Sardonyx - Rebel of Reason (Lightshine) 1990
When this tape came out I was on a personal quest to find any and every Christian metal band I could. I stumbled upon this demo tape and discovered a band that would affect me in ways I cannot describe. I can say that Sardonyx helped shape the way I see Christian metal and Christian ministry. Anyhow, I played this four song tape over and over again. This is simply great heavy metal. I remember thinking they reminded me of Metal Church back when I first got it. Tom Denlinger has said that this tape may be put onto CD in the form of bonus tracks on a re-issued "Majestic Serenity".
Sardonyx - Linear Progression (independent) 2005
1. "Sing to the Lord"
After nearly a decade away, Sardonyx return with this powerful metal EP. The band describes their music as worship metal, and certainly that is what this is. Three of the four songs included here have lyrics that I would most certainly call "worship". I would even imagine that "Master and My King" would work great in a more acoustic setting during a worship service. "Linear Progression" is Christian metal in the truest sense, right down to a bit of preaching at the end "I'm Free" about the nature of Jesus. This may turn some potential listeners away, but I would be willing to bet that Sardonyx are more concerned with the smaller flock that will give a listen than those who will turn away. Sardonyx have never been concerned as much with mainstream success as they have with populating the Kingdom of Heaven. The band hasn't ignored their roots and have remained true to their power metal roots, adding on a bit of more modern influences. This is most apparent on the opening track, "Sing to the Lord", which also happens to be the heaviest song. "Master and My King" and "I'm Free" are more mid-paced, melodic, traditional sounding rockers, while the final track "Power Unto You" returns to the power metal sound that the band is known for. Here's to the return of one of Christian metal's underground champs. Here's hoping it won't take another decade before we get a full length CD.
Sardonyx - Majestic Serenity/Rebel of Reason (Retroactive) 2007
Majestic Serenity (1994)
The original "Majestic Serenity" was released in 1994 independently by Sardonyx. Over a decade later and this fantastic metal album is finally being released on a proper label with much improved artwork and far superior mastering. Starting around 2002 on the band's website they had been promising for years that they were going to re-release "Majestic Serenity" with the "Rebel of Reason" demo as bonus tracks and that is exactly what we finally have here. The album cover art is much improved with a completely new cover, although the inside cover features the original cover art, although severely altered from the original. The new insert is a 10-page full color booklet and includes all the original liner notes, including all the lyrics and song explanations. Despite this album having such a big impact on me in the early-to-mid 1990's I honestly hadn't pulled it out and given it a spin in quite some time. Hearing all these songs again fresh after all these years, I was in metal heaven singing along to each and every song. Musically, Sardonyx ride a fine line between early American power metal and speed metal like Metal Church, Meliah Rage and Vicious Rumors.
The bonus tracks from the Rebel of Reason are a nice addition. I'm not so sure the mastering improved these tracks though. I have the original tape demo. I don't remember it sounding so tinny and wishy. I think the mastering only serves to bring out the flaws in the original recording rather than enhancing the recording. Also, there is a noticeable drop out in the song "Scandal" that I don't recall being on the original tape. I'll have to dig that demo out and play it to see if it was there and I had just forgotten. Still nice to finally have these songs on CD.