WHITECROSS – Fear No Evil (2024) *HQ*

WHITECROSS - Fear No Evil (2024) - full

In the past decade, there’s been a resurgence of metal bands from the late ’80s/early ’90s reforming and releasing new music – these included Christian metal acts. Stryper ultimately paved the trail for that, but many others have followed in their wake. Among them is one of the standout vets from the early ’90s scene: WHITECROSS.
Originally formed in 1985 by singer Scott Wenzel and guitarist Rex Carroll, they petered out in the mid-90s, only to come back in 2000 at Cornerstone. In 2005, they re-recorded their self-titled debut and released it as Nineteen Eighty Seven. After that, no new releases came other than a tour or concert here and there.
In 2020, however, Wenzel was replaced by young David Roberts on vocals and the group finally seemed ready to produce new music. It took a while after that, but now the fruit of several years of labor is ready to bloom into the world: “Fear No Evil“, a pretty killer slice of edgy hard rock / 80-90s styled metal.

This may be a little confusing for fans, as there was already a 3 song EP titled “Fear No Evil” released back in 2022, and yep, the 3 tracks from that EP are icluded here, but newly recorded / mixed. Not sure why they didn’t just give it a new title?

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Whitecross has never sounded better than on this record. The production is loud and crisp while the band is playing like it’s still 1990. Rex Carroll’s guitar work has not dulled with age; in fact, it’s grown more intense.
In many ways, ”Fear No Evil” feels like Carroll flexing his muscles on the guitar, as it is the central instrument on the album and often even overpowers the vocals. Carroll attacks with crunchy riffs and fiery solos, and makes the record worth the price of admission.

That’s not to say that drummer Michael Feighan or bassist Benny Ramos don’t add their own flair, but this is the guitar’s show. However, this album isn’t simply a string of loud, driving rock songs. There are surprising twists and turns along the way, like the mandolin-led “Blind Man” or “Wishing Well” opening with a string section and orchestra.
As for Roberts’ vocal performance, he brings his all to the project with a nice, full raspy voice. He also gets plenty of opportunities to show off his range, as well as his Spanish, on “Saints of Hollywood”.

Some might think it unnecessary that these classic bands keep coming back and releasing new music. Fans of these groups, however, would beg to differ. Often, the music these bands release is better than what came before (or at least reaches the same standard).
Whitecross has achieved that with ”Fear No Evil”. Fans may debate where the album ranks overall in the band’s discography, but no one can argue that it’s a quality release and one of the best hard rock albums released this year so far.
Highly Recommended


01 – The Way We Rock
02 – Lion of Judah
03 – Jackhammer
04 – Man in the Mirror
05 – Blind Man
06 – Fear No Evil
07 – 29,000
08 – Saints of Hollywood
09 – Vendetta
10 – Wishing Well
11 – Further On

Dave Roberts – Lead Vocals
Rex Carroll – Lead Guitar
Benny Ramos – Bass Guitar
Michael Feighan – Drums


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