," provides a compelling anti-drug message. Although Cross enjoyed some exposure on MTV, the band wasn't as well-known in the secular rock world as it was in Christian circles — and that's regrettable because its recordings were passionate and inspired, if derivative. For headbangers exploring Cross' music for the first time, Hotter Than Hell! Live would be the best starting point.


Formed: 1983 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '80s

Although they never achieved as much notoriety as their Orange County neighbors Stryper, Los Angeles' Barren Cross were among the best-known Christian (or "white") metal bands to emerge in the 1980s. Formed in late 1983 by singer/guitarist Mike Lee, guitarist Ray Parris, bassist Jim LaVerde, and drummer Steve Whitaker, Barren Cross rehearsed assiduously before performing their first concert six months later at, of all places, a home for juvenile delinquent girls. Shortly thereafter, the boys used...
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Hotter Than Hell! (Live), Barren Cross
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