From the brutal to the sludgy to the experimental to the symphonic, we raise our horns in welcome and warning to the coming week: we are here to ROCK.

What do you get when you cross Reign in Blood with The Four Spiritual Laws? That’s not a hypothetical—it’s the mandate for Vengeance Rising’s debut album, Human Sacrifice. It would be one to file under “novelty records” if it hadn’t arrived so fully formed, though 1988 was almost late to be getting started in thrash metal. Still, for the Christian music industry, it may as well have been Reign in Blood for how cutting edge and controversial it seemed.

“From the Dead” is one of the more straightforward and least violent of the album’s tracks, serving to briefly recount the details and religious interpretation of Holy Week’s events for those present, for believers to come, and, of course, for Satan himself. On paper, the lyrics read like an excerpt from the NKJV; spat from Roger Martinez’s bowels-in-the-throat vocals, it’s the stuff to get a parental advisory sticker slapped on Easter. Eat your candy, bang your head.

By Craig E. Bacon

Husband, Father, Philosopher, Music/Beer/Comics Enthusiast—Craig has written for The Prog Report and ProgRadar, and now serves as de facto progressive music editor for MusicTAP. Please direct interview requests & review submissions to [email protected]