Believer

Sanity Obscure

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Before 1990, the Christian heavy metal genre rarely strayed from generic riffing and poor lyrics. Bands like Petra and Sacred Warrior never broke through to the mainstream for this very reason. With low expectations, Believer released this massive slab of molten metal. Although it never really became popular, several mainstream magazines praised the album and the band found themselves in a deal with Metalblade soon after. Believer is hard to pin down; they often sound like Megadeth, but their aggression and passion are focused in a much different direction than Dave Mustaine's. The title track is a complex blast of twisting riffs, and "Stop the Madness" is a far more interesting take on an anti-drug song than what most of their contemporaries have come up with. But two songs stand out on the album above the rest. "Dies Irae" is an absolute epic, featuring operatic vocals and orchestration that are beautiful in contrast to the heavy guitars behind it. And their version of U2's "Like a Song" is a passionate, heartfelt cover that captures the intensity of the original without trying to make it "heavy." Fans of interesting, creative heavy metal should try to find this album -- it is definitely worth the search.

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