PHILADELPHIA - Search & Destroy


2019 CD/LP Reissue

1985. Philadelphia. It’s hard to believe Search & Destroy is almost 35 years old. I suspect for some of the early fans of Christian metal this may have been an album that held a special place in your heart, but may have been one you have not visited often since those early days. Some will remember the Magdalene Records Limited Edition re-release on CD back in 2000, but until Warlord was released in 2016, most of us probably hadn’t really spent much time with these songs in over a decade. While some of the Tell The Truth (1984) material was a bit spotty, the songs from this album were really quite solid, especially looking back this many years later they stand the test of time with that classic rock/classic metal vibe. Moreover, Brian Clark and company had a message of hope that met those with a straight-up need, people struggling with everyday emotions, afflictions and addictions. This was spiritual warfare, and the band had the boldness to acknowledge it as such during a time when the church didn’t really want to deal with sin and its consequences.

But, man, what about that original cover art? (Pardon my low-fi pic, but you get the point).

Roxx Productions has graciously reissued and remastered the original recording for CD with bonus track (“Losin’ It”) with new artwork. Additionally, we can now enjoy this special release on remastered vinyl. I’ve listened to both versions (CD and LP) now several times and have to say these tunes have really come to life, especially on the vinyl. Playing this record invokes the sounds and images I was surrounded by during my senior year in high school ('85) and early college years. This is one of the best sounding LPs we’ve heard from Roxx to date, the drum and cymbal sounds really coming to life in the opening sequence of the title track. There is a nice deep tone to the toms and bass drum, and Clark’s vocals are crystal clear. And while you know these songs are from the mid 80’s, they don’t really sound as dated as I would have remembered. The guitars solos weren’t over the top, but they soar with melody, especially on “Oh My Boy.”

I think one of the most underappreciated aspects of this recording were the drums. While most drummers during this era played a very straight 4 on the floor beat with few frills (their performance often buried in the mix in deference to guitars/vocals), Martini’s performance includes a lot of hand splashes and plenty of 16th notes on the hats, as well as snare/tom combination fills galore, especially on a song like “Fastrack,” one of the best songs here. These little embellishments throughout really pop out of the speakers on this vinyl remaster. While “Bobby’s Song” was my least favorite track, I actually find myself enjoying it more than I remember, and it (along with “Judgment Day”) was important thematically in setting the stage of the controversial (at that time) subject matter of this concept album. The acoustic guitar lead “Decision Time” still effectively conveys the vibrant message of hope and truth these 34 years later.

The CD has the 8 page booklet with lyrics, nicely illustrated with the various incarnations of the cover illustration, while the vinyl (pressed in gold and black versions) has a single 2-sided insert – lyrics and credits on one side and alternate cover design (pictured above) on the other side. The vinyl disc itself is flat and I have essentially no surface noise so it was a very clean pressing.

Release Date: 1/25/2019

Roxx Productions

Track Listing:

CD

1. Search & Destroy (6:01)

2. Bobby’s Song (3:53)

3. Oh My Boy (5:12)

4. Judgement Day (3:52)

5. Mirror Man (3:10)

6. Fastrack (4:32)

7. Showdown (4:28)

8. Decision Time (5:57)

9. Losin’ Out (CD bonus) (4:36)

LP

Side "Search"

1. Search & Destroy (6:01)

2. Bobby’s Song (3:53)

3. Oh My Boy (5:12)

4. Judgement Day (3:52)

Side "Destroy"

5. Mirror Man (3:10)

6. Fastrack (4:32)

7. Showdown (4:28)

8. Decision Time (5:57)

#christianmetal #classicmetal #Philadelphia

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