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Fire and Love

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Album Review

To some Christian fundamentalists, the term "Christian metal" is an oxymoron. They argue that headbangers glorify decadence, promiscuity, and everything else that religious people should avoid—so how can you be a Christian and a headbanger? But metal, like any other form of music, is what the artist chooses to make it. Sure, metal lyrics can be about sex and drugs and rock & roll, but that is hardly mandatory — a headbanger could also write about anything from political issues to Hinduism and the Bhagavad Gita. For Guardian, metal and hard rock were a way to promote Christianity; this 1990 release combines a Christian message with a slick, glossy pop-metal sound á la Bon Jovi and Def Leppard. Fire & Love doesn't have Bon Jovi or Leppard's hooks, but it's generally decent, if a bit uneven. One thing that probably explains why this CD is mildly inconsistent is the fact that Guardian had been through so many personnel changes; by the time Fire & Love was recorded, the band's four-man lineup included only one original member (bassist David Bach) and three more recent additions: lead singer Jamie Rowe, guitarist Tony Palacios, and drummer Karl Ney. So the new lineup was probably experiencing growing pains in 1990; nonetheless, one hears potential on tunes that range from the single "Power of Love" to the power ballad "Never Say Goodbye." Although Fire & Love has a Christian outlook, Guardian isn't in-your-face about it and doesn't beat listeners over the head with its message (which explains why MTV didn't find the band objectionable). Is Fire & Love Guardian's best release? No, but it has more ups than downs and successfully demonstrates that a Christian message and a pop-metal/hard rock sound are not incompatible.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

With musical influences centered around such bands as Guns N' Roses and Motley Crue, Guardian has become a powerful force in the gospel music industry. The Christian rockers, best known for such hits as "Power of Love" and "Shoeshine...
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Fire and Love, Guardian
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