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FEAR NOT - Fear Not (2017) CD/LP

Fear Not (Love Life) - 25 Years

Fear Not only released one album with this line-up. Timing had as much to do with that as anything since it was obvious the band had a good formula of melodic, hook-laden commercial melodic rock and they had the Elefante brothers producing for that polished touch. But in 1993 things were dying in the metal world and the grunge and alternative bands were on the rise. Not to mention the fact that Pakaderm Records was about to dissolve. They sure went out with a bang producing this album, the Lovewar album and Guardian's Miracle Mile. Talk about 3 high quality releases. Larry Worley had a great voice and his lyrics were solid – the right balance of exhortation (to the church) and warning/outreach (to those in need). I was never a fan of the horn section in “Take Hold” because it sounded a bit radio-contrived for this type of band, but that aside, these songs were really quite good — “Mr. Compromise” and the slightly more progressive “Suicide Sunshine” are personal favorites. It is nice to have this back in circulation with updated sound and artwork (although I thought the original sounded pretty good).

The CD

Housed in standard jewel case, the CD and the booklet sport new design and layout (courtesy of Scott Waters). The first part of the booklet includes the Roxx interview (current) with Larry Worley and then the second part the lyrics. The CD features all 10 original tracks plus two recent Worley numbers – one with Worley and JK Northrup (“You’ve Got Love”) and the other with Worley and Stan Mayo on drums (“Love Is Alright”). Both songs fit comfortably within the Fear Not melodic rock stable. I’m not sure why the bonus songs aren’t included on the back cover song list as this version has been completely redesigned from the original so there would be no need to exclude them. In terms of the listening experience, I can’t really hear any appreciable difference between this recording and the original but it does sound really good at high volumes.

The Vinyl

The LP – which contains only the original 10 tracks (correct order) and not the bonus songs – has been pressed in purple (swirl) and black. The lyric insert comes with an interview from Heaven’s Metal back at the time of the original release (see below) instead of the current interview contained in the CD book. It’s a subtle, yet compelling, reason to grab both if you like this album. Overall, I think this pressing is solid but doesn’t sound quite as good to me as Guardian’s Fire and Love vinyl pressing. Still, the warm vinyl tones definitely offer up an alternative to the brighter, more abrasive CD. [Roxx]

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