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DELIVERANCE - Deliverance (Vinyl)

“I don’t tink I like that last scream.”

There are precious few words that I could muster regarding this seminal album that haven’t been previously uttered by countless individuals in the Christian metal scene, let alone the band members themselves (along with Pastor Bob) in the liner notes of this very pressing. I don’t doubt that if you are a fan, you may already have this vinyl disc in your very own possession. Nevertheless, this is too important a release (finally on vinyl!) to be ignored. After all, our “karew” voted this number #3 on the Top 100 Christian Metal Albums Of All Time list a few years back. Our own Jeff McCormack had this to say in the 25th Anniversary issue:

“One of the first major thrash releases in the Christian market – combining an early Testament/Metallica feel – it still gets the head banging and air guitar screaming.”

No doubt, few releases have been as “perfect” in sound, execution, aggression, and metal attitude in our genre as Deliverance. None have, in my opinion, been more relevant or important in message. Even the much-lauded follow-up Weapons Of Our Warfare – excellent in its own rite – couldn’t quite match the musical extremism and spiritual urgency of the debut.

So, we’ve enjoyed and been challenged and edified for decades now by this recording on CD and cassette. But finally, we have it on vinyl format! Much anticipation preceded the release but I think everyone wants to know (that doesn’t already have this) how this sounds. The answer is terrific, but with a few negatives. Unfortunately, when reviewing vinyl, I can only speak for my personal copy. I would love to listen to maybe 5 different discs of this for comparison – since quality control is a real issue with vinyl – but that’s not feasible. First off, the sound is lower volume relative to some of my other vinyl, which isn’t necessarily a negative since with vinyl you can generally enjoy the same quality listening experience at all volume levels. My disc, does however, suffer from a bit more surface noise than some, but its mostly only noticeable during track breaks. Unfortunately, there is a major drop out (of sound) right at the end of “If You Will,” just before the transition to “The Call.” It lasts only a few seconds but since this is such an important tandem set of songs it really sticks out in a bad way. It may just be a manufacturing defect on my copy but this is the kind of error that should be rooted out with “test” copies. It doesn’t take away from the joy of hearing this entire recording on vinyl but it does taint it a bit (again I can only speak for my pressing). Still, I love listening to this on a record and if you aren’t already in possession of one of these you had better grab one while they last. The liner notes include lyrics and pictures on the 12”x12” insert, and then there is a smaller insert included with insightful and perspective comments from Pastor Bob, Jimmy, Brian and Glenn. Get it, get it now! Available in black and very limited red (as pictured above). (Note the new cover artwork for this version as well.) [Roxx Productions]

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