WhiteCross - WhiteCross
It is seven years since WhiteCross took a break, and altogether 13 years since guitarist, main songwriter and founding member Rex Carroll left the band (to among other projects release two records with King James). The years without Rex ended up in some very confused records, leaning more towards the grunge hype of 90s than the fabulous 80s metal the band represented from the start. Now Rex has reunited with singer Scott Wenzel to reform WhiteCross as they originally sounded.
Unfortunately they have decided to do a 'Twisted Sister' - a re-recording of a classic, before they do a new album. It is their self-titled debut that will be released in a new version. I doubt that it will sound better in any way and would definitely prefer a bunch of new songs. But anyway, let's recall how the original WhiteCross sounded! Well, the production is just as raw and straight as it usually were about five years before this release, in the early 80s. Scott Wenzel's high and nasal voice can be annoying for a newcomer. But without it - it wouldn't be WhiteCross.
Who Will You Follow kicks off as an up-tempo party rocker. Rex Carroll presents himself right away as a brilliant guitar player. Enough Is Enough is a slightly weaker composition, but still you enjoy every tone of Rex's guitar. Then, He's The Rock takes over with one of those immortal riffs and a simple shout along chorus. A true ten point killer! Lookin' For A Reason is again an excellent rock song in the mid-tempo area. You're Mine is the obligatory ballad, that falls right into the black hole of the forgotten ones.
No Way I'm Goin' Down is the typical WhiteCross song: midtempo, heavy, classy riffing and a straight chorus. Seein' Is Believin' and All I Need goes on in the same vain. Again Rex does a couple of heavenly solos. In Nagasake the guitarist get his chance to show off by his own. Well, then it's just not that fun anymore. Any guitarist, no matter how great, does their job best in a song with a clear melody and structure - and other instruments! Of course the second side needs a faster track, and we get it at last in Signs Of The End. A song that has a bridge that is catchier than the chorus.
It is a classic album, no doubt. But since I know what
is to come next, an excellent row of albums (Hammer & Nail, Triumphant
Return, In The Kingdom and High Gear) that is even better, the grade
must be put accordingly. How it will sound on the new recording one
can only guess. The important thing is - WhiteCross is back!