When defining the Christian music scene in the '80's, the first bands that come to mind are Stryper and Petra. Stryper struck a more of a heavy metal sound while Petra leaned more towards arena rock. Beat the System, the band's last album with vocals from Greg X. Volz, is one of the standout records of this band's stellar career.
The album begins with the techno-flavored title track and continues the electronic sound with "Computer Brains." "Clean" divulges the listener in the more praise and worship side of Petra along with "It Is Finished," which artistically portrays the Crucifixion. A track that could have been left out, however, is the next one, a cover of Kiss's "God Gave Rock and Roll to You," which is followed by "Witch Hunt," by far the oddest track on the album. Although lyrically more spunky than most of the other tracks, it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. "Hollow Eyes" fulfills the ballad requirement very well, and the album is wrapped up by the guitar-driven "Speak to the Sky" and the synth-driven "Adonai."
All in all, Beat the System is a superb album with each track flowing smoothly to the next. "Beat the System," "Computer Brains," and "Witch Hunt" are less on the rock side, but are still fine songs. The standout song on the record has got to be the last one, "Adonai," which seems to be a culmination of the rest of the songs and brings a certain finality that some records lack.
Petra is one of the great Christian bands of the '80's and Beat the System is one of their greatest albums. Greg X. Volz was always my favorite of the Petra vocalists and Beat the System is what got me hooked on the '80's.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 3/26/07, written by Quincy Qarter for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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