For many years, power metal has been dominated by bands -- not solo artists -- but Rob Rock is a rare example of a power metal singer who has been enjoying a solo career. And there is another thing that separates him from the majority of power metallers: he is a Christian singer. The former Impellitteri member is hardly the first person to combine some type of heavy metal or hard rock with Christian-oriented lyrics (the Resurrection Band, a Christian outfit with a strong Led Zeppelin influence, was formed in 1978, and Stryper received a lot of publicity in the '80s), but even so, it is safe to say that artists who bring Christian themes to power metal are the exception instead of the rule. Regardless, power metal serves Rock pleasingly well on Garden of Chaos. While this 2007 release is a Christian album lyrically and philosophically, it is very much a power metal album musically -- and the fact is that a non-English-speaking headbanger who heard intense yet melodic tracks such as "Savior's Call," "Millennial Reign," "Satan's Playground," and "Metal Breed" without knowing anything about Rock's history or background would likely assume (incorrectly, but understandably) that he was belting out secular lyrics. The fact that Rock's lyrics are Christian-inspired does not erase the fact that musically, his approach is firmly rooted in folks like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Ronnie James Dio and Queensrÿche. Nor does it erase the fact that Garden of Chaos offers a solid, focused and engaging, if less than groundbreaking, dose of power metal.
Garden of Chaos Review
by Alex Henderson